Tag Archive for: Buy Local

Someday Somewhere

I have huge respect for people who are prepared to put everything on the line to follow their dreams, and I come across a number of these people when I’m writing this column. One such person is Kimberley Eagle who recently took over Jaks Island in Bridge St, opposite the courthouse, and rebranded it as Someday Somewhere.

I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the name reflects the desire Kimberley had to open her own foodie place someday, somewhere and it’s an assumption you are correct to make.

Eagle says when she saw Jaks Island cafe was on the market, she knew she had to take the plunge

Someday Somewhere is a few doors along the road from my office and it didn’t take both me and our staff long to find this little gem of a café that serves delicious food and great coffee from 8am until 2pm five days a week.

Kimberley makes everything in-house, including the focaccia bread she uses for her fantastic, and generously sized, sandwiches.

Having sampled her food reasonably regularly and observing this very determined woman doing everything; from making bread, sweet treats, coffee and even serving each person who comes in, I wanted to know what motivates her to work so hard in a very competitive hospitality market.

Someday Somewhere cafe owner Kimberley Eagle at the premises formerly known as Jaks Island cafe in Nelson

“I’m not from Nelson, I grew up at Mangawhai north of Auckland before I headed overseas for about 10 years where I worked in a number of places to learn as much as I could about the industry.”

The first café she worked in was in Mangawhai when she was just 14 years old. This early love of food and first part-time job led her to London and then Australia where she worked in the five star resort realm, managing resort restaurants all over Australia. From the Qualia Resort in the Whitsunday Islands; to Uluṟu; to an Eco resort close to Broome, Western Australia and to Tasmania, Kimberley absorbed as much knowledge from a range of chefs as she could.

“In Australia working in the places I worked meant I was able to work alongside people who were passionate about the industry, it wasn’t just a part-time job to pay their way through university, they were making a career of it. Working in fine dining restaurants at premium resorts attracted like-minded people.”

Kimberley was able to work alongside great chefs like Frank Comora from MoVida (one of our favourite restaurants in Melbourne), Shannon Bennet from Vue du Mond in Melbourne and Matt Moran. “I learned a huge amount from these chefs, often when they visited as guest chefs for the showcase Great Barrier Feast degustation dinners we hosted at the Qualia Resort.  It was a privilege to work alongside these hugely talented chefs.”

The cafe’s name reflects the desire Eagle always had; to open her own foodie place someday, somewhere

After ten years overseas she felt a pull to come back to New Zealand so returned prior to covid and managed the Mt Beautiful Wines tasting room and restaurant north of Waipara until it was closed during Covid.

Kimberley took a break from the hospitality sector when the entire industry went into turmoil during and after covid. She moved to Nelson in 2021 and worked for law firm Glasgow Harley in an admin role where she learned another set of skills that would help her in this venture.

She told me because the love for food is in her blood she was drawn back to the hospitality sector when the opportunity arose to go to Tasmania and the Piermont Retreat on the east coast between Hobart and Launceston. “It was an awesome experience and while I was there, we were nominated as an Australian Gourmet Traveller Destination Restaurant finalist, that’s a big deal in Australia, and Calvin King is an exceptional chef.”

Then it was back to Nelson where she saw Jaks was for sale, “I remember driving past the building and thought what a fantastic building, I saw there was a café and thought it was the sort of place I would like to have a business. When I noticed it was for sale I just had to take on the challenge. I just love the building and location. I almost feel like I’m in the city, there’s a buzzy vibe with the other tenants in the building and customers who come in.”

When it comes to the food, I can assure you it is very good. Kimberley told me she wanted to do something where things just aren’t the same every day, “I know I need to have the staples, but I like to change things up a bit, I want people to be excited about what I have to offer, something new each time they come.”

The focaccia recipe Eagle uses in her sandwiches was a gift from a former colleague in Australia

One of the things that has made her famous among those in the know is the focaccia bread she makes fresh each day. “Calvin from Piermont gave me the focaccia recipe as his gift to me when I left because I couldn’t stop eating it when I worked with him. Now I need his green olive tapenade recipe to use in my sandwiches too.”

The sandwiches are very generous and come in flavours like a Reuben (she makes her own pastrami so it only appears occasionally); Porchetta, classic egg salad, rare roast beef with horseradish cream and sometimes an Italian Deli style with mortadella among others.

She makes all her sauces and dressings, her own pickles for most things and her own fresh mayonnaise. “There’s nothing better than homemade mayo.”

As we move into summer we can look forward to sandwiches with fresher summer ingredients to go alongside the slices, cookies, wedges of Spanish Basque cheese cake (there’s no base so gets its flavour from the baked and burnt outside), Key Lime pies (single serve size individual pies) and classic cheese scones.

