Our Story ♥


Nestled beside the roundabout on Surf Highway 45 in OKATO, is Taranaki’s popular plant-based café. Lemonwood has become the most desirable eating place for the locals. Outside, the decks offer both sunny places to enjoy the day as well as some protection on windy days, and on the weekends especially, you’ll find them packed with people enjoying a drink from our extensive menu with their brunches.

The simple exterior belies what awaits you inside. Barbara Olsen-Henderson has once again hit the spot with her trademark colourful, rustic, bohemian vibe.   “Indian Pink” is what she’s calling the rich magenta which coats the walls. Along with the Indian tables and chairs which she sourced and then  hand-painted and refurbished,  you’ll also find other interesting upcycled features.  Check out the steamed pudding basins to which Alan has given new life as lamps and lighting, and the old bakery tins – used both to cook bread in, and as a decorative feature here and there.

Extravagant floral wall murals feature and along with the tuscan flagstone effect flooring, you’ll feel yourself wrapped in the warmth that is Lemonwood the minute you enter here.

Barbara’s desire to follow her passion and create a plant-based eatery for locals, in stunning surroundings, has been brought to fruition. The food cabinet displays an array of delicious-looking cakes and slices as well as a selection of colourful salads and savoury dishes.

The menu features the wholesome breads made on the premises and it will come as a surprise to many that everything is vegan – without necessarily looking like a health food shop! Having said that – there are certainly some healthful options walking hand-in-hand with the slightly sinful treats!

Aware that many people aren’t yet acquainted with the delights of Soy, Almond and Coconut milks, and not wanting to necessarily retrain everybody’s palate, Barbara has decided that while plant-based is the direction of everything foody here, Lemonwood does actually stock some dairy milk for the hot drinks. Hence the ‘vegetarian’ in the byline 😊 Our deconstructed coffees are a Lemonwood experience allowing you to create your own unique blend with Inca Fe Coffee which is both organic & Fairtrade and based in New Plymouth.

Open from 9am – 4pm from Thursday through to Sunday,  plus occasional  Evening Cooking Class & Dine Events. The simple wine list is fully vegan and features zero alcohol wines and beers for the discerning diner not wanting to imbibe and risk a ticket on the way home!

Chosen for their warm personalities as well as their hospitality skills (and their good looks of course), the Lemonwood team go out of their way to ensure that every guest gets what they want and totally enjoys the Lemonwood experience. With a mix of local and international staff – it’s like the league of nations! All friendly and keen to turn Okato and the Coast into a foody destination ♥