Inside New Zealand: The $181 Dream

9:30pm – Wednesday, November 4 on TV 3

Inside New Zealand: The $181 Dream, screening on Wednesday, November 4th at 9:30pm on 3, tells the story of the Auckland mother and daughter who bought a Christchurch eatery off of Trade-Me for $181 and their battle to open their dream restaurant.

On the, lucky for some, unlucky for others, date of Friday the 13th Theresa Cowan made a Trade-Me bid of $181 on a restaurant that had been listed as a no reserve auction. To her delight she won the bid and invited her mother, Kathy Dryfhout, to join forces.

For roughly the price of dinner out for a family of four Theresa bought a restaurant fitted out with $100,000 worth of chattels.

“I got on Trade-Me, basically there was 20 minutes left of an auction… and I won it!,” Theresa told TV3’s Campbell Live during the time of the purchase of the pizza restaurant in Northlands Mall.

Now with over $6,000 a month in overheads, and an estimated $60,000 needed to get the restaurant running, Theresa and Kathy are scrapping, begging and borrowing in order to open their dream restaurant.

“Because we had no time to think about the auction when we paid $181 we didn’t anticipate the huge cost it would take to launch this,” Theresa told Campbell Live.

“But we’ve stuck with it and we’ve tried really really hard and I think a lot of people would’ve given up by now because we’ve had so many brick walls to deal with,” she continued.

However with the help of Mr. Cookie Time, Michael Mayell, and Mike Pero, Theresa and Kathy are now ‘raising the dough’ through the very medium that got them into this in the first place – Trade-Me.

“People help those who help themselves and they have bitten off a big chunk and they’re giving it a go and good on them and I’d love to see them succeed,” Michael Mayell told Campbell Live about what attracted him to get involved in the project.

“Possibly they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into but it’s all fun and I think the enthusiasm will get them through it,” Mike Pero added.

But is enthusiasm enough to open and run a restaurant? Find out when Inside New Zealand: The $181 Dream tells Theresa and Kathy’s sometimes unbelievable story. Inside New Zealand: The $181 Dream screens on Wednesday, November 4th at 9:30pm on 3.

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author