The General, new to Mt Maunganui in 2017 it quickly gone on to win multiple awards and most recently the Nourish Magazine Outstanding Cafe of the Year at the 2019 Bay Hospitality Awards.
Here’s 10 questions with Malika Ganley, owner of The General, for this Member Spotlight.
What made you decide to go into the industry / what gave you your first start in hospitality?
I was so fortunately born into the industry. My parents had tea rooms and cafes from before I was born so it was in the blood. Apparently I was put to sleep in the dry store as a baby.
These businesses didn’t continue right through my childhood but growing up I always loved baking and cooking and anything to do with the formalities of eating. From the age of 17 I worked in cafes and fell in love with the hustle of everything to do with food and beverage. I went on to study a BSC majoring in Nutirtion and then from there went on to culinary school.
What inspires you?
All hospitable experiences! Travel, Big cities, authentic food experiences, people who share their stories and backgrounds.
What do you love about the hospitality industry?
The people! From suppliers to staff to customers. Also I love that it’s a blank canvas for creativity. You can make someone’s day with such small gestures. You are forever learning.
What are your key challenges?
Never knowing what any day is going to bring – as much as it’s a challenge its also such a big part of the excitement.
What is the secret to your success?
Loving what I do; treating every person equally; sticking to our ethos in an industry where there are a lot of opinions; staying connected to the world outside of our business.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date in your hospitality career?
As a young stewardess on private boats I was told to do a job once and do it properly because you’re not going to get away with anything less.
And from an old hat in hospo when I was going into business “always have your door open for any discussions, no matter how big or small.
What one piece of advice would you give to people starting out in the industry?
Do it! Go in with an open mind, work hard and the rewards will come back. Always be willing to learn. Stay humble.
What do you think makes NZ Hospitality unique?
We are relaxed yet attentive. NZ hospitality is influenced by the world – from those that are transient througth the country to those that have immigrated to those that have traveled abroad and bought wonderful ideas back.
Which restaurants are on your dining bucket list?
French laundry and El Bulli if it was still open.
What do you do to relax?
Yoga, surf, cook, eating out, dreaming of the next travel destinations and read!