From left are Nayland College student leaders Zoe Fitzgerald, Mia Faulkner, Ben Dowdle and Joseph Meleisea at Kuaka Café. Photo: Kate Russell.

Café comes to college


Hot chips and pies are a thing of the past at Nayland College as the school gets its very own student café.

Kuaka Café officially opened on Monday morning, serving up barista made coffees and house made food to hungry pupils.

It signals a change in the way students get their kai at the local college with a raft of different food options now on the table for hungry students.

Principal Daniel Wilson says the café is a collaboration between food provider Libelle Group and their school hospitality programme.

Around 100 students will be making and selling food and coffee at the café as part of their hands-on experience.

“Some will be learning how to make coffee, while others will be preparing food in our new commercial kitchen.”

Daniel says the idea was proposed a few years ago but it’s taken a while to get it the project off the ground.

“We had to get our hospitality processes up to a point and go through council’s food control plan as well as getting all our hospitality students through training.

“It’s not as simple as making scones.”

Student leader Zoe Fitzgerald says all the food available at Kuaka Café is “good and filling” and reasonably priced.

There are many different options in the cafe cabinets  – from wraps to salads, along with pasta and rice balls.

She also says the coffee goes down pretty fantastically with students looking to get a bit of a caffeine hit before class – and the teachers, too.

“Quite a few students drink coffee,” she says.

“But there are other hot drinks available and there are microwaves and hot water available so students can make their own food.”

The café is located by the back field of the school and features a big wrap-around deck with outdoor seating so students can enjoy their food in an al fresco environment.

“It’s an environment where students can sit and study. It has a wonderful relaxed feel and has been designed to offer indoor outdoor flow and views of the Tasman ranges,” says Daniel.

Initially, the café will only be open during break times. However, Daniel says that the facility could also open before school starts and for sports events and parent evenings in the future.