Replete's Story

Replete Food Company is regarded as a "Taupo institution" and was established in 1993 by its present owners, Chris and Kathy Johnston. 

Chris and his sister, Sarah, were the brains behind Replete cafe originally selling a wide range of deli products, anything from a home-made stilton pate to bacon and egg pie, from their cabinet. Their objective, as the name suggests, was to have the cabinet completely stocked with tasty but simple food, and for their customers to feel "replete". 

Its furniture, 9 Matai high stools and a few leaners, were designed by the well-known designer David Truebridge and are still standing the test of time. They allowed cafe dwellers to sit at or lean against a table, whilst enjoying the pure taste of Millers coffee. After a great relationship with Miller's for 29 years, Replete has moved on to Ozone coffee, an international specialty coffee company with a focus on sustainability and creating a coffee culture. 

It wasn't long before Replete's reputation was spreading across the country - it became a compulsory meet and greet for many travelers to Taupo, and a must-stop on the way through. In 1995, Sarah sold her share of the business to Greg Heffernan, former Head Chef of Huka Lodge. With demand came expansion, and gradually Replete moved into the next door shop, set up a store providing the best in kitchenware and food products, offered cooking classes, and created more space for its devoted customers! Now, the store's offerings have expanded beyond kitchenware: New Zealand pottery, carefully curated gifts, treats and gadgets, all with an emphasis on aesthetic, longevity and design. Many of the products are unique to Replete or difficult to find anywhere else, as Kathy prefers to support small businesses, artisans and "suppliers with a story". Even the gift-wrapping is something unique - customers all over New Zealand can recognise the rustic look of upcycled hessian coffee bags and twine. 

In 1999, after 6 busy years in a business partnership, it was time for Greg to spread his wings. Chris and Kathy bought Greg Heffernan's share of Replete, and remain sole owners of it to this day. During the past 30 years, Replete Cafe has won numerous awards, both local and national, and it continues to attract return customers. Its philosophy remains unchanged, to provide great customer service and to have the cabinet completely stocked with tasty but simple food.