She opened her café amidst a global pandemic, and the community support has been so great for this 18-year-old Christchurch woman, she is now using her profile to promote other small local business.
Izzy Leighs opened Izzy’s Café and Coffee Bar on Bealey Avenue in June, after Covid-19 disrupted her plans to travel and work at a summer camp in the US.
Serving barista-made Switch Espresso, Fairlie Bakehouse Pies, Grizzly Baked Goods, Pure Wholefoods and other fare – Izzy’s has been a hot spot for locals.
Now, the teen – who finished secondary school at St Margaret’s College just last year, is opening a Saturday morning market at the site to help other small local businesses, too.
Izzy’s Artisan Market has around 20 local artisan stalls selling pre-loved vintage, thrift and high-end clothing, jewellery, handmade art and wax and soap products, herbal and eco goods and delicious loaves of fresh bread.
Izzy says she wants to create a fun weekend event for the local community.
“There are so many great people who live in our area, and so many talented local people who sell, re-work and make products that we think people will love to see and buy.”
A portion of profits will also be donated to Izzy and her team’s favourite local art producers, SCAPE Public Art.
Spring is a time of renewal. It’s also a time to explore, to do something different, to find somewhere new to enjoy. There can be few more alluring places for a new experience than Lushingtons Garden, Gifts and Café at Tinwald, Ashburton. It’s the perfect stop for lunch and a leg stretch en route to and from Christchurch, but because it offers so many tempting delights – it is even better for a day out.
Right now, the garden centre has a huge range of edible plants. “We have stocked up again on edibles after an enormous run on these during the Covid-19 lockdown,” says Miranda Sinton, who co-owns Lushingtons with her sister, Sophie Duff.
“There is everything from vegetable and berry plants to fruit and citrus trees. Now is a good time to be planting seeds for summer harvesting and our knowledgeable and experienced team can help with your selections. We take pride in the quality of our plants and grow many of them in our own nursery at Allenton which helps keep the prices competitive.”
The café too has new surprises on its spring menu for breakfast and lunch, alongside wholesome homemade cakes and slices. Next to the café is the gift and homewares shop.
Worked around a “country comes to town” theme, here you will find beautiful French and English-inspired giftware.
Lushingtons definitely has what it takes to delight the senses and lift the spirits. Once you are there it is not easy to leave.
Buying a hospitality business during the Covid-19 lockdown could be seen as a risky venture. That is, however, exactly what Dharambir Judge did when the opportunity arose to purchase the Salt n Pepper Café in Hanmer Springs.
“Certainly, I had some sleepless nights about it,” says Dharambir. “But I concentrated on the positives of the situation I had been presented with.
“My friend Amandeep worked in the café as a manager and knew what a wonderful location it is in and how it could be a thriving enterprise once again when restaurants were able to open.
“Above all I have always wanted to have my own business, and this was too good a chance to throw away.”
Salt n Pepper occupies a superb position in the Boulder Point retail development, with stunning views of Conical Hill and surrounding countryside so diners can treat their eyes and recharge their souls as they enjoy the delicious and varied range of food.
“I was lucky a friend agreed to support my bid to buy the café. We opened to the public again the day before the July school holidays started and since then we have had a great response from patrons.”
Dharambir and his team are now looking to the future and to making Salt n Pepper Café the place everyone wants to dine at in Hanmer Springs.
Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings for now, extending to every night with the warmer weather.
Friends helping out friends, and businesses building each other up, is what Cantabrians do best.
Café and bar owner Stu McDougall was eternally grateful to have his entrepreneurial buddy, Ben Hogg, weave some infamous Purple Weka magic online during lockdown.
He kept loyal customers entertained, as nothing was coming out of the kitchen for four long weeks.
With a communications degree from Massey and a ten year stint as a marketing executive in Christchurch, the 31-year-old launched his own enterprise in January – www.marketable.nz – helping the “small guys” engage closely with customers.
Ben has always enjoyed helping others to harness creative ways to grow their business.
“It’s something I’ve been doing for years anyway, helping out friends like Stu.
We met when I moved down from Palmy. I stayed with him and he showed me the ropes of local life.
Helping with Stu’s social media, I wanted to capture the thing that makes his café such a special place for customers, so I spent a whole day at the café to get a feel for the banter I’d come to associate with knowing Stu.”
When reading Stu’s hilarious 10 commandments for level 2 on Facebook, no one would suspect that Ben was the social media guru behind the scenes.
“We also felt it was important to support Stu’s team by sharing their side-hustles too, such as Cassidy’s photography, Hayley’s nail business and Jacinta’s keto-friendly cooking.
“Businesses succeed when they collaborate and we all need to look at ways to complement, rather than compete, with each other.”