There’s always gluten free options, “the savoury gluten free bacon and egg muffin with a whole egg inside is so popular I can’t take it off the menu.” She says she has lots of ideas and recipes for other products, but she just needs time to make them.

Kimberley says it’s very early days, “I’ve only been open two months but going really well, I sell out of food a lot of the time and have a lot of repeat customers. People ask about buying the bread, but at the moment I don’t have time to make it for sale. I’m just one person with help from my big brother to do the dishes on the odd Friday, but I will be doing more when I am able to employ someone to help me.”

If you haven’t discovered Someday Somewhere yet it is time you did. My top tip is to buy your sandwich mid-morning because if you wait until lunchtime you may miss out!

Published in the Nelson Mail 15.11.2023 

Buy & Shop Local This Summer

Christmas Day is just around the corner and I’m not sure what has happened to 2022, but for me it seems to have evaporated. However, when you think back about the changes in the last 12 months the biggest impact on families has been the unrelenting price increases in absolutely everything, especially food.

Hopefully as new season produce becomes more readily available prices for some nice-to-have items will drop a bit so we can all treat ourselves this Christmas, maybe to help draw a line under what has been a difficult 2022.

Now is the time to prepare for the silly season by stocking up on a few things each week rather than relying on one very expensive shop the day before Christmas, and I think you should start by thinking about locally produced products that will make your Christmas and New Year celebrations just a little bit special.

Of course you can always buy things like Proper Crisps range of crisps, crackers and tortilla chips all year round, as you can with Pic’s Peanut Butter and jams, Moutere Strawberries and the jams they make, Chia Sisters range of drinks, Mad Melon juices, Pete’s Natural range of soft drinks, herbal teas crafted by Heke Homemade Herbals and of course cheeses, Craft French Pate, hand crafted sausages and Skipper’s Choice sauces.

But now is the time to put a few of these locally made products in your shopping trolley, not only to spread the cost to suit your budget but to support local businesses, businesses that need our support as they too struggle with increasing prices while trying to make sure their products remain affordable.

There are plenty of retailers selling local products but for me The Nelson Farmers Market, Nelson Market on Saturdays and the various markets around the region are the perfect place to talk with producers to find out about the effort they put into growing and making a wide range of things for you and me to enjoy. These producers almost always have samples for you to try before you buy to make sure you make great choices.

185 in Hope will be a very busy place in the week before Christmas but heading out there to get fresh summer berries and vegetables is a must-do for many Nelsonians, for us we always pick up a huge basil plant so we have plenty on hand to add to a tomato salad or to turn into freshly made pesto.

If you want some specialty advice then drop in to Prego where you will find a range of wonderful Nelson made cheeses and European Christmas treats as well as things like pasta and their house-made spicy pork and fennel sausages for the barbeque. Another stop for specialty advice is The Junction where you will find one of this country’s finest cheese selections, they were recently names as one of the top 10 cheese shops in New Zealand. They also have a cheese master on hand to give you great advice.

If you need to stock up on some treats to enjoy over the summer the Rustic Cuisine on Rutherford St has some classic French foods for you to choose from. Made on the premises by Chef Greg Auphin and frozen for you to finish cooking at home, are things like their delicious edam cheese galettes,  beef bolognese, croissants and lots of other treats including their irresistible lemon meringue tarts (large or small). These are perfect to have on hand for days you don’t want to make dinner.

When it comes to gift giving why not make something, homemade relishes, chutneys, jams and even chocolate treats are always appreciated by the recipient. If you want some inspiration drop in to one of my favourite book shops, Volume, and pick up a cook book. You may even find one to give as a gift for the foodie in your life.

Back to local products, we are incredibly lucky to have talented people in this region who make a wide range of world-class products. Some of my favourites are the sausages from The Sausage Press, Doris and Heck’s but when it comes to cheese then you simply can’t go past Thorvald Sheep cheeses, Little River A2 Milk cheeses or Kervella Cheeses from Golden Bay, these are all widely available and they also appear at markets around the region.

For treats to make your Christmas special make sure you buy some local chocolates; Hogarth’s have a range of award winning chocolate bars that they make starting with raw beans that they roast and process into hand-crafted deliciousness. Aroha Chocolates and Chocoloco are also an award winning local chocolate makers who pour their love and passion for what they do into filled chocolate treats.

