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Doors open for Coromandel food producers thanks to Food Show 2019

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Artisan cheese-maker Mercury Bay Creamery is due to open a boutique store at Auckland’s busy Eastridge Shopping Centre in Mission Bay, selling its organic cheeses and raw milk, which come fresh from the farmgate at Whitianga.

The exciting move is thanks largely to being involved with the Coromandel Food Collective at the Auckland Food Show.

Shoppers will be able to select from the creamery's range of camembert, brie, merlots, manchegos, feta and butter kase cheeses, while also taking home a taste of the Coromandel from other complementary home-grown food products such as honey and vinaigrettes, which Mercury Bay Creamery plans to stock alongside its dairy goods in-store.

Mercury Bay cheeses are already served up at the high-end Auckland restaurant One Tree Grill as well as the Park Hyatt Auckland hotel and another national hotel and convention centre, with the restaurant market now providing two-thirds of its revenue - not bad for a small business that launched in early 2018.

Owner and cheesemaker Carl Storey (pictured above) says these are all doors that opened after attending last year’s Auckland Food Show as part of the Coromandel Food Collective - a network of niche local food producers.

Mercury Bay Creamy returned to the Food Show for a second year in July, alongside four other local food producers. The project is a Council-funded initiative, through our economic development arm, with producers contributing to be part of the stand. It's one of the ways our Council can help promote and support local, homegrown businesses and market the Coromandel as a food destination.

"The Coromandel Food Collective shows people we’re not just bush and a few nice beaches here on the Coromandel; there is a lot more going on," Carl says.

Mercury Bay Creamery cheeses were picked up by another three new restaurants at this year's show, which means business is really hotting up. There are plans afoot for a retail presence in central Whitianga and to double the size of the factory on Tairua-Whitianga Rd - a direct result of its restaurant accounts. With production volumes up, the business is looking to hire more staff.

"We wouldn’t have expanded without those restaurants, which we wouldn’t have picked up without the Food Show," Carl says.

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