- Meet the crew -
- Who are we? -
We're a bunch of people passionate about hospitality, and doing our bit for the environment.
Sounds a bit cliche but it's true. The team are super proud to be known for both excellence and friendliness among our loyal and new customers.
We're the Onyx 'family'; we love what we do and we like to have fun together while we're at it.
See some of our team pics and stories below, in no particular order except starting with Jody (Manager) and ending with Terry (Owner).
- Jody Joblin -
Jody Joblin, who some of you will remember from Red Cherry, has 20 years experience in hospitality and brings a wonderful depth of experience and wisdom from years in the industry.
To put it simply, she's a wonderful people person and organiser. She's investing in staff recruitment, training, new systems and upgrading various assets. Jody knows a successful business is all about the people and she has both the academic qualifications and the practical wisdom to continue to improve our Onyx experience for customers.
- Brent Hawken -
Brent's just had his 10 year anniversary with Onyx. He doesn't think it's a big deal, but we do!
Brent is the ultimate whizz in the kitchen. Originally a Taranaki Hardcore, Brent (aka the Silver Fox) has lived in Cambridge since the year 2000. And he is as Onyx as Onyx itself, being gifted with the grill & talented with the tongs since the get go.
A father to three he's pretty partial to his game of rugby and the odd JB& coke.
- Neeraj (a.k.a. Cheta) -
Employee of the Year 2017
The one & only cheeky and charming Cheta. Cheta is one of the main faces at Onyx having been with us since 2012. He’s the lad who induces much laughter, being on point with banter & quick-witted humour.
His real name is Neeraj but we call him by his nickname “Cheta” – as in “cheetah” because he is so super speedy racing around the floor. No one can match him when it comes to rapid working – but it’s always that mischievous grin along with the swift steps. Cheta moved to NZ in 2011, leaving his Dehra Dun home near the Himalayas in India to study hospitality at Pihms in New Plymouth. From there he was at Sky City Auckland for a few years, before he relocated to the Waikato – and to us. Onyx wouldn’t be Onyx without the main man Cheta!
- Rocky -
Superstar Front of House
Onyx’s resident Rockstar; Rakesh “Rocky” Thakur.
Born in Jalandhar, India, Rocky moved to New Zealand three years ago to study hospitality in Otago – after rocking around in Scotland working at Edinburugh Marriot Hotel. He worked at Stamford Plaza Hotel & Sudima Airport Hotel in Auckland before making the move to Cambridge & taking up a position with us in 2014.
And he is an absolute superstar. Aside from whizzing around the restaurant & being bang on with banter, Rocky makes a fab flat white, is consummate with cocktails and is the one in charge of staff training. He is a very special fam member, & is loved a lot by the team & customers alike.
- Kerry -
Our lovely Kerry hails from the UK but has called New Zealand home for the last four years. Her naturally friendly personality combined with exceptional efficiency is a winner with our customers, particularly those who love a bit of friendly banter over her ‘sometimes hard-to-understand’ accent.
When Kerry isn’t working at Onyx you’ll more than likely find her (rocking her socks off) in the crowd watching one of her favourite bands.
- Paula -
One of our more recent additions to the family, Paula is a familiar face around Cambridge. Although fairly new to hospo she is not unaccustomed to being on her feet for any length of time – last year she completed the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker – that’s pretty hard core!
Along with waiting tables, Paula is also putting her creative flair to good use, by giving our ‘Specials’ boards a bit of a face lift!
- Terry McDonnell -
Terry McDonnell (the grey-haired one in the pic in case you're confused!) has called Cambridge home since 2000.
Terry bought ONYX in June 2016 and has focused on encouraging our exceptional manager, chefs and front of house staff to continue to improve services, and has given the team increased autonomy, compensation and acknowledgement.
In recognition of Terry's leadership style and business drive, Onyx won both the Waipa Business Excellence Award 2017 for customer service and the Employee of The Year Award.
Terry is pictured here with wife Joanne Ostler and children Jack and Chelsea Ostler.