New on the scene  |  06 Nov 2019

New Zealand’s top barista is pairing up with his brother-in-law to run the café in the new hot pools complex in New Brighton.

Dove Chen and Eddy Yu have been granted the lease to run the café at He Puna Taimoana and will co-manage the business.

The pair are brothers-in-laws and have years of experience in the café and hospitality industry in Christchurch and Hamilton.

Dove Chen competing in a barista competition.

Dove Chen competing in the World Barista Championships in Boston earlier this year.

Mr Chen has twice won the New Zealand Barista Championships – once in 2017 and again in 2019.  Earlier this year he represented New Zealand at the World Barista Championships in Boston, where he ranked 12th in the world.

He has recently started his own roasting company and owns a successful café in Hamilton.

The brothers-in-law say they are “absolutely thrilled’’ to have the opportunity to run the café at He Puna Taimoana.

They hope the hot pools complex and café will act as the proverbial watering hole – a place where the local community can meet and enjoy a soak and then have a coffee and a nourishing meal.

“We will bring in some great new ideas to the café business with an aim to provide fantastic service and remarkable food and coffee to our customers,’’ Mr Yu says.

Christchurch City Council Head of Recreation, Sports and Events Nigel Cox says he is delighted to have such experienced operators for the He Puna Taimoana cafe.

"Securing Dove Chen and Eddy Yu to operate the cafe is fantastic. Without a doubt, their experience will make He Puna Taimoana a regional attraction we will all be proud of,'' Mr Cox says.

He Puna Taimoana is scheduled to open in March next year. It will have five outdoor pools for year-round use, as well as a sauna and steam room.

The café will be open to both pool-users and beachside customers.