Popular Gisborne ethnic cafe business

5:00 AM Wednesday November 11, 2015 Colin Taylor

A view inside Cafe Dunay which is for sale at 48 Peel Street, Gisborne.

A Gisborne cafe business that has given the city a taste of eastern and central European cuisine and which operates a popular city ‘sandwich run’ has been placed on the market for sale.

Cafe Dunay, based within leased premises at 48 Peel Street, was set up by owners Alona and Boris Nogtev who hail respectively from Kyrgyzstan and the Ukrainian-Polish border.

“Ideally, the handover of this business to new owners should coincide with the start of busy summer season,” says Colin McNab of Bayleys Gisborne, who is marketing the cafe business for an asking price of $75,000 plus GST if any.

McNab says the couple always had a dream to own and operate a restaurant where the menu would be based around their families’ recipes.

“We arrived in New Zealand two and a half years ago, and spent more than six months travelling around looking for a place to live and to establish a restaurant that would honour our heritage,” says Boris Nogtev.

“We visited all major cities and little towns that attract to tourists in the North and South Islands. We decided that sunny and friendly Gisborne was the place for us and we have been amazed at how residents and visitors to the area have embraced what we offered.”

Cafe Dunay operates from retail premises formerly occupied by the longstanding Renie’s Petite Cafe which built a loyal and growing following in Gisborne for its made-on-the-premises food, freshly squeezed juices and smoothies.

The Nogtevs kept some of these favourites on their menu and added their own authentic European specialities which have been a hit with Kiwis like traditional Russian pies called pirozhki, Polish and Russian dumplings, and Hungarian and German sausages. They use largely locally sourced produce and support other Gisborne businesses.

48 Peel%2c St Gisborne - Cafe Dunay exterior.jpg

The street exterior of Gisborne’s Cafe Dunay. 

The leased space in Peel St is modestly sized at 31.1 square metres. There is some outdoor seating on the footpath and staff amenities are to the rear of the premises.

The Nogtevs recently renovated the cafe space with input from an Auckland expatriate interior designer Adriana Tuscia who now lives in Gisborne.

“The walls of the cafe are adorned with European flourishes and furniture was custom crafted for the cafe while the main food cabinet has a kauri counter top which adds to the cafe’s warmth and character,” says McNab.

“The owners of this popular business have created a relaxed, friendly dining atmosphere which, in the evening especially, has a real ambience. It’s almost like dining in a personal home.”

The lease is around $600 per month plus outgoings and McNab says the local landlord would welcome a new owner of the business retaining the tenancy.

The cafe has traditionally traded on weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm with the addition of Saturday morning trading to coincide with a popular Gisborne weekend farmers’ market which brings people into the city.

“The cafe is currently testing the dinner market and stays open weekdays until 7 pm with a ‘build your own burger’ option proving popular,” McNab says.

In addition, Cafe Dunay is the only business in Gisborne that operates a ‘sandwich run’..

“Every week day morning, the cafe offers a morning tea and lunch delivery service for more than 30 offices, shops and government institutions in Gisborne’s CBD,” says McNab.

“The owners see the run as the best way to advertise their food and it is a good way to introduce new products. It forms a significant part of the cafe's winter turnover.”

Future growth avenues for the business include operating with a liquor licence. Preliminary work has been undertaken towards an application for a licence but some upgrading is required like installing customer toilet facilities in order to comply.

McNab says chattels valued at more than $36,000 are included in the sale of Cafe Dunay. This includes a $4000 coffee machine, custom-built workstation, counter units and cabinetry, appliances, and café furniture.

“Financial details will be provided to registered parties on the signing of a confidentiality agreement,” McNab says.

Boris Nogtev says he would encourage anyone who has had a hankering to own a cafe to consider the opportunity that the Cafe Dunay business offers as it is well set up and has a loyal and established customer base. 

“When we were looking for a business to purchase, we planned to buy an existing cafe that could be operated from day one, and had capacity to slowly be developed by extending the menu with our authentic cuisine.

“The cafe has the potential to be developed further and in line with a new owner’s food style preferences.”

McNab says the business has been put up for sale because the Nogtevs have set their sights on one day opening a larger, fully licensed restaurant and they are wishing to explore options along these lines.

Colin McNab of Bayleys Gisborne - cropped in.jpg

Colin McNab, of Bayleys Gisborne.