Words by Amber Bremner Images by Tasha Meys

Tamahere local Angie Millar was out for a run one morning when she had the bright idea to open a salad and smoothie bar to serve the local community.

POPPYPEACH opened in Tamahere Village in May 2021, a colourful oasis serving a range of healthy but delicious food. Gourmet toast, buckwheat crêpes, breakfast bowls and cabinet salads are on offer alongside fresh baking, raw treats, luscious smoothies and Rocket coffee.

The menu caters for all eaters, with plenty of dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free and vegan options. The common thread is the menu’s focus on nutritionally dense food made with fresh, wholesome, real ingredients.

New to hospitality, Angie found her feet fast. “We were insanely busy in those first few weeks. We worked very long days and I basically didn’t see my family for six weeks. There was a lot to learn. Ashleigh Brodie from Weave and Haley Bicknell from Punnet were really generous with their advice and I’m eternally grateful for their support.”

That support has been given back to our local suppliers too. Angie says it was really important to find suppliers who shared her values, which led her to Rocket Coffee and Raglan Food Co for coffee beans and coconut yoghurt. “We love that they operate ethically and have relationships with their farmers. We also get some of our fruit and veg from local grower Tomtit Farms.”

Angie doesn’t do things by halves. A mother of four, managing director of a nursing agency, and mastermind of the Divine Eats cookbook which raised over $500k for Tamahere Model Country School, she was able to draw on her skills to pull together a talented team that has the kitchen and front of house humming.

It’s this kind of do-it-all way of thinking that has contributed to both the success of the eatery and the shape of its menu. “Busy people need to take care of their wellbeing and fuel themselves with nutritious food. I was always on the go myself and felt our community really needed somewhere they could pick up a quick, healthy meal.”

The community agreed and POPPYPEACH has become a place that brings people together. Angie says the location is ideal. People come to visit the walkways, bike the cycle trail or have fun at the playground, then pop in for a quick bite. “Lots of people come in for their morning coffee or smoothie bowl, then take away a salad or one of our legendary cinnamon scrolls for later.”

And about those cinnamon scrolls. “I love to cook for people and want them to have the best experience. We figured out pretty early on that people want and need balance. So we have our healthier options, and then we have things like our brown butter cinnamon scrolls and salted caramel whoopie pies that both sell out each time we mention them on Instagram.”

Karla Beard, formerly of Two Birds and Raglan’s Wyld Eatery, has recently taken on the position of head chef and is looking forward to putting her own spin on the menu. Crowd favourites like the OG Avo Toast will of course remain, along with more savoury cabinet food and lunch specials a few times a week.

“We’ve got a really cool team,” says Angie. “Everyone is positive and works together to make POPPYPEACH the best it can be. We love being part of the Tamahere community and seeing our regulars come in every day for their favourites. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, we have had some booming weekends.”

Mask wearing has led to a few laughs. There have been a few small flat whites made when in fact the customer wanted a tall flat white. But on the whole everyone has taken it in their stride, and the team quickly adapted to contactless orders and pickups.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved,” says Angie. “I love a good project. I love to entertain, and I’m a creative person. Opening POPPYPEACH has given me so much joy, and now we’re focused on the future. I’m full of optimism.”

POPPYPEACH is open seven days a week, from 7am on weekdays, 8am on Saturdays and 9am on Sundays.


Shop 4, 65 Devine Road, Tamahere Village, Hamilton


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