Words by Victoria Russell, images by Sheryl Nicholson
Janet Edmond admits she is a “mad keen fisherman!” Her team’s recent big win in the NZ Nationals Fishing competition with a 300kg marlin is testament to Janet’s obsession. But it was after a three month cooking course at Ballymore in Ireland, under the tutelage of renowned chef, Darina Allen that she had “a light bulb moment”. Janet says, “I wanted to support local producers and to set up a business championing New Zealand artisan food products.”
So after 25 years of living Europe, working in the healthcare system with a focus on nutrition, Janet made the big move back to Waihi Beach, living close to the sea to enjoy her love of fishing and presenting an opportunity for Janet and business partner Joanne Curd to open Farm Gate Deli.
Farm Gate Deli on the main street in Waihi Beach opened 18 months ago and has proved a huge success. The company recently opened a second store, this time in Mount Maunganui. Both shops are open seven days a week and the staff are passionate and knowledgeable about the products they stock from the fresh produce to the gourmet goodies lining the shelves. “We stock specialised products for keen cooks and want to encourage people to use New Zealand ingredients wherever possible,” Janet explains. “Recently we had a customer wanting to buy real maple syrup, which is not produced in New Zealand, so we were able to suggest a wonderful local apple syrup as an excellent alternative.”
Janet is a firm believer in supporting local and community-based initiatives. You can expect to find organic veggies from Pathway’s Fantail Gardens in Waihi, sourdough breads from local bakery Flaveur, but don’t expect to find fresh meat. “I don’t want to take business away from local butchers,” says Janet. Both shops are open every day except Christmas day, when you’ll find Janet cooking at the Salvation Army.
Whilst you are browsing the shelves you can sip on an organic coffee and have a treat from the cabinet food to nibble on. The food is health conscious and allergy conscious with raw and gluten free options available.
Both Farm Gate Delis have a similar feel, welcoming and are stocked with interesting ingredients. “The cabinets,” Janet says, “are filled with foods such as homemade chicken liver pate, scotch eggs, seasonal salads, and fresh scones and cakes including our renowned raw chocolate caramel slice and bliss balls and there is always a ham glazed by us that customers can buy by the slice.” There are ready meals to take home, such as lasagnes, curries and soups. Friday is “fish day” with great additions like smoked fish pies and fishcakes.
Janet says “Ninety percent of the store is filled with NZ made or produced products and there is no scrimping on quality.” Although she does admit there are a few exceptions to the NZ-only rule, like the authentic Italian Parmesan cheese they stock.
Next time you are after a delicious ready-made dinner, that something extra special to jazz up your meal, a speciality artisan ingredient or even just some culinary inspiration, pop into Farm Gate Deli and have a chat to the team.
Farm Gate Deli
31 Wilson Rd, Waihi Beach
143 Maunganui Rd, Mt Maunganui