Whether you’re in need of a spot for date night, dinner with friends or just a coffee and pastry while doing some work - Jon, the owner of Tahi Eatery has considered every minor detail which shows in the unique layout of his space.
Our UK team put their tastebuds to the test last week and visited Tahi Eatery for lunch. This spot is a must-visit, providing both relaxed vibes and an exciting eating experience. They sat down with Jon from Tahi Eatery, to discuss the inspiration behind his new eatery and what the future holds.
Hey Jon, what inspired you to open Tahi Eatery and why Manchester?
I’ve run Tamper Coffee in Sheffield for the last 11 years, which was pretty much my first site in the hospitality scene. I was then invited by some contacts I’ve gained in the industry to join the project of opening a new New Zealand inspired cafe and restaurant in Manchester. Coming into this project on my own, I really had the opportunity to align Tahi even more with the New Zealand way of running hospitality. It was really important to me to let that Kiwi identity shine through.
What’s the meaning behind the name Tahi Eatery?
Growing up as a kid in New Zealand you tend to grow up near Maori communities or communities that are influenced by Maori culture. We were also lucky enough to learn some of the language at school too. So, in the Maori language, Tahi means number one. The reason for choosing the word ‘Tahi’ is to identify who we are, but also that this is the first Tahi site, and the first one in Manchester. There are many elements of Tahi that represent the number one.
Favourite hot cup colour?
Sherbet Orange is my favourite, but I’m a fan of the green ones as well - both the Sage and the Kakariki.
Your menu looks delicious! Can you tell us the inspiration behind your food?
The inspiration is really taken from the way I expect to be served when I walk into an authentic cafe/restaurant in New Zealand, whilst still putting our own little twist on it. Our chef is from New Zealand which makes the thought process and every minor detail very kiwi.
What’s your favourite meal on the Tahi Eatery menu right now?
It’s a bit of a funny one, I’ve never been a big Eggs Benedict fan before, but it’s really up there for me at Tahi. Truffle Bolognese is also another one I really enjoy from our menu, so I think those are my go-to at the moment!
How would you describe the vibe of Tahi Eatery?
We’re very new as we’ve only been open for just under a month, but we want people to feel relaxed, comfortable and at home when they’re here.
How is this eatery different from your other sites, are there any lessons you have learnt from this new opening?
We’ve been well established in Sheffield over the past decade, and I forgot how hard it can be to come to a new city, start from scratch and build your brand. So the lessons I’ve learnt are that I can’t take anything for granted, and that I need to put as much effort and thought into each aspect of opening a new business, as to run a successful one.
I think I also learned how handy it can be to kind of use your experience from something like Tamper Coffee which is a cafe and implement that into a new space like Tahi - where we kept the bakery side to it and did the layout of the space in a way that would be suitable for each customers different needs when they walk in here, whether that is like you did today, having lunch with your colleagues, or if you’re just looking for a more quiet space for some pastry and coffee.
What are your three favorite things to do around Manchester during the cooler months?
I still live in Sheffield, so I usually come into Manchester for work, but when I have time off I like to check out the other independents in the city, explore and drink loads of coffee.
How are you currently supporting sustainability in your coffee shop, and how are you planning to continue supporting sustainability in the future?
Sustainability is always at the forefront at everything we do, as we’re a new business the key is to be continuous about everything when it comes to waste, how do we recycle, how do we reuse. Using decent for our takeaway packaging is obviously one way we make sure to do our part. When it comes to the kitchen, we actually don’t have any freezers as everything we produce is fresh and this is one way for us to make sure we don’t order more than we need which again would create more waste and lower the quality of what we serve.
Moving forward we are looking into how we can eventually turn our waste into something that we can reuse, and we also take it very seriously to educate our staff on sustainability and the cycle of life with everything we do and produce.
How have customers responded to your sustainability efforts?
It’s very difficult to say, as we’re still very new and we don’t really shout loud about it as we believe this should be the norm.
Firstly we need to get Tahi to where it needs to be, and get people through the door. The initial plan was to have multiple Tahi’s in the future, but our main focus is to get this one right first.