Nicole is the proprietor of the Perching Parrot Café and has had more than thirty years experience in the hospitality industry. She came to Paekākāriki because her aunt and uncle live here. They told her about a house for sale.
“I’ve been in hospitality 30-odd years, I was about 19 when I started. Me and Ash used to drive past every morning on our way into work, commuting into the city, and we’d point at this café and say to each other ‘we’re going to own that one day’. And we did!..… It’s just an awesome little community. I’d never lived in a small town - it’s just nice having everyone really close together, the website, the Facebook page. Just the way everyone communicates and helps each other, lends a hand and donates if necessary. You can sit and watch kids go by and watch them grow up – I love that. We’ve got three of them working here - two of them are Ash’s nieces- and that’s awesome.
I know a fair whack of people here. If I walk or drive anywhere I wave. One thing I really love about the café is seeing friendships connect here. You’d look at people and think ‘they should really know each other’ so you’d get involved and make them meet each other so you see friendships spark. I’ve seen quite a few friendships form here which is lovely. Interesting, there’s quite a lot of locals connected. There’s still locals I haven’t seen, never come here. Commuters, I imagine.”