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Joe Karam inside the historic Country Store on Front Miranda Rd. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Historic home and shop available in Waitakaruru


An opportunity to lease or purchase The Country Store, comprising a fully operational café and attached four-bedroom home at 6 Front Miranda Rd, has become available due to a change in family circumstances associated with owner, former All Black Joe Karam.
Karam purchased the building in January 2022 and the cafe opened in October. The state-of-art
ALLPRESS coffee equipment and Little-Gem Ice-cream machine, fridges, freezers, food warmer and POS are still in place ready to go for a new operator.
It is perfectly positioned on the intersection of SH25 and the Miranda road with ample parking, and is directly opposite the public toilets which are so convenient for passing travellers. According to Karam, the toilets are very popular and have a reputation as some of the cleanest in the country.
“It’s about halfway between Whitianga and Auckland. Passers-by stop here to go to the loo, let the kids and dogs stretch their legs, and get a coffee, cold drink, snack or ice-cream while they’re at it,” he said.
As well as general traffic and locals, it is on the popular Hauraki Rail Trail and the main route for
Aucklanders travelling to and from Coromandel holiday spots.
“The customer base was steadily growing until my daughter moved on a few months ago.”
The comfortable and spacious attached house has a heat pump, HRV ventilation, a great wood-burner and has recently been reroofed. There is a large covered veranda at the back looking out to the Firth.
Schooling is very convenient with Waitakaruru Primary just down the road and the bus to Hauraki Plains College picks up and drops off at the front door.
The building was originally the Royal Harrison Hotel in Kuaotunu on the Coromandel Peninsula. It was dismantled and brought by barge to Waitakaruru in about 1916. The original post office building beside it has a bathroom and kitchen area, and with some refurbishment could make an ideal AirBnB or extended family space.
A few years ago the previous owner passed away, and the property became very dilapidated, Karam said.
“We removed a dozen 9-cubic metre bins of rubbish when we took over last January.”
Karam is willing to negotiate an arrangement with a suitable applicant. He said it could be sold
outright with a variety of vendor assistance terms or leased with rent holiday and minimal ingoing.
“Ideally, I would like to sell to or partner with a go-getter family who can see the potential, but the living accommodation and shop could be separated, if necessary, on lease terms. If I was 20 years younger I would get stuck into it myself!”