May 31, 2024
March 2024

From containers to coffee.

Whether it’s unloading containers or loading up diner’s plates, Mike knows how to keep his customers happy.

Mike, picture on an Oak Tree Devanning Site.

Mike, picture on an Oak Tree Devanning Site.

Mike joined Oak Tree Devanning in April last year, doing a few mornings a week. He was also working afternoons and evenings as a chef at the time. He was keen to work as part of a team in different environments – but Mike had a clear goal in mind.

He owned a restaurant in China before moving to New Zealand about eight years ago for a change of lifestyle – first to Wellington then to Christchurch – but still wanted to work in the hospitality industry.

Mike was determined to open his own cafe and in February, after months of long hours in the kitchen and devanning containers, he did just that.

Sweet Lili's Cafe in Sawyers Arms Rd features a sizable assortment of cabinet food and menu items, and of course the liquid caffeine hit we all need once in a while.

"My goal was to open my own cafe and after that, open my own restaurant. This is my first step," Mike says.

Business has been growing week by week and given his commitment to superior customer service and his personable manner, he is confident his venture will be a success.

I've got good coffee, my food is good and my service is good, so the customers will come.

When we visited Sweet Lili's to talk with Mike, a pair of burly, hungry tradies popped in for Mike's Thai chicken salad. Someone commented that he'd tried it the day before and was sold! So he brought his mate along and he was equally impressed.

At his cafe, Mike puts into practice the attributes he displays with Oak Tree – teamwork, looking after each other and a strong work ethic – and is reaping the benefits.

His drive and attitude have taken him a long way towards achieving his dream of being a successful business owner and it's inspiring to see another of our Oak Tree team take an idea and run with it. Keep those coffees coming, Mike!

Names have been changed.

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