To grow, spring up and develop, Whanake also refers to the newly developing growth of the tī kōuka/cabbage tree. Together Stephen Lee and Staci Offwood have developed Whanake Gallery & Espresso Bar as a way to share their love and passion for the West Coast and provide locals and visitors alike with New Zealand photography and quality fair trade coffee.
Located in the quaint seaside town of Westport, Whanake came into being in 2007 when an old main street law office building came up for sale. Recycling most of the existing building into a bright new coffee bar, gallery and home, Staci and Stephen have created a unique way of building their life around the things they feel most passionate about and sharing them with the world. The result is a mix of distinctive West Coast photography, souvenirs, take away coffee and home-style baking in a friendly, exquisitely restored and beautifully decorated building.
Staci, a self-taught photographer, has made it her mission to show the world what an amazing and diverse part of New Zealand the Buller region is. Combining her love of great coffee with her passion for photography, Whanake Gallery & Espresso Bar was born. Stephen, a chef by trade, began making a variety of old fashioned baked goods to accompany the coffee in the early days, however Staci's mum has taken on this task making Whanake a real family business. Meanwhile Stephen has launched in to other endeavours since the purchase of Bazils Hostel. He can be found most days caring for the many backpackers or taking them out for surf lessons. Filling the niche for a service like this in the Westport business district has enabled Whanake to remain busy all year round.
No matter what the weather, the West Coast can be just as dramatic in stormy conditions as it is under sunny skies. Staci and the Whanake team are always happy to point you on the right direction to truly experience the most distinctive and dramatic places both near Westport and in the wider Buller region.