Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Lone Star Masterton set for change of ownership

Today marks the final day of Tom and Michelle Roseingrave’s involvement with Lone Star Masterton after finding a buyer for the franchise business.

The couple have owned and operated the restaurant for almost a decade, in the process saving the historic Seddon Building at 49 Dixon St “from the wrecking ball” with the help of the Masterton Trust Lands Trust.

Badly damaged and weakened by the 1942 earthquake, the building hadn’t been able to be used commercially since that time until the Roseingraves’ commitment to leasing it saw the building refurbished in 2014.

As previously reported, Cahalita Trading Ltd – which owned the Masterton franchise – went into liquidation in September last year after the company’s financial structure proved vulnerable to the downturn experienced by the hospitality sector as a whole as a result of covid-19 restrictions and the cost of living crisis that followed hard on its heels.

Since then, the couple have continued operating the still profitable business while BWA Insolvency sought a buyer.

The new owner is Leah Hepi, who is the current franchisee at Lone Star in Taupo and has family ties in Masterton. Hepi plans to run both restaurants, initially spending more time in Masterton while she beds things in.

Before officially handing the business over to Hepi tomorrow, the Roseingraves will be spending today completing the final stocktake and other administrative odds and ends, so the restaurant won’t be open for their final day as originally planned.

According to Tom Roseingrave, who had been “definitely melancholy” about the need to go into liquidation but is now “relieved” to see the business pass into a safe pair of hands, the couple is “very happy with the changeover – dealing with an existing franchisee has made the transition really smooth”.

“Although there’ll be one or two new faces, our valued customers can look forward to the same kind of excellent service and food that we’ve always prided ourselves on,” he said.

The Roseingraves are now “looking forward to new adventures in life”, although for Tom, this will include continuing as a real estate agent at Ray White Wairarapa.

Although disappointed that “unexpected speed bumps have resulted in this outcome” the couple were keen to thank their customers and staff for their ongoing support, “especially over the past few months – you’ve made what has been a difficult time a lot easier than it would have been”.

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