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Springfield Store and Cafe: Come for the award-winning pies, stay out of abuse



The Canterbury cafe attracted dozens of terrible reviews and police visits that offer customer service tips. His owner is described as the most abusive woman in New Zealand. BLAIR ENSOR reports.

Springfield, about 65 miles west of Christchurch, is the last petrol station on State Highway 73 before snaking across the Southern Alps across Arthur's Pass to the West Bank.

The rural town, which has about 500 inhabitants, is best known for its large pink carving sculpture, nodding the head of a cartoon character Homer Simpson, who lives in the same town and loves donuts.

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More recently, city talks turned to the Springfield Store and Cafe – named "F … Off Shop" – which attracted some of the worst feedbacks of any cafe in New Zealand.

Springfield Store and Cafe is the subject of dozens of sharp reviews on TripAdvisor.

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Springfield Store and Cafe is the subject of dozens of sharp reviews on TripAdvisor.

Since February 2014, the cafe has been subject to 101 reviews on TripAdvisor, including 71 "horrible" reviews, the latest in the last two weeks.

Customers compared him to Fawlty Towers, a British sitcom on a poorly managed hotel, and say owners are kinky, inexpensive, offensive, and shameful for hospitality.

There are mixed criticisms of food and coffee in the cafe. Twice he won national awards for his pies. A flat white color will cost you $ 5.30.

"The best part of this site was the salt on the average chip. The worst service I've ever experienced … the worst," says in February.

"A terrible customer service I do not like to say anything bad about a place, but here I could not help it, I'm sorry I'm uncomfortable Food is not good either Do yourself a favor and keep driving," he said. two weeks later.

Springfield, about 65 miles west of Christchurch, is known for its rosy, charcoal carving character Homer Simpson, who loves donuts and lives in the same town.

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Springfield, about 65 miles west of Christchurch, is known for its rosy, charcoal carving character Homer Simpson, who loves donuts and lives in the same town.

Among the three five-star ratings the cafe got one of last August's customers, saying the food is good, but "we mostly stop just for fun." "The lady is so grumpy … but she can cook, we recommend that you stop." If you feel brave, file an appeal. "

Police say they received complaints from people who visited the cafe. They talked to the owners and gave "customer service advice".

Things It was said that the owners persecuted people from the cafe. Others remained in tears.

Some villagers in Springfield are boycotting a cafe, which they believe destroyed the city's reputation.

"It's a shame for our community," said Graeme Dawson Things, "I want them to disappear – the whole city wants them to be gone."

Springfield Store and Cafe is more than 50 years old Springfield community base.

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Springfield Store and Cafe is more than 50 years old Springfield community base.

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Chloe Tipple and several friends visited the store and cafe at Springfield in early January, watching how the woman was abused by the staff and left in tears.

The woman, an Australian tourist, was with her partner on a cafe's lunch and asked the bartender politely if the coffee was ready.

After some confusion about the kind of coffee a woman ordered, she was "humiliated," says Tipple. He pretended to return her money and then walked away from her face and insulted her, telling her that she was rude.

The woman "screamed" and went with her partner to not finish the food.

Springfield, which has about 500 inhabitants, is a narrow community, a home of three cafes and gas stations.

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Springfield, which has about 500 inhabitants, is a narrow community, a home of three cafes and gas stations.

Tipples from Christchurch never visited the cafe and were unaware of his reputation.

– It was like him [the staff member] he turned on the switch. I think it was probably under pressure, but even if you're busy, you will not shoot at such a client.

Stunned at what he saw, Tipple felt the need to write a review on TripAdvisor. She was impressed when she found dozens of posts from people who also had terrible experiences.

"How embarrassing we are to have a cafe known to the poor as a nation for bad customer services. What an extreme shame."

Local people in the city are reluctantly talking about coffee shops, but they say there were several incidents in which the customers went to tears. Employing at the cafe, angry at the couple who owns it.

The farmer in Springfield Graeme Dawson believes the cafe has weakened the city's reputation and wants the owners to leave.

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The farmer in Springfield Graeme Dawson believes the cafe has weakened the city's reputation and wants the owners to leave.

Dawson, chairman of the municipal board in Springfield, says the cafe leads "a bunch of fools who hate serving people."

"You do not have to talk to too many people before you meet anyone who has had a bad experience there."

Springfield is a "natural place to stop" for East or West people on State Highway 73, and the cafe "does nothing for the reputation of this city," he says.

"It became known to F … Off Shop, because that's what's being said to you [when you go there]If you stay there, you will not be treated like a man – more than likely you will be abused.

Dawson, who lives in the city since 1997, says many in a "compact" community want the cafe to be shut down, but they are powerless to do anything but pull their support.

Springfield Store and Cafe is more than 50 years old Springfield community base. It's one of the three cafes in town. The next place where you can get coffee on the way to the west coast is Arthur's Pass, one hour drive.

