South Taranaki Star
Taranaki tucker in demand
A pop-up shop full of food products from Taranaki, which was run in Eltham over the summer, has left customers wanting a second helping.
Not even a Covid outbreak in the town could dent customer numbers at the ‘Taste of Taranaki’ pop-up shop, which was open four days each week from November to January.
The collaboration between Venture Taranaki and the South Taranaki District Council had food products from more than 20 producers, including fruit and vegetables, baking, bread, quinoa, honey, chocolate, snacks and coffee.
Feedback received from customers and suppliers showed it was a great success, and a review was now under way, Monday’s meeting of the council’s policy and strategy committee heard.
Suppliers had experienced strong growth from being part of the pop-up, Venture Taranaki chief executive Justine Gilliland said.
If the shop was reopened, more cheese would have to be included, she said.
‘‘Cheese is an important drawcard for the Taste of Taranaki with the location in Eltham.’’
Mayor Phil Nixon said he would like to see the popup shop become an ongoing business.
‘‘It is really good that it has helped some of the local foodies.
‘‘From what I have seen, it has been very successful, I do hope that is just the embryo for an outlet in Taranaki and promoting the foods of Taranaki.’’
Councillor Celine Filbee asked how long it would take to have a decision about the pop-up’s future.
‘‘Will it take until next summer . . . it would be nice to have something for the rest of summer.’’
Council manager Scott Willson said it would be difficult to get the shop open again this summer.
A review is under way, but it would take some time to survey all the suppliers and work through issues including what expenses the suppliers would help cover for a permanent shop, as the council had paid the lease and done the deliveries for the pop-up.
The Eltham community had been very supportive of the popup, Willson said, and the Covid outbreak in the town had not seemed to affect customer numbers.
‘‘It showed there was potential to make it a profitable business that works for suppliers as well,’’ he said. ‘‘The staff did a tremendous job.’’
Ha¯wera baker Andrew Blanche said he sold between 130 and 140 loaves of sourdough bread each week through the pop-up, which made for a busy three months.
‘‘It was fabulous. As a small food operator, it was a great opportunity for us to test the waters on distribution to another shop.’’
SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL ‘NOT TO BE’ AS BIG
A Shakespearean festival that was set to take place during April has been ‘‘plague adapted’’. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival first hit Taranaki last year, and there were plans for it to be bigger and better this time – until the Omicron outbreak. ‘‘The events team of the festival, along with the Stratford Shakespeare Trust, has made the difficult decision to postpone the majority of the festival to 2023,’’ Dixon Lobb, of the Stratford Shakespeare Trust, said. The festival was set down for April 8-23, celebrating Stratford’s links to Shakespeare – like sharing the name of his birthplace, and all its streets being named after aspects of his plays. And while not all of that will be going ahead, the planned gallery exhibitions, photography competitions, the school holiday programme and some films will still be shown, in what the trust has called a ‘‘plague-adapted festival’’. The trust is now getting to work on the big festival, which is planned for April 1-15, 2023.
FIRE SEASON CHANGES TO OPEN
A weekend of ‘‘exceptional rainfall’’ has seen Taranaki move back to an open fire season. The change came into play yesterday, less than three weeks after the region was moved to a restricted season. The change means permits are no longer required for open-air fires, Fire and Emergency NZ Taranaki district manager David Utumapu said. But, he wanted to remind people that while the risk has decreased, it had not been eliminated. ‘‘Always go to checkitsalright.nz before you plan on lighting a fire – check the conditions and, if it’s hot and windy, please do not light a fire.’’
LOVEGROVE IN A ONE NIGHT STAND
Award-winning comedian Brendhan Lovegrove will headline A One
at punake’s Everybody’s Theatre on Saturday. Lovegrove, who has been performing comedy for 25 years, is a regular on 7 Days and the The comedy scene in regional
New Zealand is growing, organiser Ben Caldwell of DIY Comedy said. ‘‘The landscape in New
Zealand has changed over the last five years.
Comedy used to be predominantly in the metro areas like Auckland, Wellington and
Christchurch, and occasionally you’d get a visiting show to a regional town. ‘‘But more and more people from the regions are becoming interested in performing stand-up comedy, and so we have to go out and find people to perform to,’’ Caldwell said. One of the support acts for the evening is Toni Marie, an actor, comedian, and singer from New Plymouth. She made her comedy debut last year and made the final of the Raw Comedy Quest in Palmerston North. The show has been made possible with funding from South Taranaki District Council’s Creative Community Scheme. The show is at 8pm. Tickets: $20 pre-sale from KiwiTicket or venue. Door sales on the night $30 and subject to availability. ¯ O