If you think country stores are a thing of the past, then a rustic grocery that’s sprouting up in rural Raglan may make you think again.
The Little Kauroa Farm Shop – which will specialise in fresh, organic produce – is set to open early in the new year just off Te Mata Rd.
All the venture’s waiting on now is for one or two tradies to finish off the store that Pond Rd farmer Jo Bloomer has long envisioned.
Meantime “it’s all go here on the farm,” she told the Chronicle – and to illustrate her point sent on-site gardener Sez Fitzpatrick into Raglan recently laden with baskets of vegetables and herbs for locals to sample.
Grown in soil fertilised by sheep manure from under the shearing shed on Ratanui farm – part of the old Kauroa block – the veggies “came screaming out of the ground”, Jo reckons. “No tunnel houses, no plastic.”
Having established this year – with partner Ross Loveridge – a premium firewood business from onetime tornado-strewn trees across the property, Jo’s now on a mission to sell other “stuff” off the historic farm she describes as a garden of Eden.
Jo and Sez got busy in spring making garden girl scarecrows that emit bird-repellent sounds, raising crops from seeds and caring for a very old organic orchard.
The shop has been built using timber and relics salvaged from disused farm buildings, including windows unearthed from an old shed. All that’s needed now are a few finishing touches.
It’s to be a “destination” shop, Sez explains, where locals can come and buy from locals. Ideally others in the area will also want to pitch in, selling their own handicrafts and produce such as honey, eggs and milk.
“It’s not about (making a) huge profit,” she stresses.