Former Mayor Selwyn Bill Woods owns a building with Springfield Store and Cafe. He says he could not sleep at night if he did not renew the rent.

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Former Mayor Selwyn Bill Woods owns a building with Springfield Store and Cafe. He says he could not sleep at night if he did not renew the rent.

Former Mayor Selwyn Bill Woods bought a job and a building in 1983.

He and his wife were running a shop and a cafe for several years before they sold and rented the building to a new owner.

The job has since gone through several hands. Karyn and Donald Cullingford, the current owners, took over the lease agreement nearly ten years ago a few years ago after they moved south from Auckland.

Woods says he and his wife feel that it is a bit disturbing to them [the Cullingfords] they do not treat their clients in the way we did that.

"I can not do anything because they adhere to a lease agreement. Of course, we do not have it in the lease that they have to be good to their clients, because it's given. People will not return unless you're good." to them."

He admitted that he could choose not to renew the lease but says it is not an option.

"The current tenants have invested a lot of money into buying a job from the previous owner, so if I did not renew the rent, that would mean destroying the investment." Bill Woods does not do that, he would not be able to sleep at night.

"The best way to help the community if they do not like the job and people themselves are to give [the Cullingfords] lease with a reasonable amount of time to sell the job and compensate for its investment, and that's what it did. "

Karyn Cullingford and her husband Donald own Springfield Cafe and Store. The reviewer was named "Wicked Witch of Springfield".

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Karyn Cullingford and her husband Donald own Springfield Cafe and Store. The reviewer was named "Wicked Witch of Springfield".

NEW YEAR'S NEW YEAR'S NEW YEAR?

Karyn Cullingford was the only person who worked in the Springfield coffee shop and café Things visited earlier this month. Her husband was at home.

If you read reviews, Cullingford is obviously "the worst woman in New Zealand," known for being open, hostile and seemingly uninterested in his job.

"Avoid this place," says the post on TripAdvisor in September last year. "The lady behind the counter had no manners and no respect for her paying customers."

Things he sat there and ate lunch in the cafe-a shaved pork loin and a thin white white color-before he approached Cullingford for comment.

During that time, there was nothing about how he acted to suggest that "Wicked Witch from Springfield," as one reviewer wrote in 2017. It was a pleasant shuffle of customers who came to the store and even managed a couple of jokes .

Between serving people and making coffee, says Cullingford Things he refuses to read online cafe reviews, most of which were written by "keyboard warriors". The 60-year-old laughs when she tells her some words she describes.

– Many people read [the reviews] Come here to bite you. Do I look like the worst woman in New Zealand?

Cullingford, which is on the fifth and second place in the cafe boutique section 2012 and 2013, admits that occasionally, especially when working for a long time without a free day, it may be "a bit prickly"

"I know I'm doing damn good food and … when people break food, I'm a little upset."

He does not think that the buyer is always right. In short, they are not, and the expectations of people when it comes to the services they receive from staff in the cafe are too high.

"People should come for food, not for my wonderful personality," says Cullingford.

Those who leave their doors at the door are a special problem.

"As far as I'm concerned, we do not have a class system in this country, you are just as valuable as I do, regardless of your beliefs, your color, your religion, or your year-all deserve some form of behavior.

"If you come here and treat me as little … you will get it back."

Cullingford says they called it "really bad names of people on the other side of the pulpit".

Over the years, they threatened her with knives and rape, and "the clients held me over the counter and hit me in the face".

Cullingford says he has a habit of talking to himself so he does not forget what he is doing. Occasionally she was in trouble. There is an incident in which he repeatedly mumbled the caramel milkshake, and the buyer told her, "Do you call me b ….?" This has resulted in a negative rating, she says.

Donald Cullingford and his wife Karyn have owned the Springfield Store and Cafe for nearly ten years.

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Donald Cullingford and his wife Karyn have owned the Springfield Store and Cafe for nearly ten years.

Cullingford and her husband saw a lawyer about online reviews, which he believes some people turned away from visiting the cafe. She also admits that people are looking to see what it is all about.

"If I'm ready to go with her she [the lawyer] sitting there and waiting … but I do not want stress. I've brought a lot on myself – that's what I'll say, hands up.

Cullingford says she and her husband moved to Canterbury due to landscape changes and a better way of life.

"We did not mean to move to another country."

Talking to people that they were from Auckland was "the biggest mistake of our lives".

Canadians are "nasty," she says. "I get people who come here and say," Do not give me one … Auckland coffee. "Do not you understand how people [in Canterbury] Hate Aucklanders? Man, it just strikes me.

Cullingford says that when she and her husband bought business people for the first time, they came to want discounts and services.

"We were not faithful to anybody in this town. I said," No, I'm not here to make friends – I'm here to make money. "

The locals say the couple did not engage in community activities and became isolated.

"People in this city do not like me and I admit it," says Cullingford.

There are good news for those who want Springfield Store and Cafe to quit. She is on the market and people – "a guy … who does not care for reviews" – showed interest in buying, she says.


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