About Us

On 1 September 2015 partners Denis & Christine Callesen, Nick Duley & Jen Lowe took over the lease of the much loved  “Rusty”. All four partners have long food & beverage backgrounds.

“We are passionate about food & wine and we look forward to developing new menus using the freshest of ingredients the Far North has to offer – all the while maintaining the legendary service & realistic prices.”


Jen is the public face of the Café as Café Manager. Nick is the chef who will change the face of food in Kerikeri, Denis is the lateral thinker, dishwasher & herb, jam/jelly/relish maker. Christine keeps the admin ticking over.

Denis has 45 years experience in the management of Resort Hotels in NZ & the Pacific with a strong Food & Beverage background and bias.

Christine has tremendous experience as a Mine Host & looking after the pastoral needs of young multi-cultural staff in isolated environments. She also has a speciality Retail background.

Jen started off selling home cooking to neighbours in her pre teen years, reached the top 50 of the inaugural NZ Masterchef and has worked in Food & Beverage for various cafes & the Hilton in Taupo.

Nick, with 25 years experience as a chef, is European trained and has also worked with Simon Gault for several years.

As two couples we worked together in Samoa in 2013 and that has forged a friendship leading to this business partnership at The Rusty Tractor Café.