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Market-ing the local coffee shop: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


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.

Visit www.facebook.com/izzyscafe.nz for more information.


 

Thorough-bread catering: Halswell Bakery


Whether you’re hosting an event or planning a boot party at the races, the talented team at Halswell Bakery can provide fresh, delicious catering to suit your requirements.

 

 

From tasty club sandwich platters, bacon and egg slice, quiche and savouries to custom-made birthday cakes, donuts and sweet treats, everything is freshly handmade on site.

With a focus on fast, friendly and efficient service, the team want you to know that they are here to help.

“We go by the motto ‘simply delicious and deliciously simple’ – we don’t do fancy food, just good tasty, wholesome food,” says owner Ruth Buckley.

Check out their website for the catering menu (online ordering coming soon), or phone or email to find out more.


 

Somewhere cosy: Cosy Café


The quintessential neighbourhood café, every community should have a Cosy Café. Locally owned and operated by Sam and Amy Lester, the couple celebrate their first year in the café this November.

Amy has a background in retail – her rapport with regulars and new customers comes naturally, while Sam has changed careers and uncovered a spectacular natural talent for cooking and baking.

Full breakfast and lunch are on the menu as well as cabinet food with almost all of it created on site.

“Our scones and muffins are always popular and go down perfectly with the Hummingbird coffee that we serve the way you like it,” says Amy.

Sam’s favourite items are the famous Fairlie Pies. “We stock them in four flavours: Pork belly, Steak, Steak and Mushroom and Mince and Cheese,” he says.

An attractive outside area is ideal for all season with its clear awnings to protect from a breeze, and ensures Cosy Café is the perfect destination if your coffee date is a furry companion.

Loyal regulars are the perfect testimonial, and Amy says they are enjoying seeing the new faces at weekends plus parents getting takeaway coffees for their Saturday side-line duties.

“We’d like to thank everyone that has supported us this tricky year,” says Sam.


 

Gardens, gifts and café in one: Lushingtons Gardens, Gifts and Café


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.


 

New venture adventure: Salt n Pepper Cafe


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.

 


 

A café collaboration: Purple Weka Cafe


Friends helping out friends, and businesses building each other up, is what Cantabrians do best.

Ben and Hayley at Purple Weka Café

 

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.”


 

The new ‘abnormal’: Belle Cafe


COVID-19 has been a massive hit to the café industry. We caught up with owner of Belle Café, Bink Bowler, on his thoughts around this new (not so) normal.

 

PHOTOS TAKEN BEFORE COVID-19

 

Bink has owned cafés for 10 years, founding Black & White Coffee Cartel before selling last year and starting his first solo project – Belle.

He preaches that, “Being social is in our DNA, cafés have been around for over 350 years, we won’t change our human instinct over this”.

He expresses frustration that, “There’s been ignorant talk in the media about the ‘new normal’ in hospitality of ‘click and collect’ when in fact, that is abnormal.

Takeaway delivery has been around for decades; it serves a different purpose to what we do, that being hosting people.

Click and collect has basically phased out at the start of level 2, as expected!

“It’s devastating for business,” he continues. “But we look at the pre-COVID economy with rose-tinted glasses. We need to remember it was hard before all of this happened.”

While Bink has strong thoughts on the general response to the virus, he is optimistic for the future.

“What COVID-19 has done is collapse our broken economy – we have a really unique opportunity to rebuild this differently.

“This will pass and sooner than we think. I’ll be here alongside many when it does; we just need to manage this short-term shock – it is what it is,” he concludes.


 

Time for a revival: Urban Revival


Urban Revival’s mission has always been to use food to create community and to have a good time. During these times of uncertainty, they are excited to be able to welcome guests again to provide both!

 

 

Hankering for a taste of good quality food prepared by someone else?

Then visit Urban Revival for some post-quarantine indulgence and support local while satisfying your cravings for yummy baking, Switch coffee and hearty meals.

Fully licensed serving local beverages, this loveable light-filled eatery is a crowd favourite with its repurposed furniture and log fire ambiance.

Events such as wine tastings and quiz nights have been held pre-lock down which the team is eager to have more of once it is safe to do so.

They are also open for private events. Like Urban Revival on Facebook to be advised of upcoming events.

Do yourself and your taste buds a favour – take the Northern Motorway’s Ohoka Road turn-off to Silverstream and you are virtually there. Go ahead – revive yourself.


 

How & why you should support local


It’s time for us all to band together and help Canterbury get back on its feet. That means buying, eating and traveling local. We’ve put together a few ways you can get behind the cause.

 

 

SOS Café is a not-for-profit initiative set up for local businesses in New Zealand during the pandemic.

You can support your favourite bars, restaurants, cafés and services by purchasing a voucher to redeem once everyone is back up and running normally.

Check it out at www.sosbusiness.nz.

You might have seen Air New Zealand showcasing some of New Zealand’s greatest scenery in their safety videos on your way to some exotic location.

Maybe it’s time to experience some of that scenery for yourself? It’s easy to forget what we have in our backyard because we’re so used to it always being there.

Now is the time, more than ever, to travel around the North or South Island or even take that weekend away to Queenstown.

So why not get planning? It’ll give you something to look forward to for the rest of the year.

Finally, one of the best ways you can #supportlocal and show you really care is by supporting them online.

Some local businesses are used to having customers physically come into their stores and even having a chat with you while you’re browsing.

Remind them that you’re there, that you care and that you’re excited for their return.

Follow them, like and comment on their updates, maybe even flick them a message. Something so small can make the world of difference to someone.


 

Simple done beautifully


The philosophy at Culverden’s Red Post Café is all about simple food cooked beautifully.

 

Locals keep coming back to enjoy the quality coffee and delicious menu options, all set amongst the picturesque country villa surroundings.

For more than 12 years, a long-time favourite dish has been the Salmon Souffle, a secret recipe that contains only salmon, spinach, potato, cream cheese, eggs and lemon.

The gluten-free meal makes a light and tasty dish served with salad.

Another popular item is the coated and pan-fried Blue Cod, which is also presented alongside salad and either fries or mash.

Belgian Waffles – introduced to the breakfast menu last year – is also following the other items as a real fan favourite.

The waffles are delicately toasted and served with grilled bacon, blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup.

Red Post Café, located at 2 Highfield St, is open Monday to Thursday from 8am to 4:30pm, Fridays 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5:30pm.

The menu caters for children and those with both vegetarian and gluten-free diets.

They can also host special occasions and functions, or provide catering platters so you can enjoy Red Post Café’s delicious fare at your venue of choice.

For more information, phone 03 315 8492.