They were nervous about it as it was a big change in their lifestyle, but Lloyd likes to give anything a go and thought it would be a great opportunity for them.
“We bought The Cove and we transformed it and that ended up transforming our lives.”
“Two Boys Network” was then formed and has since expanded to four restaurants in Whangarei, Waipu, and Mangawhai, as well as their beef and sheep farm Highgate Hill and their market garden, The Vege Shack.
“How things can grow so quickly that surprised me the most. I didn’t realise the business would expand so naturally the way it did.”
Having previously worked in and owned eateries in London, Lloyd oversees the restaurants while Mike runs The Vege Shack, which supplies all four restaurants with freshly picked, spray-free vegetables and herbs.
The pair enjoy the symmetry between the veges and herbs they grow, and what they serve - the produce picked by Mike in the morning are on the plates Lloyd serves in the restaurants at night.
“It's easier for us not to grow vegetables. It's expensive. We do it anyway because we believe in it. That's why... its hard work and it’s sometimes difficult, but we ensure the best gate to plate experience we can.”
Staffing and dealing with cash flow are often the most significant challenges for businesses of all sizes, and Two Boys Network is no exception.
The change in seasons brings about significant staffing changes, as they employ up to 160 people in the summer months but it can be as low as 80 in the winter.