Good Sorts: The Taranaki tea room owner choosing to make the most with what life throws at her

This week's Good Sort drove past an old town hall just out of New Plymouth and fell in love with it.

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When Joanne Watson bought the Urenui building she turned it into a B&B, then a photography studio and then a tearoom after tragedy struck. Source: 1 NEWS

Joanne Watson went on to buy the Urenui building where she first turned it in to a bed and breakfast, then a photography studio.

However when tragedy hit Ms Watson, she found a way through it all by turning her buildiing into a tea room.  

Second in charge at the popular spot is her son Matthew, who has Autism.

Before the family bought the hall his "social skills were basically zero", but since they first set up five years ago, he's come leaps and bounds. 

Her youngest daughter Emma is on table setting, with expertise in interior decorating, her cancer beads especially. 

She had a total of 2,706 beads which represent the different treatments she's had since being diagnosed at the age of two, but complications meant she never fully recovered until turning six. 

Then eight years later, her other daughter Mikayla rang with news that she also had cancer. 

"I've had two daughters with cancer and my sister-in-law passed away around the same time, it was an extrodinary time."

Ms Watson says she feels lucky to have those she loves around her and choosing to make the most of every day.