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Small Business Driver: Mercury Bay Estate

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Located on the rolling green hills above the white sands of Cooks Beach, Mercury Bay Estate is a 3-hectare family owned and operated hospitality venue, and the only active winery on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Producing premium quality wines that stand up alongside the best NZ and international products is Mercury Bay Estate’s overarching aim – and one that they undoubtedly deliver on. Their range of white and red wines are available for sale through their cellar door on-premises, and at their restaurant operation base at Cooks Beach. Operating primarily as a tourist venue, Mercury Bay Estate aims to sell the bulk of their annual production onsite, relying on large crowds who are in the area to visit tourist hotspots like Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.

This business model, which previously saw the business running smoothly, meant Mercury Bay Estate was impacted hugely by COVID-19 and the ramifications of the pandemic on the tourism industry. Operating at full capacity right up until March 22nd made the impacts of Level 4 lockdown even more apparent to the Mercury Bay Team, with business literally going from 100 to 0 in a matter of hours.

A positive attitude, a great team, and fantastic community support meant that Mercury Bay Estate were able to open under Level 3 as a takeaway option for the local market, allowing them to retain their staff. The lack of mid-week business continues to affect Mercury Bay Estate as the country fluctuates in and out of alert levels and international tourism is obsolete.

Mercury Bay Estate’s 11-year-old SUV – a sad, tired vehicle with 175,000km on the clock – was one of the businesses’ big-ticket replacement items in 2020, so winning the chance to drive a Toyota Highlander for a year through Toyota’s Small Business Driver initiative was a huge bonus for the company. They’ve also used the Mediaworks advertising package to re-focus their operations on attracting the domestic tourism market, particularly outside of traditional high season holiday periods.

For excellent Kiwi wine, antipasto dining, gorgeous Coromandel views and friendly service, add Mercury Bay Estate to your ‘must-see’ list next time you’re in the area. https://www.mercurybayestate.co.nz/