When it comes to drinks Nelson producers have something for you. From the award winning Pete’s Natural who reinforced Tasman Nelson as one of New Zealand’s top artisan regions by scooping four medals at the 2022 NZ Artisan Awards 2022

Pete’s Natural Kola and Raspberry Kola both took out Gold, plus Pete’s Lemon Manuka Switchel and Hemp Manuka Goodness, both from Pete’s no-added sugar range, picked up Bronze awards so you can serve these at your Christmas and New Year celebrations, not just with confidence in the quality but pride in the fact they are another local, high quality producer.

Of course summer means beer around the barbeque and we are blessed with some outstanding brewers in the region, from award winning Eddyline to handcrafted perfection from Townshend Brewery and the tasty drops made at the Stoke Brewery to name just a few.

Then there are local wines to enjoy with your meal or to celebrate with. I have said this many times but some of the finest wines in New Zealand are made right here in the Nelson Tasman region. From the internationally acclaimed Neudorf Vineyards to the re-focussed Anchorage Wines there is a wine made here to suit every preference. These also make great gifts for your wine loving family and friends who live out of Nelson, there’s nothing better than sending a bottle of Nelson sunshine as a gift.

There are so many options to talk about when it comes to Nelson food and beverage producers I can’t mention them all here but when you’re choosing things for Christmas and New Year at home or for the office shout make sure you choose as many local products as you can, you won’t be disappointed in their quality.

Published in the Nelson Mail 2022-11-23

Neudorf’s growing legacy among the Moutere vines

As Neudorf Vineyards celebrate the release of the 40th vintage of their iconic Moutere Chardonnay I can’t help reflect on how impressed I am by the way Tim and Judy Finn have allowed the business to evolve so it can prosper into the future, hopefully for the next 40 years.

I use the term ‘evolved’ because many successful businesses just keep to the same winning formula, but in the case of Neudorf, Tim and Judy recognised the need for a controlled, planned evolution rather than being reactive to market changes.

Last week I caught up with marketing and sales director Rosie Finn and Todd Stevens, Neudorf’s general manager and winemaker.

Rosie told me that Tim and Judy live on site and have taken on an oversight or board level role to guide the strategic direction of the business.

“They leave the day-to-day running of the business to Todd and me, but they’re there as sounding boards when we need some advice,” says Rosie.

“They have been doing this for more than 40 years, so they have an incredible depth of knowledge about the industry.”

Tim and Judy have always had a future focus for their business, from buying land years before it was needed to expand their vineyard plantings, to planting small research blocks to see which varieties will deliver the best wines on their land all the way to installing solar panels that provide all the power the business needs during the day.

Todd says solar power is one aspect of preparing the business for the future, producing enough power to run the whole operation.

“The overall goal is to store the power we generate in order to be fully self-sufficient. Battery technology will get better and more cost-effective allowing us to do that in the future.”

Looking to the future

A significant commitment Neudorf made several years ago was to convert to organic production rather than being a sustainable winegrowing operation.

“We’re totally organic across all 20ha of the home vineyards that include the original Home Block around the winery, the adjoining Tom’s Block and Rosie’s Block located just around the corner” says Todd. “We do buy in some fruit for our Tiritiri (to grow) range and that fruit isn’t always organic, but they are certainly sustainably grown grapes.”

Neudorf Vineyards produce some of the finest Chardonnay wines in New Zealand and the variety is the backbone of the business, however, Todd says “we recently expanded the plantings at Rosie’s Block to include more Albarino and a little more Chardonnay.

“We’ve always been known for Chardonnay, but especially for the Home Block Moutere Chardonnay (previously called Moutere Chardonnay).”

Rosie said “we think of ourselves as a chardonnay house rather than a producer of one well-known Chardonnay. Our other blocks produce some fantastic fruit and after farming it for a number of years we understand what each vineyards gives us to work with.

“That means we can identify the best parcels of fruit within a block, and even within rows, that in turn gives us the ability to make different styles of Chardonnay.”

As the winemaker Todd says they actually use very similar winemaking techniques across the range.

“We want the vineyards and natural fruit characters to shine, so it’s our job to guide the fruit through the most appropriate winemaking process to allow the finished wine to express the very best characters of the vineyards.

“Our chardonnays are 100% barrel fermented (with the exception of the Amphora Chardonnay),” he says.

“Over the years we have pulled back on the use of new oak barrels as we felt that it sat on top of the wine and as a result you saw something from France … not Upper Moutere.

“We still use some new oak but it’s at the lower levels. We want to create a wine experience that is so much more than just one vineyard, we want to express particular elements of each block in our wines.”

Becoming Iconic

A couple of years ago, the team at Neudorf restructured the portfolio of wines they produce.

