The sundrenched Jessie's Café is situated in the Mangawhai Museum foyer and serves delicious coffee, tea and food. It's the perfect place to complete your museum visit and it's a popular meeting place with locals.
- award-winning Real Town Pies from Maungataroto
- a variety of homemade club sandwiches
- a variety of homemade cakes and slices
- award-winning Rush Coffee from Wellsford
- Tea Total loose leaf tea from Mairangi Bay
- Gluten free food options available
Jessie's is open daily 10am - 4pm in summer and 10am - 3pm in winter.
The story behind Jessie's Café - Jessie Wood
In a field of tough and determined individuals who settled in Mangawhai in search of a better life, Jessie Wood was a special talent.
Jessie arrived in Mangawhai with her husband Robert in 1887 and the two-roomed home they built still stands next to what is now the Mangawhai Village service station.
Jessie was well known for her ability to cook for large numbers and was the go-to caterer for all events in the village hall.
As the railway was being laid to Kaiwaka in 1913, she was there catering for the railwaymen while camping nearby and using her camp oven.
Such was the influence of the Wood family that streets in what is now the Mangawhai Heads shopping district bear the names of many family members - Jessie, Ellen, Margaret, Albert, Robert and Wood Streets - with Mangawhai Museum sitting on the corner of Thelma Road.
Now, the Mangawhai Museum's café proudly bears Jessie's name. The café is both a meeting place for locals and an essential break for visitors after browsing the museum and it serves Devonshire teas Jessie would approve of.