The old Okere Falls Store was resurrected and reinvented in 2004 using the same building that stood on the edge of State Highway 33 with a petrol station, selling hot pies, lollies, bread and milk for many years.
Owner, Sarah Uhl, together with friends and family, renovated the original shop, carefully crafting a nostalgic country store feel with hints of the 1950s, a time when Okere Falls enjoyed a boom in baches and holiday-makers.
Catering to locals, tourists and holiday-makers, Sarah’s goal is to create a base and heart for the small community where locals can meet and treat themselves to an espresso or boutique beer, kids can play and essential groceries can be bought. And…as visitors and travelers, don’t we all love to stumble upon little gems such as this!
Today, Okere Falls Store is known as New Zealand’s best eco-friendly cafe. Sarah is passionate about having a business that works in harmony with the community and is gentle on the environment. In 2016, Okere Falls Store banned all Coca Cola products because they believe that what you drink should not only taste good, it should be good for the land. Sarah introduced the initiative ‘Striving to Make Rotorua Plastic Bag Free’ by 2018 to bring awareness of single-use plastics on our environment and how we each have a part to play by the decisions we make.
Located across from the lake, a short walk to view beautiful Okere Falls, and in a setting that is relaxed, unpretentious, quirky and fun offers customers an experience that few expect. Filled with gorgeous product, in-store chef Al, prepares specialty food to ensure customers feel a sense of comfort, relaxation and restoration before continuing on to their way.
Okere Falls Store in the news…
- NZ Herald – Sam Smith stops by Okere Falls Store
- TVNZ – Dairy pledges to stop selling Coca-Cola products
- News Hub – Shop goes sour on sugary Coca-Cola
- Nourish Magazine (includes Rubarb, Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffin recipe)
- Stuff – Coke goes flat for one cafe owner
- NZ Herald – Cafe Review
- Urbis Magazine – Rotorua Out and About
- Blog – An Auckland Vegan in Rotorua
- Lonely Planet Recommendation