Turning an idea into reality

Anna Clearwater in her coffee trailer ‘Rise and Grind’

Anna Clearwater is the face behind Mangawhai’s newest coffee trailer ‘Rise and Grind’, greeting commuters as they hit the road to go about their business from 5am-9.30am in the village.

Anna who’s not only a talented barista is also a builder, moved to Mangawhai at the start of 2017 with her partner from Auckland after purchasing a property a year and half earlier.

“We fell in love with it up here and decided to move,” she said.

Anna saw the opportunity to start Rise and Grind and thought if she didn’t act soon, someone else might.

“My partner was commuting to Auckland for work and I would leave for work before all the cafes were open — there wasn’t really anywhere to get a coffee.”

Working in a cafe some years earlier meant she already had barista skills and after researching the idea further which involved spending mornings counting cars and watching the traffic flow at the main village intersection she looked into buying a coffee trailer. 

Anna found a company in Hong Kong who turned her design into reality which was a two or three month process. 

In this time she quit her building job and opened up shop on November 20. 

“I was so nervous on my first day but this is the most amazing community to do something like this in because people are so supportive, encouraging and positive. Even people who don’t drink coffee stop by and say ‘this is such a good idea, good on you’ and that’s exactly what you need when you’ve taken a risk and invested all of this time and money. 

Anna feels that she may not have received the same sort of feedback and support had she opened Rise and Grind in a city.

“Here it’s more personal, you know everyone and it’s the same faces. People love to support local.”

“From 5-5.30am the traffic is pretty constant, everyone seems to be heading down to Auckland or there are the tradies who are working just a bit further out of town — that’s my main target audience. 

For anyone else contemplating a business idea, Anna’s’ advice is to “just go for it.”

“The climate here is perfect if you’ve got an idea or you want to start something, this is the time to do it. Mangawhai is past the cusp of booming, everyone is moving out here and there’s new people and there’s opportunities everywhere at the moment.”

All going well Anna hopes to go back to building long term and employ someone to man the coffee trailer. On the side she is also kept busy running Mangawhai Dog Rescue.

Find her outside the Mangawhai Library Hall weekdays from 5am-9.30am and around the heads and village over the silly season.


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