“We wanted more definition around the wines we produce. Just saying ‘Moutere Chardonnay’ doesn’t differentiate the special characters of the Neudorf vineyards,” says Todd.

“There are other producers of chardonnay in the Moutere so we wanted to ensure our wines are identified with specific pieces of land, especially the three home blocks. Then we put an additional focus on the Tiritiri brand to differentiate those wines from our home block wines.”

Another reason for the planned evolution of the Neudorf business is the need to manage production as vines are either replanted or replaced with other varieties.

It takes about four to five years to get a full crop from young vines “and a lot can happen during that time, especially as we only get one chance a year to see the results of our trials,” says Todd. “

You need to have a pretty good idea of what you want to achieve in the long term.

“Changes in the vineyard take a long time so there needs to be a future-focused planting and replanting programme.”

Ensuring they continue to deliver the Neudorf Vineyards characteristics in every wine the team make doesn’t mean they have stopped trying new things to extract the best wine experience from the grapes they grow.

New Techniques

Over the last few years they have been using clay amphora (egg-shaped fermenters) that bring a different dimension to the flavours and textures of the wines. This is all part of the planned evolution of Neudorf Vineyards.

Rosie says “we can use different techniques like the amphora to add another wine style to our portfolio. These are all still Neudorf wines, we just use slightly different winemaking techniques to highlight the characters of the fruit and the land.”

She also says that during the Covid pandemic there’s been a real appreciation of how lucky the region is.

“After Covid, we have a new-found focus on customers through the cellar door, we’re producing slightly less but are focused on really high quality.”

And that tells me Neudorf Vineyards is in the right hands to guide it through the next 40 years until eight-month-old Freddy is ready to take over from Rosie, his mum.

Latest releases of Neudorf Chardonnay

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Amphora Chardonnay 2021 RRP $50

Fermented in clay amphora vessels this is a beautifully textured wine with an elegant palate weight. Ripe acidity adds freshness to the finish while a mineral character holds everything together.

Fermenting the wine in an amphora is about texture in the wine, the heat convection that occurs naturally in the amphora during fermentation keeps the yeast lees suspended in the wine, and that gives a different dynamic to the lees-to-wine contact. This wine is simply delicious with classic Neudorf characters. 4.5 stars

Neudorf Home Block Moutere Chardonnay RRP $90

I have seen the style of this wine evolve over the years as consumer tastes changed and Neudorf put more focus on expressing the vineyard characteristics of the original vineyard block, I have to say the 2021 vintage is an exceptional wine.

The 2021 vintage was very small in the region but the concentration from a smaller crop shines in this wine. The aromas are refined and elegant while the full palate weight and elegant fruit flavours are enhanced with linear acidity that carries through the palate. I always find exceptional wines difficult to describe but the underlaying power and balance of this wine creates a wine experience rather than just a nice glass of wine. 5 stars

World Class Wine List

The Nelson Hospitality Association held a celebration of all things excellent in the industry every two years before the industry was severely impacted by the Covid pandemic. At the celebratory dinner awards were handed out to the best front-of-house person, the best barperson, best security professional, best young chef, best chef and best restaurant among others and I was invited to judge the best beverage list award for several years.

When it comes to judging anything the process has to be clear, even if the final award winners come down to the personal choice of the judges, I set up a process that ensured the Best Beverage List was able to be won by any hospitality business. I judged the various lists based on suitability for the venue (be it a bar or fine dining restaurant), the selection of non-alcohol drinks as well as alcoholic drinks, the inclusion of local wines, the selection of drinks available by the glass, the design and readability of this list and finally my perception of how much effort was put into crafting the list.

If you print a wine list in black print on a red card then you will go straight to the bottom of my class, and probably will end up wearing a dunce’s cap too. Black on red is one of the hardest colour combinations to read, especially in the dim lighting of a restaurant, and owners need to present something that can be read, not just something that has cool design features.

The last factor is important because many beverage companies offer to prepare the wine lists for venues and these can be very good beverage lists, but it’s the owners and bar managers who put a lot of effort into crafting their own lists that really stand out.

Nelson restaurant and bar Hopgood’s & Co has been shortlisted for the Best Designed Wine List at the World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022

One venue that never entered the local beverage list competition is Hopgood’s & Co Restaurant & Bar, owner Kevin Hopgood told me that while they are really proud of the things they do to create a great dining experience when it comes to local awards he doesn’t want to enter everything, and the beverage list is one he chooses not to enter.

