Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Social Retail

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  • Russell Brown,

    I would not be surprised if supermarkets pricing is specifically predatory towards small green-grocers, butchers and bottle shops but generally these small owner operator type business’s go to the wall when the supermarkets set up in their area. This in turn is bad news for small market gardeners, growers and other small scale suppliers.

    In Grey Lynn, it's quite impressive that Fruit World can survive across the road from a big Woolworths. I suspect it might even have an influence on local Woolworth's pricing sometimes. But I have found farmer-direct market produce a revelation this year, on both price and quality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Islander,

    Heh! Whether you're a vegetarian or a full-enjoyment/no qualms/into-it-all meateater - the Farmers' Market in Dunedin is a a total MUST!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Or a full-enjoyment/no qualms vegetarian.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    What I find salient in the local context, is that the Wine Vault is bit of a hike from the Chevalier, and in my mind, only compounds the AkCityCouncil's estimate of over 90% retail flight from a community of comparitive affluence to neighbouring suburbs.

    Oh lordy, what could happen in the Chev in a retail sense .... if only.

    I've almost given up thinking about it now, but try this: a Saturday morning market in the shopping centre car park. The westernmost inner-city suburb presents the best of the West's food and drink and art and craft. It'd be like Nelson, only with cheaper restaurants.

    Parking? Loads of it, unused, behind the shops on the south side of the road.

    But yeah, at the moment, not so much. The deli in the arcade is well worthy of support, as is the Mud Pie Cafe. Organic Planet has gone off the pace a bit -- I got annoyed at buying out-of-date goods.

    But Westmere's only just over the border, and I've cycled to Grey Lynn on shopping trips. It'd all easily fit inside single suburbs in several main centres.

    It's not so much suburban as neighbourhood retail flight.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Islander,

    Sacha - yup. The fruit/nut/veg range is almost - incredible. And, unfortunately, only there, on the day-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • nic.wise,

    I'm assuming a few other wellintonians have said it already, but Wine Seeker is, without a doubt, teh schiznit.

    To the point where we order wine for kiwi's from them, from London. Bank transfer, badaboom. Two cases of champers for a friends wedding, on time, with a couple of free ones thrown in. Or ship it over here for the few bits we _need_, but can't get here.

    Drop in and have a taste. I did often when working in the building above them :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report

  • Amy Gale,

    Amy - a drop scone, from my brief research, seems to be a pikelet.

    Regional variation is always with us, but the item I call a pikelet (whole egg foam method, cooked in frying pan) is not the same as the one I call a drop scone (cut in butter method, cooked in oven).

    Pikelets have a cakey (or sometimes rubbery) texture. Drop scones have a crunchy outside and an interior that is ... hard to explain. Damply cohesive?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report

  • mark taslov,

    Ok, I'm sorry Russell and Sacha I'll drop, it thought it seems like e slightly eccentric localized culturally conditioned behavioural pattern and was interested to see if anyone was up for discussing its origins or manifestations.

    I know I would love to see marijuana decriminalized at least. I am a firm supporter of maintenance programmes for othr drug use but I not so sure 'bout the meth, just because I don't like "go fast" and I suspect brains don't either.

    I think it is essentially decriminalized for the recreational user, in that you'll see very few cases in court solely related to simple possession. But there are still some ridiculous sentences being handed down for growing the stuff. I feel that the Hawkes bay shooting yesterday really highlights a need for reform there. If people are being driven to murder in order to protect crops, that's ample evidence to suggest that the black market value of a relatively harmless weed has either far superceded the value of human life, or perhaps and less likely that it turns the user into paramilitary killer. The current situation is largely a US intervention and I doubt things will change significantly as long as that country continues to hold our own by the strones.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    Apropos butchers: I would like to put in a good word for the halal butcher in Newtown. Very reasonable prices and the meat is well-trimmed so you don't pay $$$ for fat (cf the supermarkets who seem to hide wodges of fat tucked into the plastic tray where you can't see it). No pork, of course.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce,

    a Saturday morning market in the shopping centre car park.

    Countdown would probably not be too happy about it in "their" carpark, they're open 8am-8pm 7 days.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce,

    And while we're on local matters.

    re: Westmere butcher, we're loyal customers too but the the "B" rating from the council always makes me flinch a little as does the shanty town they've constructed out the back

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • ScottY,

    Best use foe feijoas - freeze the pulp, then when winter hits make Apple and Feijoa Crumble (basically just Apple Crumble with feijoa in). Divine.

    Actually, the other day we were watching Parliament TV (hadn't tried it before), and they were discussing the new Patent Bill. Suspect that if its provisions also go as far as copyright, then DB would have no such claim over a name like Radler in future. Actually, seems the Patents Bill is just for patents.

    Yes, nothing to do with trade marks. Have a look here if you're interested (apologies for shameless promotion of employer). Rich Lock can bore you to tears with more detail.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report

  • Rich Lock,

    The problems resulting from meth-amphetamine use have excavated since it started being called P, and was made a more seriously illegal substance.

    You got a licence to drive that cause-and-effect? Source, please.

    Rich Lock can bore you to tears with more detail.

    In these troubled financial times, I am willing to exchange advice in return for feijoa cocktails. Better make them strong, though. I might be easy, but I'm not cheap.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report

  • barnaclebarnes,

    It's called terroir living: low food miles + high quality produce and advice = the good life.

