Dome Valley Café reopens

Baby Niko, Makin Taraniko, Onno Ursem and cafe manager Emmy Cottingham.

The staff and owners did the refit.
The staff and owners did the refit.

The iconic Dome Valley Café reopened last month, 18 months after it was put into liquidation by its previous owners.

Onno Ursem and Makin Taraniko bought the café and undertook the refit themselves.

“We were looking to buy the house on the property, but there was a small catch – it came with a café,” Onno says.

It is something of a full circle for Onno, who worked in a café at age 25. He wanted to start his own café business, but was unable to raise the funds. Instead, he pursued a career in project management.

The couple decided to live their dream and make the café “their baby”. As it happens, they also have a four-week-old newborn.

“People think I’m mad having taken all this on,” Onno says.

Nevertheless, Onno was brought up in Albany and had long wanted to move back up north, while his wife, Makin, is from Kiribati and wanted to move closer to the Kiribati community in Warkworth.

The café is serving Kiwi brunch staples and hopes to appeal to families doing the Dome Valley summit track on weekends, as well as trampers passing through along the Te Araroa Trail.

Onno says it is great to be able to take over a café with a 40-year legacy.

“We have had customers who have told us they have been coming here since the 80s,” he says.

“There are lots of old pubs but not many cafes with that kind of history.”

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