That doesn’t mean the Hopgood’s & Co beverage list isn’t very good, in fact, it is world-class. They were recently shortlisted for the Best Designed Wine List at the World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022. To put this shortlisting into perspective others on the same shortlist are Mesa in Macau, China; House of Tides, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Lazy Bear, California, San Francisco, USA and Astrid & Gaston, Lima, Peru.

One other New Zealand venue has been shortlisted too, Charlie Noble in Wellington is entered in the Most Original Wine List category. The World of Fine Wine Awards have entries from all around the world and include some of the finest bars and restaurants.

So how much effort goes in to designing a world-class wine list? Hopgood’s & Co owner Kevin Hopgood told me they put a lot of focus on getting their beverage list right, not only do they have to offer diners a decent selection, the wines need to be able to pair with dishes they serve as well as being affordable. “If we get it right then the right wine will enhance the food we serve and vice versa, the food you’re eating will affect the flavours of the wine so we try and make sure we offer something that will pair with our food and that people will love.

“We are approached almost daily by wine reps and winery owners who want us to put their products on our wine list, some of the wines are very good and would probably work nicely with the food we serve but we simply can’t put every wine we like on the menu. If we did our wine list would be a 50 page book and we would need huge storage space for the stocks we would need to carry, so it just isn’t practical.”

The design of the wine list is also important, as evidenced by the fact there is an award for this at the World of Fine Wines Wine List Awards, “people need to be able to find the style or variety of wine they’re looking for easily, but also be tempted by things they may not have tried before, by getting the design right we should be able to make it difficult for diners to choose from an enticing selection” and that’s one of the things Hopgood’s puts a focus on, enticing diners to try something new.

“We want to have interesting and rare wines on our list, we are incredibly lucky to have a few wineries who are prepared to sell us library stocks of aged wines, having a properly aged wine can really enhance the dining experience.”

Because Hopgood’s & Co is also a bar they have an excellent selection of spirits, beers and cocktails too. Kevin says “We have a cocktail specialist working behind the bar so people can drop in for a lovely, freshly crafted cocktail or craft beer and have some food from our bar snacks menu if they don’t feel like a full meal. People often come in early for a drink before they have dinner so we try and make the whole dining experience one people can really enjoy.

“We want people to relax and have a great time while they enjoy the food that comes out of the kitchen, our chefs love making tasty and innovative small plates to go with drinks at the bar.”

The winners of the World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022 will be announced at a ceremony to be held in London on the 12th of September and if Hopgood’s & Co win, or not, just being shortlisted for the prestigious awards is something to be incredibly proud of and to celebrate. https://worldoffinewine.com/

Published in the Nelson Mail 2022-08-31 


Support your local hospitality businesses

We all know a lot can happen in a very short time and things have changed significantly for people I wrote about in the last two weeks; firstly I spoke to a number of winery owners to find out what was happening with this year’s vintage and they were all very happy but said they didn’t need too much rain!

It just shows that when you a working in the horticulture sector and relying on Mother Nature to play nicely, she doesn’t always get the message. Ex-cyclone Dovi has delivered a huge amount of rain and warm air that will have an impact on the grape harvest this year, the quality of which is going to be determined by how much bright sunshine and drying wind we get in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

Water played a big part on the day my article about The General Grocery Store in St Vincent St was published too, this time it was a burst waterpipe that saw thousands of litres of water flood the premises stopping them from trading for a few days just as I told you to go and check them out.

Things are back to normal this week so make sure you stop in support this fantastic local store.

In recent weeks I have also stayed in touch with a few restaurants, café’s and retail stores in the region to see how they are fairing now summer holiday visitors have returned home, the answer from everyone has been the same; things are very quiet and because of concern about the appearance of Omicron locals are just staying home.

I certainly don’t want to minimise the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid, it does have the potential to put a huge amount of pressure on our health systems, but I firmly believe we need to get on with our normal lives as much as possible.

It is still safe to go out for a meal or a drink, it’s safe to visit retail stores and you can certainly buy your lunch from one of the many food outlets in the region. You just need to be sensible and go to places that have good Covid practices in place.

We have some fantastic restaurants, bars and cafes in this region and if we don’t support them some, if not many, will be laying off staff, reducing opening hours or simply close permanently and that would be a huge loss for the region.

There are a few hospitality venues that I’m sure will get through these tough times, simply because they are outstanding at what they do, but it won’t be easy. That was reinforced last week when the Cuisine Good Food Awards were announced.

In this region three businesses were highlighted as outstanding examples, Urban Eatery Restaurant & Bar, Hawker House & Bar, and Hopgood’s & Co made the exclusive Chefs Hats list. The Chefs Hats are New Zealand’s version of Michelin Stars, they shine a light on businesses that deliver a high quality hospitality experience consistently, that means these are places you can rely on to be great every time you visit.