    Aren't most Waiheke wines made from grapes from other regions? While some of the wines may be local a lot only have a token splattering of local grapes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Oh lordy, what could happen in the Chev in a retail sense .... if only.

    I've almost given up thinking about it now, but try this: a Saturday morning market in the shopping centre car park. The westernmost inner-city suburb presents the best of the West's food and drink and art and craft. It'd be like Nelson, only with cheaper restaurants.

    Parking? Loads of it, unused, behind the shops on the south side of the road.

    I think Lindsay Mace at Native Agent in Kingsland is working with a group in Grey Lynn looking at opening up a farmers market in the area. I'll pass on your idea to her.

    I see that the Western Bays Community Board have passed a resolution regarding a farmers market in Grey Lynn, so at least the idea is floating around Council now.

    I've been to farmers markets in Dunedin (small and very friendly), Auckland (well, it's Auckland) and Whangarei (which is an absolute gem - very Northland and good supply of honey, cheeses, fruits/veges, and quite large), but Wellington was a puzzle - a basic range of fruit/veges, repeated over the whole site. Weird.

    I used to work at Glengarry, in Newmarket, right opposite the mall, which had Woolies in it, with its massive wine/beer area. We did fine with that competition - what gave GG the edge was a good selection of stuff, and the training we got - massive amounts of it - which meant I was exposed to alot of stuff and could confidently recommend stuff. It comes back to service, which you don't get in a supermarket.

    I did have a customer (who worked in the area) who switched to getting wine from the supermarket, because it was cheaper, but I used to stop by his store occassionally and basically tell him that I had a six pack of wine ready for him, which I knew he'd like, and was at his price point. He was happy with that.

    The amount of smaller/good quality wine shops, good butchers, and fruit/vege greengrocers (there's a term the young ones won't know), along with good bookstores, fromageries, patisseries, etc all point to a resonably healthy food/good living scene outside of supermarkets (as evidenced by the number of people mentioning good stores in this thread) which is good to know.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • JackElder,

    Moore Wilson is the best.

    Moore Wilsons is also the cheapest place in Wellington to buy Lego. They have the full range, normally 15-20% cheaper than anywhere else. Word to the wise.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 709 posts Report

  • Ben Austin,

    Has anyone seen Sanguinello/Blood Oranges on sale in NZ, or know if they are grown in commercial quantities? I've become addicted to them and I don't think I could go back to regular when I return home.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    The Foodlands in Kaikorai Valley (Dunedin for the geographically challenged) has the best fruit and vege prices around. Nearly always 10-50% cheaper than any of the supermarkets. I understand that there is a similar store in North East Valley.

    Last year they had 99cent pineapples while the supermarkets were selling them at $2.99-5.99. In January the tomatoes were 99cents a kilo, about as cheap as I've seen tomatoes outside of Edgecumbe.

    As far as I can judge the Kaikorai store buys the bottom of the barrel stuff from the auction. So sometimes the fruit is a bit squishy but I don't mind ripe fruit.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Moore Wilsons is also the cheapest place in Wellington to buy Lego.

    I hope it's not bootLego, Jack. </boom boom>

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    Ben: Moore Wilson has them sometimes, but I've been very disappointed in them. I think they're Australian. Anyway, the ones I bought were dried out and horrible and nothing like the blood oranges I've eaten overseas. A big disappointment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Tom Beard,

    I would love to expand my wine horizons beyond "The boss gave us a bottle of that for Christmas and it was nice" or "Hey, we had that at so-and-so's house". However, I am too chicken to actually speak to people in wine shops, and wine language appears incomprehensible to the untrained eye...

    That's where places like Wineseeker are invaluable. They're more than happy to talk to people without much wine knowledge, and their motto is "matching people with wine". You can go in and say "I'm looking for something about $20 to go with Italian food" or "I quite like Riesling, can you suggest something similar?" and they'll dig out all sorts of gems for you. They also have free tastings every lunchtime, and "introduction to wine tasting" courses that can gently help you get informed. Plus, the singles' wine tasting nights are rather fun...

    Note: I am not getting paid by them!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So, ha ha. I was describing this very blog post in the supermarket tonight (produce section), and happened at that very moment to see my go-to wine guy buying mushrooms.

    The Dunedinistas have put James on a contract to bring PAS to the people not privileged enough to have internet access.

    No thanks necessary Russell.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Cheese puffs are neither cheese rolls or cheese scones but things that have a sort of pastry look to them
    I didn't like cheese as a kid (well over that now) so can't comment on the taste
    Here is a recipe though

    Wine, at the moment some very well known wines are being sold as either "clean skins" or under "house brand " names
    Not in a position to reveal those but the down side of finding a (cheap) wine you like is that it may not be around with that name next year...enjoy

    Ok, back to the fermenter emptying

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report

  • James Green,

    the "B" rating

    While I can't comment on your specific operation, the difference between an A and a B food rating is mostly in planning. It has very relatively little to do with the cleanliness of the store, but in your ability to do a lot of paperwork, outlining how these ingredients are kept separate form these other ingredients etc. Of course, hopefully this planning does have a positive effect on hygiene, but it may also be for lack of interest in the paperwork.

    Limerick, Ireland • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report

  • JackElder,

    Actually, I'm a big fan of cleanskins because all you know about them is the (rough) grape variety. You can be sure you're approaching the wine on its own merits, without being subconsciously affected by the label, price point, etc. Yes, repeatability is low, but so's price. Lucky dip, ho!

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 709 posts Report

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