• Owners Tracey, left, and PJ Watermeyer with their stellar team at Hemingways.

The Spirit of Hemingways

A heartening aspect of life on the Shore is the propensity for a community to take a project under its collective wing. This spirit is evident in the case of Hemingways.

Owners Tracey and PJ opted out of corporate life to throw themselves, and their whole family, into their dream. In May last year, Hemingways opened in the delightful courtyard on Rattray Street in Devonport, a few metres off the main stretch of Victoria Road. It was the culmination of a massive effort by the couple, their family and friends, and several Devonport strangers- turned-friends who simply offered their help.

“There were times when we were up at 2am dismantling beams, stripping walls and oors and all manner of tasks,” says Tracey.

"People pitched up and said, we have a few hours to spare - how can we help? We’re so grateful for all this incredible help from our friends and the community - it’s been absolutely amazing! It’s like the community really had our back. We’ve made so many friends along the way.”

Now, this beautiful business is humming. Valentine’s night was a roaring success, for example, with the space inside and out full of tables for two, and larger groups celebrating, keeping Tracey and her team manic until midnight.

With a long background in hospitality, Tracey is an elegant, intelligent and hugely likeable host who, along with husband PJ leads a switched-on ensemble. Daughters Georgia, Taela and Jenna are all on board with different aspects of the business. Their collective focus, is to ensure that guests feel welcome and at home, and of course, to showcase the best of New Zealand’s high quality produce, wines and craft beer. 

And their staff, all locally sourced, have been handpicked because of their ability to make guests feel welcome while delivering great service. They are some of ‘Devonport’s nest young people’. Tracey expands: "For many of them, this was their rst job, and they have absolutely risen to the occasion - we are really proud of them.’

Dinners, brunches and lunches are ying, with locals and visitors enjoying the peaceful indoor and outdoor garden areas, away from the noise and bustle of the main shopping street. It is great to see locals returning regularly and getting to know them. With a fabulous team of chefs, Hemingways has fast developed a reputation for its interesting and seasonally focused menus.

Hemingways offer catering for small functions within the Devonport area and their next focus is the ‘people on the go’ market, the parents on the school or kindy run, the post-runners hungry for healthy fuel, the visitors heading up Mount Vic for a picnic. “We want to provide healthy options for people to grab and go so we’ve installed a new chiller cabinet stocking freshly-squeezed juices, vegan health bowls, gluten-free rolls and sandwiches. We’ll also have freshly made bread and scones.”

Why the name Hemingways? “We wanted a name that could embody a passion for good food, wine, people, adventure and life! And still be sympathetic to the old-world culture of Devonport. We love the end result as this has been a real labour of love for our whole family.” 

Hemingways, 2A Rattray Street, Devonport 09 446 0454 info@hemingways.co.nz www.hemingways.co.nz