I was down at the Mt Eden Village shops, when I saw a sign outside the Sierra Cafe proudly proclaiming that it was under new management.
Sierra’s an unusual cafe. It’s sort of part of a chain, but without the fierce franchising strictness of, say, Starbucks. There’s room for individualism within the stores, as well as local touches like exhibitions of flowers-that-look-like-vaginas paintings. (Bad cafe art exhibitions are one of my favourite things!)
Now, under old management, Mt Eden Sierra did a really nice range of sweet things. My favourite was their ginger slice. I’m a bit of a ginger fan, me, so it takes more than a generic ginger crunch to please me. But their ginger slice was tops. It was small but thick, and it had a dense, chewy base, with slivers of coconut, giving it a really satisfying texture, and it was topped with a thick, spicy layer of ginger icing. It was the perfect complement to a latte.
I’m a little wary of business owners who make a big deal of the business having changed owners. It assumes that a) the old owners were rubbish, and b) the new owners are better.
But what awaited me with Sierra’s range of sweet things under new management? Generic ginger crunch. A giant slab of crumbly, boring old ginger crunch. No longer a special weekend delight. I could buy this sort of thing from any old cafe. In fact, the entire range of delicious sweet things was gone, replaced with generic cafe slices.
It’s taken away the one point of difference that kept me going there. I might stick with Frasers cafe in future – they still do good sweet things, and have pleasingly bad art exhibitions.
But as for Sierra, I can only hope that the new management eventually becomes as good as the old management.