You can read about the Cuisine Good Food Awards at www.cuisine.co.nz/awards and when you do you will see that Urban Eatery Restaurant & Bar and Hawker House & Bar earned One Chefs Hat once again while Hopgood’s & Co not only retained their Two Hat status but also won a category award, the Pead. sponsored Food Legend/Long-Term Player Award.

Hopgood’s & Co chefs Aaron Ballantyne, left, and Kevin Hopgood

The judges said “Familiarity breeds contentment in the long-term partnership of owner Kevin Hopgood and head chef Aaron Ballantyne. They’ve been working together for 15 years and the harmony is reflected in what they produce. Consider the finish, for starters: a dessert of 70% chocolate mousse with cherry, amaretto and caramelised milk gelato. Flavour and texture explode from each component and with all the colours of a Chardin painting it’s an illustration of something particularly fabulous. The predecessors are equally impressive, such as our fish of the day – hake – which Kevin had brined on arrival to help it keep its form. Sautéed artichoke and crisp cauliflower made a great counterpoint. Everything is taken into account, from the sparkling glassware to the gracious oversight of the dining room. Hopgood’s has that magic capacity to make you feel that dining out is something to delight in.”

The Food Legend/Long-Term Player Award recognises the commitment they have made to the food and hospitality industry over many years, they lead by example. Kevin Hopgood, Head Chef, Aaron Ballantyne, and all their staff go to work every day to create dining magic and this award is something they can be immensely proud of.

The same can be said about the owners and staff at Urban Eatery Restaurant & Bar, Hawker House & Bar and every other hospitality business in the region. These are people who go to work every day to make tasty food for you and me to enjoy. Many hospitality and retail operators I have spoken with in the last couple of weeks tell me it has been the quietest weeks since they have been in business, some for 20 years plus.

As I said earlier, we need to support every business in the region or many will close. All you need to get on with your life is a vaccine pass (I note 95% of Nelsonians are eligible for it) and take sensible precautions. You don’t need to hide away, but if you’re not comfortable going out for any reason then make sure you do your on-line shopping with Nelson businesses. Also keep an eye out for click & collect offerings from food retailers, restaurants and cafes.

Shopping local has never been more important.

Published in the Nelson Mail 16.02.22


Howard (Harry) Morris has been a fixture in the Nelson restaurant and food scene for a couple of decades, initially as the chef at The Cut restaurant that he owned with Rob Fanselow then the two of them opened Harry’s in Hardy St before relocating to the top of Trafalgar St.

When Harry sold Harry’s Bar, he wanted to stay in the food industry but not be working the unsociable hours that running a bar and restaurant often involves. When he saw that the fresh fish business on the entrance to Marble Arch Arcade was for sale, Harry could see the opportunity to use his cooking skills to add value to a great little business.

Harry’s Fish Shop is the place you can buy fresh fish as well as beautifully crafted meals ready for you to buy for lunch or take home for dinner.

The fresh seafood comes from the local fisherman he bought the shop from, Andy and Simone Kenton. Harry says, “Andy bought a second boat and felt that looking after the fishing business was going to be enough and decided to sell the shop with an ongoing fish supply in place.

“Andy is one of the few independent local fishermen left in the region; his dad fished, so it’s in the blood and his focus had to be on fishing not running a retail business.”

The fish shop business was built on the quality fish that Andy’s boats catch along with a few other suppliers, including locally speared Butter Fish and Blue Cod from D’Urville Island. The supply of fish is always slightly varied with the weather playing a big part in when and how much fish is available.

“We have another couple of regular suppliers, Mt Cook Salmon and Donna Wells, owner of Finest Kind, and we get smoked fish products from Aqua Fresh who also do the smoking of the Mt Cook Salmon for the shop.”

Not your usual lunch, the house cured salmon with asparagus and potato salad sold at Harry’s. BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF

Harry also has an expanding variety of accompaniments for sale, from fish coatings to dressings and sauces. “This is another part of the business that will be expanding, in time, to offer an assortment of accompaniments to compliment the fresh fish.”

As to the future of the business, Harry says “it is a work in progress I don’t have a set outcome as to where it will end up, retail is very different to hospitality so I’m still learning as we go. There are a lot of options we can offer over time, and I am looking forward to seeing how it all grows. With the stop-start that this year has provided my plans for moving forward slowed a little, but since coming back after lockdown the changes are happening at a good pace.”

He has started preparing dishes available to buy and reheat at home. “There are a few regular items like smoked fish potato-topped pie and different flavoured quiches, some flavours are standard like the salmon and caper or the smoked fish and caramelised onion, but we also produce other flavours depending on our mood on the day.”

