Komera puts the Cookie in Cookie Monster Café

Saturday July 11, 2020 Written by Published in Hot on the Rock
Entrepreneur Komera Dean at her new Cookie Monster café . 20070709 Entrepreneur Komera Dean at her new Cookie Monster café . 20070709

Melina Etches enjoys a coffee at the new café next-door to the police headquarters in Avarua.


For any business location is key.

The Cookie Monster café is located smack bang in the heart of the town, a new venture by entrepreneur Komera Dean.

“I’m so lucky to have this location right here in the center of town,” she says.

“The foot traffic is good, it made perfect sense as this is the busiest area on the island,” said Dean.

Dean wanted an easy familiar eye catching name; growing up the Cookie Monster was her favourite Sesame Street character.

“And like us Cookies, he is a hearty eater,” she adds. 

Dean had worked in the hospitality industry for many years.

Months ago, like many others, due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis Dean found herself unemployed.

And like others, she fell through the cracks of the wage subsidy scheme.

Before Covid, Dean had just finished off at Tamarind House and taken a holiday. “I thought I’d just take my leave too and wait for other hospitality options to become available.”

Prior to when she had intended to start a job unfortunately everything (bars, restaurants) was shut down due to the code yellow restrictions.

Dean said, because she wasn’t employed, she was not eligible for the wage subsidy.

“Therefore, the only option was the unemployment, which is pretty sad because there are so many other people who have fallen in the same situation, where they can only receive the unemployment for a certain amount of time.”

She was encouraged to find a job.

“How are you supposed to find a job when the borders are closed and you have worked in hospitality for so long?

“Restaurateurs have to think of the staff they already have on board first as priority before they can take on more staff.”

Dean is also a popular fitness instructor in the community.

“Fortunately for myself, my cardio combat classes started back, and we were going live.

“But I knew I had to think of something pretty quick to earn an income.

“I wanted something small that I could manage on my own like a street-side coffee shop, to keep it easy and simple for myself to run.”

She credits her close circle of relatives and buddies for their assistance in opening the café.

“My friends and family were a huge huge, factor in my starting up. I was unsure, but they were very supportive and encouraging.”

“So, I thought why not give it a go.”

The café is tucked in between the Police station and the Bank of the Cook Islands building and is open from 7am to 11.30am.

Pop in and for a wonderful tea or coffee, cookies, scones, Monster-nini (panini), chilli con carne and Monster McMuffins are also available.

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