‘Donuts to die for’ at Little & Friday

4:39 PM Tuesday April 24, 2018 True Commercial

Customers can inspect food made from scratch in the window before entering the cafes. Photo / Supplied

Two Little & Friday cafes, operating from leased premises in the Auckland suburbs of Belmont and Newmarket, are for sale for a total asking price of $1,790,000 plus stock.

“There’s nothing like them in the entire city of Auckland,” says LINK Business broker Nick Giles, adding that the sale encompasses both tangible and intangible assets including all associated intellectual property. 

“Little & Friday is an Auckland institution which serves some of the very best cafe food in Auckland and donuts to die for,” he says.

The owner, Kim Evans, established Little & Friday in 2007 — a venture first housed in a former small butcher’s shop where she would ‘prep’ on a Thursday night and only open on Fridays, “hence the name, Little & Fridays.”

To Giles, the best indication of the incredible success of the brand, is that the whole operation, pioneered in one little shop at 43 Eversleigh Rd, Belmont, expanded in just a few years to occupy all-five-shops in the block where it first commenced operations.

“And that’s as well as opening the additional cafe at 11 McColl St, Newmarket,” he adds.

“From being a quirky operation begun by one single talented and highly visionary baker — this remarkable business now employs more than 30 staff.

“Kim has produced three cookbooks plus added sought-after breakfast, lunch and dinner menus to the original cabinet fare.

“And above all, the operation just proves yet again that people will avidly seek out quality, because at the busiest times of the week it’s hard to find a seat at Little & Friday.”

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Belmont, Little & Friday has expanded from a single shop to occupy a block of five. Photo / Supplied

Giles says Kim’s initial concept was disarmingly simple — to be completely transparent and make everything from scratch.

“There isn’t a microwave to be seen at the front counter. They heat and prep their food fresh in an oven - always favouring free-range and organic ingredients,” he says.

“Before entering the Belmont shop, customers can inspect presented donuts, tarts, scones, savouries and cakes in the window and can also observe sweets being made.

“The interior decor comprises bright white painted walls that looks like an industrial warehouse with a very retro feel. Wooden tables are paired with retro chairs and coloured stalls. What’s most interesting about the decor is that they use animal toys as the table numbers. 

“Behind the counter is an open kitchen and a huge shelf of hot cross buns, scones, and donuts.”

Giles cites food writer Alice Harbourne stating that Little & Friday donuts are “the best you will ever eat”.

He says following the Newmarket store opening, Kim received repeated offers to set up similar stores all over Auckland and there was a tentative foray into the CBD with a small ‘tuck shop’.  There was also a period where Kim occupied what was Coffee Supreme’s Good One Café in the backstreets of Ponsonby, but she ultimately decided to concentrate on the operations at Belmont and Newmarket.

Giles adds that sales at these core shops are deeply impressive, and the appetite for their products is almost insatiable.

“The business side runs well but there is always room for improvement and a fresh set of eyes could certainly tighten the odd cost.”

Sales through the stores are an impressive $3,285,378 per annum exclusive of GST, he says.

“That’s an average of $72,657 including GST per week. Belmont accounts for about 54 per cent of the sales and Newmarket 46 per cent”.

He says the combined rent for the two stores is exceptionally low at 3.6 per cent of sales. “The wonderful cream donuts are the top seller and in March both stores combined sold 4305 of these beauties.

“There is no denying that Little & Friday is one of the top cafes in Auckland and beautifully presented to the market. The ‘made from scratch’ and fresh organic produce concepts are so popular nowadays and there is definitely a cult following in place.” 

At a glance:

* The Belmont operation has free street parking outside shop and in surrounding streets.

* Newmarket has paid parking, both outside the shop and in surrounding streets.

* At Belmont the rent is $72,854.28 net pa and the current five-year-lease has a final expiry on April 2019. A new lease will be drawn up as part of the sale.

* At Newmarket the net rent is $45,000 pa and the current eight-year lease expires December 31, 2023.

* Belmont employs eight full time staff in the kitchen and four front of house; plus two part-timers in the kitchen and four front of house.

* Newmarket employs two full time staff and seven part-time front of house.

* Hours at both sites are 7am till 3.30pm Monday to Friday — 8am till 4pm at weekends.