The Treats caravan in Thames is, put simply, a feast for the senses.
The reflective silver trailer and pink flamingos plunged into grass out the front give off a crisp 1950’s aesthetic.
The ice creams made from real fruit add to the summer vibe.
Then there’s the coffee – thoroughly fussed over by Jan Ward and Linda Davidson – handed over to those in need of a timely pick-me-up.
Treats can be found at the shoppers car park along Queen St, and was started up by the two self-confessed coffee addicts a year ago this month.
“We both had responsible health jobs, and getting close to retirement we thought: bugger it, we’ll do something fun,” Linda said.
“We’re fussy coffee drinkers, so we wanted to be fussy coffee makers.”
The couple was spurred on by the lack of available parking outside cafes in the main street of Thames, as well as their passion for the town.
Jan has lived in Thames for the past 12 years, and prior to that, she was up in the Coromandel Peninsula.
Linda said she had wanted to live in Thames since she “was a little girl” and made the move five years ago – at which time she rebuilt Kuranui Cottage, a luxury accommodation provider in Kuranui Bay.
“There are a lot of tourists that come through Thames. They pass through this road and actually don’t go into the town because they don’t know what’s there,” Jan said.
“We tell them about what to do, where to go, and what’s available in Thames. So we see ourselves as ambassadors.”
For the pair, Treats was about more than just providing great food and coffee – the eye-catching trailer was a place people could converse and spend time at.
During the Covid-19 restrictions last year, Jan and Linda really noticed a difference to their business.
“Thames struggled without the people from Auckland, Hamilton, and around the Waikato,” Jan said. “It was really hard.
“It made us aware of how much we relied on through traffic.”
When alert levels were reduced, the need for a friendly exchange grew tenfold.
“During level three, we were one of the few places that could open, and we were doing masses and masses of coffee,” Linda said.
“We saw people really needing that connection with someone outside of home, and we have since built up a regular coffee clientele.”
Treats also provides four flavours of real fruit ice cream – raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and mixed berry – and on weekends, traditionally-made fresh cream donuts.
They are available to attend events, and have previously been present at sports tournaments around the Thames Valley. They are set to be at the annual Wings and Wheels event at Thames Airfield on January 30.
“We are both really passionate about Thames. We love the peninsula and what it offers,” Linda said.
“The people are the best part of the job.”
Treats is closed Monday and Tuesday unless it is a public holiday. Open Wednesday-Friday, 7.30am-around 2pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am-around 4pm. Opening hours are subject to weather. They cannot work in the rain as Treats is run on a generator.
By KELLEY TANTAU
PHOTO: Self-confessed coffee addicts and Thames ambassadors Linda Davidson, left, and Jan Ward started Treats in January last year.