Coopers & Co has been re-established in new premises at 388 Montreal St near the heart of the Victoria St precinct.
Jenette Thompson is the creative director behind the cafe bar, delicatessen and bookshop which has recently opened in a city where coffee shop competition is strong.
She is a consultant to developer Lilley Cooper who set up a previous iteration of Coopers & Co in her The Colombo development in Sydenham.
But the new outlet differs in location, layout and ambience.
Thompson said it’s early days yet and she has further plans to tweak signage, product offerings and enlarge the space.
“It’s been a soft opening for a little oasis in the central city. We’re getting lots of local Christchurch people discovering us now.”
Cooper purchased the block of two-level apartments at 388 Montreal St about a year ago, carried out some earthquake repairs and leased and sold some of the units.
She has been involved in numerous property developments in Christchurch, introducing her own interior style.
Location is likely to be Cooper & Co’s best ally. Immediate neighbours include accountants, lawyers offices, inner city apartment dwellers, and suites leased for Airbnb – a ripe catchment for the kind of deli food on offer at a coffice (a word play on coffee-shop office).
A hotel will soon open nearby, and the central city is bracing for an influx of several thousand office workers in coming months.
Drop in customers can sit in the small sheltered north facing courtyard or in an upstairs room with comfy chairs and a large array of international magazines and art works.
The furniture was supplied by nearby Spanish homeware shop Corcovado.
Barista Clintin Burt, formerly of Blax in Victoria St, manages the day to operation while chef Matt Dickie is on hand in between stints working on Cooper’s 35m yacht Carolina based in Turkey.
Food offerings include salamis and smallgoods from Akaroa Butchery and Delicatessen, plus whole milk, frozen meals and other convenience foods and fresh produce.
Thompson is well known in central city hospitality circles – “I’ve been doing it forever”.
Many years ago she worked for celebrity chef Richard Till at Espresso 124, one of the earliest restaurants on the former Oxford Tce strip as it was once known. She set up the delicatessen next to the restaurant and went on to run various other cafe bar outlets.