Category Archives: Markets

The Great Grey Lynn Sustainable Business Walk

Hello everyone. This is my first post for 2015 and, surprise, surprise, it’s not all about food!! And it’s a VOP (Venturing Outside Ponsonby). And as it turns out it was the most interesting and inspiring two hours I spent in a long time!

The invitation from Martin Leach from Ponsonby News said “be inspired and visit sustainable businesses in the Grey Lynn community”. And it was hugely inspiring.

The Grey Lynn Business Association organised a walking tour yesterday aimed at showcasing successful and like-minded Grey Lynn businesses who embrace sustainable business practices.

So I arrived at Bread & Butter Café (34 Westmoreland Street next to Farro Fresh) at 4.30pm not quite sure what to expect. A group 50 fellow travelers was treated to an interesting presentation from Isobel from Bread & Butter and so the journey began.


With a reputation for being at the forefront of sustainability and organics Bread & Butter only use certified organic ingredients; unbleached flours, wholemeal flours, nuts and seeds that have not been chemically aged or heavily sprayed with insecticides or fertilisers. They do not use additives, premixes, stabilisers and other artificially altered ingredients.

For those of us not completely tuned in to the sustainability/organic ethos it was a bit of an eye opener!

Next stop on the walk was Nature Baby at 433 Richmond Rd in the West Lynn village. They specialise in natural & organic products which nurture both parent and baby.

Nature Baby is a family business established in 1998 by Jacob and Georgia who had a vision where their children could grow up in a pure, beautiful, chemical-free community. More inspiration for us all. Just love the passion.

IMG_7416 A slight detour off Richmond Rd to the Wilton Picnic Patch (formerly the Wilton Street Community Garden) had the group absorbed in the history of the garden and able to sight the fruits (and veges!) of the labour of a dedicated group of volunteers led by well-known gardener and author Fionna Hill (“How To Grow Microgreens, Nature’s own Superfood” and “A Green Granny’s Garden – the Confessions of a Novice Urban Gardener”.


Much needed refreshments at this stop were provided by Simon from All Good Organics whose Karma Cola, Lemmy Lemonade and Gingerella really hit the spot.

From the garden to the roaster, our next stop was at Kokako Coffee Roastery located at 606 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. Eight years ago owner Mike Murphy purchased a rundown coffee roastery and turned it into a hugely successful business that has sustainability as its primary focus. Mike and his team are strong advocates for Fairtrade and the ethical procurement of their green beans, cocoa and sugar. All Kokako Coffee and Drinking Chocolate has ‘third party verification’ from both Fairtrade and Biogro NZ, to ensure it meets stringent Fairtrade and organic certification standards.

The bonus at this, our last stop, was the food and refreshments – much needed, especially by Martin Leach from Ponsonby News and I, after the uphill walk! Thank you to Kokako Café (just across the road in the old Grey Lynn Post Office building) for providing the fantastic dips and bread – the basil pesto was awesome. Interesting how the numbers on the walk grew significantly at the fueling stop!


At this stop we heard from Mike about the history of Kokako and the philosophy behind his business. Next up was Simon from All Good Organics who have completely embraced the Fairtrade ethos.

Wendyl Nissen, well-known magazine editor in a previous life talked about “Wendyl’s” range of products which are all handmade at their Grey Lynn shop and 100% natural. They have all their ingredients listed and contain no fillers, chemicals or synthetics. They all use simple ingredients like baking soda, soda ash, borax, vinegar and oxygen bleach.

Finally Grey Lynn Business Association Chair Jennifer Northover thanked everyone for attending what was for me the most interesting two hours I have spent in a long time.

So in two hours I went from novice to convert. Inspired by the commitment and passion of the individuals and businesses that have embraced the ethos of sustainability, organic ingredients and fairtrade principles I will have a very different view in future of what I buy, where I buy it and what’s in it.

These businesses are making a real difference. You can too by buying right.


What will they think of next?? DIY donuts!!

We had lunch at Foxtrot Parlour in Ponsonby Central on Saturday. Tara Grogan has a great little café going there. Love her pies – I had the thai chicken and Deb had the chicken provencal. Both were so0 tasty and with great pastry – which so many pie makers don’t get right,

But the “what will they think of next” award goes to Tara’s take on the humble donut. Not only do you get to chose the filling you want – choccy, berry coulis plus one other that I forget – but you get the syringe so you can do it yourself. What a fun idea. I didn’t do a very good job with the injecting so I’m going to have to go back for more practice haha.


At a time when cafes and the like have to try and differentiate themselves this is a very novel idea – well done Tara. Now all we need is a steak & kidney pie please!!

To market, to market

Over the last couple of years a lot of new food stores have opened that encourage the daily trip to the market to buy fresh produce so reminiscent of the European life style and I love it. Nosh has been around a while and do it well and Farro just off Richmond Rd has added an exciting new dimension. A special mention here for their coffee. They’ve got Supreme and Allpress and their baristas are very friendly. And they do a mean “sub” sandwich on Fridays.

As well as great restaurants Ponsonby Central offers fresh fruit and veges in a market setting and the long established Bhana Bros on P Rd have responded to the challenge, refurbished and expanded their range of food products. And they sell a wicked bunch of flowers.

And speaking of Ponsonby Central the Produce Market opened last weekend and it is fantastic. Amongst other things we bought Top Shelf’s Beetroot & Onion Feta Spread – soo yummy. And I couldn’t talk about Ponsonby Central without mentioning Tim and the boys & girls at Neat Meat – what a great job they do and so friendly. We’ve taken our own marinade along and they’ve vacuum packed it with the butterfly lamb. Brilliant

What’s not to love about living in Ponsonby?Beetroot spread