The Secret Garden opens its doors for its latest transformation into a café & Tiki bar by the garden’s original creator, Willy Postma.
A colourful dynamic dynamo, would be an apt description for the new owner of the Secret Garden, Willy. Usually spending 8 months a year in Long Beach, California and 4 months at Waihi Beach, Willy & her family found their plans disrupted by the pandemic and decided to stay on at Waihi Beach. We’ve asked Willy a few questions about her plans for the Secret Garden.
It’s been 15 years since you sold the Secret Garden. What inspired you to come back to where you started?
The Garden called me back. The idea crossed my mind, then it just kept popping up until the direction was clear and I decided to go for it. The garden has always been a place I loved and over time, the original design of the garden has continued to flourish under the care of people like Jayne Jolly who previously ran the garden. The lush Bali, tropical vibes are here and I knew that I could make it into something really special for our community to enjoy.
So, what are your plans for this beautiful garden space?
I want to create a destination. As people aren’t travelling right now it is all the more reason to create a tropical paradise where people can come and feel like they visited Bali, Mexico, Asia or Hawaii. I have extended the covered area so the garden is able to be used throughout the year. I am easing into things now as it is the start of winter but in the future, I’m planning lots of events, and live music, day & night. I also want to encourage community workshops and community groups to also utilise the space. We will host many events, now and in summer, such as art exhibitions and storytelling.
The Secret Garden will also be available for private functions and weddings. Talk to us if you have something you’d love to have in the garden.
Can you tell us a little about your team?
We have a great little international team! I am a Dutch-kiwi, our barista is Lolita from France. Many of the locals will know us from our previous projects at Waihi Beach. I also have a very musical family. My husband Sanchez is a professional musician and we live with music and colour in our lives. I hope that the garden will be an extension of not just great food and coffee, but also a place with a groovy vibe and funky atmosphere. A place that fills your cup, literally and figuratively.
This new adventure has another well-known partner too. Mr Andrew Kennedy of Flatwhite fame.
This is not my first project with Andy, it is actually our fourth! We have a long history of great partnerships that many locals may remember, such as the funky Happy Hippy Shack and the Secret Taco. Andy and I are always on the same page and have always supported each other in our adventures in business. He was also the MC at our wedding!
Those who know you, know that you’re a dynamo. What do you think your superpower is?
My superpower is of a creative nature. I love stepping into a space and seeing its potential, then making it a reality.