Bugger Cafe History

Bugger Cafe > Bugger Cafe History

Our History

We get asked all the time why we have called our cafe Bugger. This is our story…

Bugger Cafe…  a rapid, terrifyingly exciting journey!

Whilst driving to Auckland from Tauranga John Gourley commented to his wife Glenda about the string of  cafes they passed – many of which seemed to be named after coloured animals. This moved on to a conversation about how you can never remember the names of cafes after you have been to them. Glenda then asked him what he would call a cafe.

His initial response was ‘buggered if I know’. But then after no more than 30 seconds thought he said if he owned a cafe it would be called “bugger’. Glenda dismissed his idea as being ridiculous. However, by the end of the journey John had convinced Glenda that Bugger Cafe would indeed be a great name and that they should create a memorable, uplifting, fun cafe experience. So in true Gourley fashion, once an idea got a hold things started moving fast. Domain names were booked (wonders of internet on a mobile phone!) and concepts were scribbled down during that 2 1/2 hour journey.

Over the following months ideas galvanized, logos were designed, props were collected, artwork  created  and investors were cajoled.

Six months after the initial conversation a site was found and Bugger Cafe at Pipiroa was opened in December 2013 ( and John and Glenda aged 10 years in the process!!)

A year passed and were able to secure a  fantastic site at Tirau and then second Bugger became a reality a day late for April Foods Day 2015. Decked out in a similar style to Pipiroa, Tirau is getting great feedback from our guests.

The story of the Pipiroa site…

Pipiroa Petrol Station and General Store, History is a bit sketchy for the early days – so if you have any details we would love to hear from you!

In 1976 Joan and Mel Davies and Beryl and Richard Maddock bought the site and ran it for about five years. They ran a workshop, a petrol station, Fish and Chip shop a general store, plus they served teas! (Makes us look a slack!) Pictured  is Joan and Beryl when they popped into Bugger for a coffee with Beryl’s daughter, Linda.

They had a thriving business and have vivid memories of working ’til 11pm many nights! They reminisced about a boundary dispute where they were told off by the roading board for having sandwich boards on the grass verge.

On looking into boundary line their property actually extended right out to the white line of road – never got an apology but they did get a settlement  which included getting  their forecourt fully sealed!

They left in about 1976 and in the following years there were about 7 owners in the 13 years previous to it becoming the Pipiroa Country Kitchen.

Pipiroa Country Kitchen, founded by Anne and Al Gourley  (yes, related to the new Bugger owners).  So it really is Bugger -they’re back after 23 years!!). Anne and Al transformed the tired fish and chip shop to the gorgeous Country Kitchen and were almost instantly famous for their  great hospitality, Hauraki Plains Burgers, Berry Shortcakes and Chocolate Chip bickies. Anne and Al ( and little Tessa – who is now well and truly grown up and married!) left after four exhausting years and headed for a quieter life in Tauranga – haha quietness didn’t happen as two kids came in quick succession!!

New owners Eddie and Karen took over in 1993, they ran the successful business for ten years where the Pipora Burger range still rules supreme! They built the business and expanded to include the cafe in the Karangahake Gorge. Eddie and Karen were always a welcoming team to break anyones journey.

Pam and  Syd were next at the helm and Pipiroa Burgers  had become iconic and Annes original Hauraki Plains Burgers were still rocking out the door! Sadly, Syd passed away and Pam soldiered on by herself  – with the support and love of a great team of staff. Pam’s welcoming smile, and scrummy berry shortcakes – a close relative of Anne’s original, have endeared her to the hearts of all her customers.

Pam was ready to pass the reigns when John and Glenda Gourley came to her with their crazy scheme in late 2013.  Time for a massive overhaul, a new look and a bit of fun! (But some of those historically famous Burgers will remain on the menu!!)






Cup of Coffee


Chef Recipe

Our Pipiroa and Tirau Teams

Professional Cook Team