Andy Canfield

He’s one half of the brains behind Palm Beach favourite Wildernis Café and Bar and a Gold Coast local of 32 years.

We chat with Andy about the changes he’s seen in the local food scene and creating a venue inspired by connecting with the community.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
My whole life, 32 years, I was born and bred in Palm Beach and then moved to Currumbin. I went to Currumbin Primary and PBC High School. Born in Southport Hospital. My friends and family are all here, it’s great.

You were a tradie before you were a foodie, how did all of this come about?
Josh and I just wanted to have a change and do something different, to see people with a smile on their face when they’re walking out of somewhere instead of going to work and seeing grumpy people every day. We’ve been mates for about six years, he’s a bit younger than me but we all went to the same school. He’s a born and bred local too.

What did you want to create with Wildernis Café?
We just wanted somewhere people could come and relax. Everyone is welcome here, no matter who they are. We have a broad range of people who come, young and old, and everyone enjoys themselves.

Have you always been a foodie?
I’ve always loved food, and I just wanted to be a part of the community, create somewhere to go. Growing up my father had a car yard in Currumbin so all my family and our friends would always go there. I just wanted to create something similar where everyone could go and hang out.

How do you come up with the menu?
We do bit of research see what’s trending at the time. We always look around the local region for food and use seasonal produce. The chef and Josh and I go over and figure out what we can do at the time. We try to change the menu every three months and keep it all fresh.

What are your thoughts on how quickly the food scene has been growing on the Coast?
It’s great, so good for the community. Palm Beach is such a good hub for everyone to come to now. I’ve been here for so long and seen it all, through the good times and bad times. It gives jobs to the locals and allows businesses to support and give back to the community. We sponsor a couple of football teams, it’s good to be able to get involved.

What’s next on the agenda for you?
We’ve got plans to build a beer truck to take to festivals and markets, which will have beers on tap and food available as well. Wildernis Weddings is our next thing and we want to start doing other events soon too.

Favourite piece of life advice…
You’ve got to have a purpose to get up for in the morning. Also, being happy and healthy is most important.

Beach… Currumbin and Palm Beach
Bar… Wildernis haha. Anywhere in Palm Beach, I just like keeping it local
Café…Wildernis
Weekend hangout…I’m always here seeing family and friends. Otherwise surfing, golf or cruising around on the Harley’s.