Buyers weigh Lake Hayes’ Graze

Hybrid business: Graze at Lake Hayes Estate

Lake Hayes Estate’s sole bar and restaurant is on the market.

Graze was opened by Hamish and Jana MacPherson in December 2014 after the couple moved to Queenstown from Auckland.

Changing family circumstances were behind their decision, Jana MacPherson says.

Her parents-in-law, who had a dairy farm near Winton, turned 70 last year and her husband wanted to take over more of the work.

“We decided we wanted to put more of our focus on the farm, and with two young children, it’s hard to do everything.”

The couple would stay in the resort, with her husband spending three days a week on the farm.

There had already been “very good quality” interest in the business, but a quick sale was unlikely as there was a lot of detail for prospective buyers to consider.

The business includes the restaurant, the bar, the grocer, and the lease for the two businesses upstairs as well.

“So it’s quite an intricate proposition,” MacPherson says.

The business’s revenue was consistently increasing, something she put down to the area’s growing population and word of mouth.

“Because we’re not on the beaten track, it takes a little while for people to find us.

“I still meet people in Queenstown who say ‘I’ve heard of you but I haven’t been in’.”

The couple had enjoyed running the business, she says.

“It’s the first business that my husband and I have done together, so we’re really proud of it and we’ve made some life-long friends.”

Auckland-based Paul Izzard Design did the interior work on Graze – a restaurant and courtyard with capacity for 140 people.

The business was put up for sale with an asking price of $895,000, plus GST, and stock at value.

Otago Daily Times