Bruce Leitch is a colourful character, a Queenstown icon whose history in this town goes way back. In 1986 he started the famous family restaurant, Avanti and later went on to run a successful coffee distribution business and another local’s favourite, Café 111 (now Bespoke).
But hospitality wasn’t Bruce’s first calling. He’s a qualified refrigeration engineer and also an expert fisherman; and both of these skills have served him well since leaving the Queenstown hospitality industry a few years ago.
During the winter months Bruce has done several stints working overseas at the Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie on air conditioning maintenance. With temperatures that reach the 40s on a regular basis, it’s imperative that their cooling systems are in tip-top shape during the summer. Bruce is the man for that job.
The summers see Bruce taking to the rivers and lakes to guide flying fishing clients through his business Dream Waters. Growing up in Central Otago with a dad who was a keen fisherman who always kept a rod in the back of his truck, fishing is in Bruce’s blood. He’s been taking clients out on the water since he was 10 year’s old so we’d say he’s amply qualified!
History with McClean & Co
Our history with Bruce also goes way back to the late 80s, to the early days of Avanti. McClean and Co was based in Invercargill at the time and Bruce sought us out, purposefully choosing a firm out of town. Confidentially and privacy mean a lot to Bruce so he wanted a trustworthy accountant with a solid reputation, a professional outfit, which he couldn’t find in Queenstown back then.
We’ve worked with Bruce since those early restaurant days, through his transition into his seasonal businesses, fly fishing guiding and refrigeration. It’s been a fun and rewarding journey with a good few laughs along the way.
“The team at McClean & Co are very user friendly. Lindsay sits down with me and has a chat and makes notes, he comes back to me and we have another chat and run through the numbers.
“Everything is kept in order and Lindsay addresses potential problems before they come up. I have peace of mind that all my information lines up correctly.
“If you work hard in Queenstown you can do well but people fall over because they don’t sort out their taxes or keep their finances in order.
“I’m extremely happy with Lindsay and the whole team at McClean and Co. I don’t need to dig holes in their work, I one hundred percent trust what they say. It’s peace of mind. I’ve become friends with them, they’re like family.”
Bruce shares some memories
Guiding trip with English cricketing legend, Ian Botham
Fishing guiding is tough work…
Bruce back in his restaurant days
Bruce put on his waders to serve hot coffee to volunteers during the 1999 Queenstown flood
Fishing trip to Zimbabwe, where Bruce says “everything wants to eat you!”