They talk these days about the café culture but at Te Uku it’s more coffee and culture. Acrylics, prints, ceramics and landscape photographs are now on show at the new Te Uku Roast Office Gallery — all part of the plan for the one-time post office on SH23 which recently took on a new lease of life as a coffee shop.

The early 1900s building with its three spacious and light auxiliary rooms makes for an ideal gallery space, says gallery manager cum curator Kim Waterson who’s “excited” to now be able to display local and national works of art.

While promising regular rotation of artworks from both emerging and established artists, Kim says the current summer exhibition will remain till early next year when a variety of mediums from paintings to weaving and jewellery will take over.

And there’s definitely room for expansion, she says, with space out the back for the combined delights of coffee and a little culture.

Although Kim has only recently settled in Raglan, she and husband Andrew have had a house here and been involved with the town for the past decade. Andrew played a part in the recent renovation of the coffee shop, but is now keen to put his marketing skills to good use to get the gallery up and running.

Raglan already has some great galleries in town, says Kim, and she envisages this latest one on the outskirts as a “complementary facility”.

And in a way, she adds, it builds on what used to be a gallery several years ago with local sisters Vera and Nora Van der Voorden in charge.

Edith Symes