The chili salt squid salad has become a popular lunch option for many in Nelson’s CBD. BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF

Recently Harry’s Fish Shop has added a small lunch menu with both hot and cold options “Fish & Chips, Ceviche, Prawn Roll with cocktail sauce and Chili Salt Squid which is still as popular as it was on the menu at Harry’s. Having a blackboard menu enables changes to be made easily.”

Most of the lunch options are cooked and made to order, so there is still a bit of kitchen service happening. “We plan this to make sure we can operate quickly as the lunch break for most people is only 30 minutes and we are already getting pre-ordered lunches, making it easier for us and the customers.”

Harry’s Fish Shop crew Rachael Bastion-Holmes, left, Harry Morris, Nigel Fahey, and Rachel James at the premises in Montgomery Square, Nelson. BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF

Of course, you get great advice when you visit Harry’s Fish Shop, both of his staff have a background working in the hospitality sector, “Rachel spent five years working on fishing boats too so has fantastic fish knowledge while Rachael’s trade has been in hospitality, together they are both very customer focused.”

They are a small but talented team at Harry’s Fish Shop and together they provide great service and knowledge, as well as the high-quality food Harry has delivered in Nelson for many years, every time you visit them in the Marble Arch Arcade on Montgomery Square. www.harrysfish.nz

Beyond Covid-19

Well it has certainly been an interesting seven weeks; dealing with level 4 lockdown conditions and then easing into level 3 before finally getting back to a level of normal activity under level 2 conditions. Obviously things will never go back to business-as-usual as it was before Covid-19 raised its ugly head but we are able to get back to business and work on rebuilding our businesses.

Then we had the 2020 Government Budget announcements, a budget designed to make sure as many businesses as possible survive and are able to rebuild in a new economic environment.

Some businesses will never be the same, some will close and others will adapt and grow, taking advantage of the opportunity to revisit how they do business.

We reopen our office on Monday 18th May

with some Covid-19 restrictions in place.

While the office will be open please note Sari will still be working from home for a few more weeks. She is available for Zoom video conference meetings, on her mobile (021-548-489) or by email (sari@savage.co.nz)

Visiting our office

For us our focus will be on helping you as it always has been, the success of our clients is really important to us and to help you we need to make sure we have a workplace that is safe for you and our staff. This means if you do need to come to our office you will notice a few small changes that are designed to meet government requirements for operating under level 2 conditions.

We will have social distancing practices in place, there will be a table at reception for you to leave packages, there will be hand sanitiser readily available, there will be single-use facemasks available for you to use if you are meeting with a staff member and you will be required to register as a visitor to our office for contact tracing purposes whenever you visit, no matter how briefly.

Contact Tracing

We will be using the “I’m Here” contact tracing system, you will need to use your phone to scan a code when you arrive and depart. We have chosen this because it is a simple solution to use, however, our staff will be able to assist if you have any issues using it. There will also be a form to fill in if you don’t have a mobile phone. You can check out the system at www.imhere.nz so you know what to expect when you do visit us.

The Budget

The one Budget item that will have the most impact immediately for many businesses is the announcement of an extension to the Wage Subsidy Scheme.

If your business has suffered a 50% or greater decline in turnover for a two month period then you are able to apply for a subsidy to help you pay staff wages for another eight weeks.

Small Business Loans via IRD

Announced before the budget but included in the overall Covid-19 response package is a loan scheme for SMEs. The scheme (https://media.ird.govt.nz/articles/government-boosts-cashflow-support-for-small-businesses/) for SME’s is to be administered by IRD. This will be interest free for 12 months or low interest for up to five years with no repayments for the first two years if you take the low interest option. It will be administered through IRD and provides for loans of $10,000 per business plus $1800 per employee up to a maximum of $100,000.

While we can’t make the application for you we will give any of our clients up to an hour free time to help you with your application, just email Sari, Anna or Libby to arrange a time to talk.

We hope you are all staying safe and we’re looking forward to talking with you sometime soon.

Covid-19 update – Level 2 & Open for Business

It has been a couple of weeks since we sent you an update and a number of things have happened in that time, prime among the the announcement of the rules that will apply when we head into the Covid-19 Level 2 environment. All businesses will need to alter how they work and it’s important the changes are well thought through as these restrictions are likely to be with us in one form or another for many months to come.

Our offices will be open for business again when Level 2 restrictions come into place.

We are excited to be able to have everyone back at work, albeit with restrictions and changes to how we operate.

