Surfdale Sandwich Bar, Waiheke

Beautiful Waiheke: just a 35-minute ferry trip from Auckland, it’s an island paradise of olive groves, glorious beaches, fruit-laden vineyards, stunning galleries and delicious restaurant fare. Now, alongside the island’s already plentiful delights, is the Surfdale Sandwich Bar – a charming addition to the thriving artistic and culinary community.

When Tejal Bhika and her business partner first opened the doors of the Surfdale Sandwich Bar in mid-2015, she admits to being a little worried about how the business would go. “I’ve lived on Waiheke, on and off, for about eight years, so I decided I’d open up my own business. We had a slow open, we didn’t advertise to the papers, and our first customers were just people passing by on the main road. I was nervous but it’s been going really well!" says Tejal. "It was a little bit exhausting to start off with, but as we build more customers we’ll be able to hire more people."

The Surfdale Sandwich Bar is also supporting the local community by using local packaging, local breads and local chutneys. As well as this, Tejal is proud to say that they prepare all of their own ingredients and even roast their own hams. “For the ham glaze, I use mustard, cloves and maple syrup or sometimes I do it with pineapple. There are a few different types of glaze I like to use, so people get a different flavour every time. We’ve even started to pickle our own onions, and make our own sauerkraut and barbecue sauces. The feedback’s been really good!” says Tejal. 

In the initial stages of starting her own business, Tejal found purchasing her equipment outright was too expensive. “I considered the banks but then I heard about Silver Chef from another chef. It made it much easier. The application was fast, I got approval in two days, and the online signing system is pretty good as well. Almost everything I’ve got in the kitchen is from Silver Chef and it was spot on.

“We’re slowly building up community support. I already knew a lot of people’s faces but the more people keep coming in, the more I get to know them. It’s great!”

Tejal Bhika
Surfdale Sandwich Bar, Waiheke

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