16 Jan, 2023
For over thirteen years, locals, tourists and passers-by who have paused to take in the wild coastal beauty of Langs Beach have also been taking in another iconic delight, a legendary cafe on four wheels with a reputation for delicious treats, friendly service and sustainable ethos.
Sitting along the beach front with a picturesque view of Langs, Zippy’s Cafe is renowned in the area for serving up thousands of scoops of real fruit ice cream throughout the summer season, as well as a range of hot coffees and refreshing iced drinks, all in compostable cups.
However, the menu is set to evolve and expand with owners, local lass Jessica Pyle and Brit-born George Chandler, changing coffee beans to the fair-trading brand ‘Flight Coffee’, stocking eco-friendly sunscreen as well as their very own designer ‘Zippy’s’ tee-shirts and, as Jessica is a chef by trade, some delicious snacks are in the works.
The couple took the plunge to invest in Zippy’s after having their eye on the mobile cafe for some time, a work/lifestyle which matches Jessica’s passion for hospitality, having worked in many areas of the profession as a waitress, barista, bartender and manager, and also allows her to spend time on her favourite NZ beach.
“I live and breathe hospitality, so I handle the day-to-day running of Zippy’s while George keeps the books in tip-top shape even though his career as a sound engineer takes him touring with some major artists all across Europe, so he’s very busy,” she says. “Our lives are half in New Zealand and half in Bristol UK, going from summer to summer. Last year for our first season, we weren't able to get back! With Covid around, the borders were shut so luckily my family and some friends were able to keep the presence at Langs till we could return.”
After taking over the business in April 2021 from founders Alice and Peter Grant who established the cafe in 2009, the couple have kept the quirky side of Zippy’s with a few modifications and have also enhanced the long-held code of sustainability.
"We're constantly trying to improve our general waste in Zippy’s, it's important for us to reuse and recycle as much as we can."
As part of their environmental awareness, Jessica is currently organising the first ‘Langs Beach Clean’ and will provide rubbish bags and gloves as well as disposal of everything that is collected. She is also in touch with a local group who are arranging renovations for the ‘Langs Beach Walkway’ in late January.
“George and I are very conscious of where we are trading, it's important to us to keep the beach we love in its best shape,” she says. “If people are interested in taking part, keep an eye out on our social pages for the date as well as for all our other expansions… we have big plans for this little ice cream biz.”
"We're constantly trying to improve our general waste in Zippy’s… it's important for us to reuse and recycle as much as we can."
Jessica Pyle and George Chandler are planning to expand the Zippy’s Cafe menu, with a big emphasis on sustainability. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED
The iconic Zippy’s truck has been a prominent beachside feature at Langs for over a decade.