Our People

Paul Rankin



The owner, Whangarei is my home town yet over the last 40 years I have moved away twice, my background is Baker/Pastrycook having completed my apprenticeship at what was known as Whangarei Home cookery in lower Bank Street.

I have been a senior manager for 47 years in large plant bakeries in NZ, Australia and Saudi Arabia, it was time to come home, we purchased Essence Cafe on 20th February 2017 and loving it.



Tunisia started with the previous owners in 2014 as a fully qualified cafe assistant and barista. In 2017 Tunisia became head chef under the new owners an awesome all rounder who is always striving for excellence and creation.


Jacinda joined us in June 2017 as a Barista, she has great skills and has developed into our 3rd Chef, a pleasant girl to be greeted by and developing into a great asset to Essence cafe.



Xia is the wife of the owner, she is from China, now a resident of NZ she has embraced the culture and enjoys the role of the service industry.



Jade joined us in August 2017, primarily as a cafe assistant.

Jade has developed the necessary Barista skills and joins a strong team of 3 that excel in great All press coffee