Our People

At Hygge we want everyone to feel welcome, comfortable and safe. Not only our guests, but EVERYONE — that includes our staff. We Have a fantastic environment where we enjoy ourselves while delivering an experience people keep coming back for.


Having a strong social conscience where people are our focus along with the world we all live in is key to Hygge. Everyone is responsible for themselves and this makes us all responsible to each other. An optimistic outlook on life with dedication to what we do backed by an attitude to deliver through hard work and focus adds to a team that care about what they do.

Hygge practices OPEN BOOK MANAGEMENT where everyone at Hygge gets to participate in the key financial drivers that make the business successful. Personal input and understanding are rewarded with payment incentives for performance above expected. Staff buy into the philosophy of Hygge working together to achieve results ahead of planned and the personal financial rewards that come with it.

If you want to be a part of something more than a job, get in touch. We would all love to meet you.
Email — hygge@cliftonbaycafe.co.nz
Phone — 02954337226


Joanne Thornton

Cabinet Food Specialist
Cabinet Food Specialist
I have been working in the hospitality industry for quite a few years. I have been at Hygge for two years and find it can be quite challenging as it feels like 10 cafes in one big compound. I enjoy working with a great team and the new opportunities that Hygge has offered me and my family. The job itself can become quite stressful at times, but when you go outside, take a deep breath and look at the view, it can’t get any better than that. I really enjoy seeing our regular customers and any banter we may have just makes the day better.

Victor Gouk Siu Teck

Head Chef
Head Chef
My name is Victor Gouk and I grew up in a place called Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I am currently working at Hygge at Clifton Bay as Head Chef. I gained this interest in cooking and baking since I was a little boy, thanks to the childhood spent in my family's Cafe business. since then, I have pursued my interest and finished college study to carry on the journey of my career. Now, I have been working in this industry for over 6 years and through these 6 years, I've experienced working in different variations of food service such as banquet, bakery, cafe as well as fine dining restaurant. The beauty of being a chef has allowed me to travel around the world to experience different food and culture, and I believe, this is why the destiny brings me here. A lot of movies are about life but mine are like a slice of cake, and I'm here to share this "slice of cake" and to enjoy all the small little things and memories that will be added to it here at Hygge at Clifton Bay.

Robyn and Kerry Brannigan

Some 8 years back Robyn had an idea of creating a “PLACE”, where people especially (after many years in early childhood as kindergarten teacher) mothers and children could go and feel all the things home offers where the whole family could enjoy. Children could play, mothers could shop/browse, families could relax, spread-out and feel welcome. All while being taken care of with fresh food and refreshments. The Term“Hygge”discovered some years back has always resonated as a concept that mirrors Robyn and Kerrys’ philosophy on life, especially home. This philosophy sits behind all that is Hygge. Unable to find a word or term to match, Hygge has become the concept and the name. After looking for a Place that met a number of criteria, especially a Destination, the Old Clifton Café was discovered and available. In need of a major overhaul a deal was struck, the business bought and renovations begun. A deadline of 30 days of renovation both inside and outside was made. Fittings, building, plant,painting, grounds, utilities were reworked and exactly 30 days later completed with Hygge opening 11th May 2018. The ambient interior, natural outdoor area, especially the children friendly hill with rocks, tunnel, slide and driftwood logs, has proven extremely popular. Major seawall revetment work has seen a new limestone wall, new road and gardens along Hygges’ boundary. The Deck under the Olive trees was designed for Yoga sessions in summer and as a wedding ceremony site with Cape Kidnappers as a backdrop. Music was a theme focused on and Sunday sees musicians every week outside in the summer andinside through the winter. All in all Hygge was set up as a PLACE for everyone and anyone. No pressure to perform and no pressure to leave.