Drift Store Matatā

Don’t bother asking the recipe of their authentic Southland Cheese Rolls; Drift Store Matatā owners Nikita and Vin Murphy won’t tell you.

Drift cheese roll

“It’s a secret!” laughs Nikita. “But I’m stoked because we get people from Southland coming through and they love them. Vin’s from here in Matatā and I’m from way down south so it’s quite nice to put a part of myself and my background into our business.”

Along with the coffee sold at the store on the Pacific Coast Highway, the authentic Southland cheese rolls are best sellers.

“It’s a strange thing,” says Vin. “No one seems to know about cheese rolls in the North Island but because they’re so ‘more-ish’ they’ve really taken off. We worked out that in the five years we’ve been open, we’ve sold 50-thousand cheese rolls.”

Drift cafe matata picnic tables v2

It all started with a derelict corner section and a dream to provide top class ‘real coffee’ to locals and travellers.

“We just dived headfirst into coffee and learned how to make a great cuppa,” says Vin. “I bought a five-kilo bag of coffee beans and just made coffee after coffee to figure out how to make the best flavour.”

Drift Store is now not just a coffee oasis for travellers in the eastern Bay of Plenty, it’s also a meeting place for the community.

“Our philosophy has always been two things: to have great friendly service and really good tasting coffee. Nothing fancy. We’re cheery and friendly, people don’t have to wait too long for a nice, quality cup of coffee. It’s pretty simple, really and that’s the backbone of what we’ve done here,” says Vin.

Drift cafe matata owners

Now, around half the customers are locals – and the rest are travellers and business people passing through.

“Because we have a great view of the lagoon right across the road, we wanted to make it somewhere that people wanted to stop, sit down take a break and soak in Matatā rather than just driving on through,” says Nikita.

The couple is looking forward to having more shipping container stores join them on the section in the future, but for now, they’re thrilled to be selling the bay’s best authentic Southland cheese rolls – and, of course, a great cuppa.

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