Because Sari has an autoimmune condition she won’t be back in the office for a few weeks yet but will still be working from home by email, mobile phone and Zoom video conferencing.

We are currently working on a Covid-19 plan for the office and the biggest impact on you will be when you visit our office, we will have social distancing rules in place you will need to observe. Because a lot of our communication with you is via phone and email our main focus is going to be on ensuring the safety of our staff when we do return.

Government announcements and support

The business environment for the foreseeable future is going to be quite different to what it was before Covid-19 raised its head, every business is going to face challenges and will have to review what it does and how it goes about its business.

The government has acknowledged there will be very challenging times ahead with much higher unemployment (especially from the hospitality and tourism sectors) and it appears to be offering assistance to SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises) that make up a huge proportion of businesses in this country.

Small businesses that provide services and products to local regions are going to be vital to New Zealand’s economic recovery as we will be less reliant on tourism until our international borders reopen, this could be a number of years away.

Along with various tax changes and the significant wage subsidy the government recently announced a loan scheme (https://media.ird.govt.nz/articles/government-boosts-cashflow-support-for-small-businesses/) for SME’s. This will be interest free for 12 months or low interest for up to five years with no repayments for the first two years if you take the low interest option. It will be administered through IRD and provides for loans of $10,000 per business plus $1800 per employee up to a maximum of $100,000.

This is in addition to various loan guarantee schemes put in place earlier with the banks.

Looking ahead

While we may appear to be over the very worst of the Covid-19 outbreak there is every possibility it could re-emerge as a significant health threat during the winter months so it is important we all do our bit to avoid having to go back into a Level 4 lockdown situation again.

So for the next two years let’s have local and New Zealand holidays and visit places you haven’t been before, you may be surprised at what New Zealand has to offer. And of course shop local, support those businesses that have supported our community for many years and help them stay in business so they can be part of our future too.

In the next week we will be sending an update on what you will need to do if you visit our offices.

Take care and continue to do your bit to keep everyone in our community safe.

Covid-19 update – 26.04.20

This is just a quick update to recap on a few things we have put in this update email over the past few weeks.


Our office will remain closed during Level 3 restrictions.

Our senior staff are working from home so we can still provide essential support and, for those of you have already dropped your annual accounts in to us, we have logged your accounts into our workflow records and will prepare your annual accounts on a first-in, first-out basis. Unless of course you have an urgent need for financial information to give to your bank, in that case we will give you accounts priority.

Contact numbers

You can contact us as follows:

Sari Hodgson     7 days. sari@savage.co.nz 021-548-489

Neil Hodgson     7 days. neil@savage.co.nz 021-445-142

Anna Patchett   Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm anna@savage.co.nz 021-276-7393

Libby Gledhill     Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm libby@savage.co.nz 027-313-4382


We are available for Zoom meetings (via internet). Just email the person you want to talk with and we will make a time to meet and send you a zoom link so we can chat online

Monthly Invoicing

Also as per last month, because we won’t be back in the office our monthly invoices for the end of April will be sent without the usual detail. If you require a detailed invoice please just contact us and we will send you one when we are able to operate from the office again.

And don’t forget, you are able to contact Neil to make arrangements to pay your account over time if your business and cashflow has been impacted by the lockdown.

We do understand these are challenging times for many people and businesses and we will support you in any way we can.

Free help

A reminder we are offering free help to all clients who need help putting together cash flows and other planning documents you may need during the recovery stage as we move out of lockdown. We are here to help and will give you an hour free time towards preparing these documents, pointing you in the right direction or reviewing various plans you have been working on.

Tell us what is happening

Let us know if you’re open for business so we can share the good news, we want to encourage everyone to do as much business locally as possible. This is our community and to make sure it remains a great place to live, work and play we need to make sure we support every business in the region.

Tell us about your business – are you open again? What changes have you made to be able to operate in Level 3? We want to share the good news so tell us and we will tell others.

Buy local

As above, we urge you all to buy local and support local, small businesses are really suffering in these most unusual, unexpected and unplanned for times so they need as much help as they can get, every $10 you spend locally makes a big difference to local businesses.

You don’t need to buy everything online or make every meal a delivered meal but maybe treat yourself once a week to something tasty for a great local food business.

Personally we have made a point of having things we normally buy delivered by local producers and retailers and have already ordered some meals for delivery for later in the week.

Watch this space for an email about local restaurants doing home delivery for the next few weeks.

Stay safe

Finally, we trust you have managed to stay well and have been keeping safe, don’t drop the safety standards just yet because we don’t want Covid-19 to tighten its grip again meaning we have to go back to Level 4 lockdown for another four weeks.