• Lise Jordain.
  • Ann O'Sullivan.

Local Life NZ in December/January

Lise, Cosi Fan Tutte

“There have been so many moments of connection – of tears, laughter, cake-eating, coffee-drinking – and even a little dancing. Our block of retailers get on so well and we all support each other and share a laugh. Karen Yarnton next door has the best cake and slice recipes and Sam from Vondel popped in the other day with some food as he knew I wouldn’t have been able to get out for lunch.
“I won’t deny this lockdown has been hard going for us as a bricks and mortar business at what is usually our busiest time of year. But the support from our customers has been amazing, and we’re so grateful for this.
“The biggest thing I take from this is that people matter above all else. Even the smallest things can make the biggest difference to your day.
“I grew up here in Devonport and I’m proud of our village and how we look out for each other. Cosi is my happy place – it’s so much more than just a store to me. I love the fact that we have staff that I remember as little kids, and that we get to hear about our customers’ new grandchildren. We’re all family here.”
– Lise Jordain, manager, Cosi Fan Tutte, Devonport

Ann O'Sullivan Pottery

“I do love making pots and making people happy.  I do love business – I can’t help myself.”
Ann owned a number of successful cafés in Sydney, but she was a potter long before she got into hospitality. She started Corellis in Devonport on her return to New Zealand in 2010, after hankering for a place where she could have a coffee after 3pm. She grew it with the knowledge that she wanted to do something different. “The fun is getting something going and making a place where the community can gather,” she says.
She was always a little nervous about putting her pottery in the café, but people grew to love it.  First it was the plates, and then people demanded to drink out of handmade cups. “There was no handmade experience in a cup from Briscoes,” she says.  
She believes people are more mindful of what they spend their money on now, and they love to know the story behind what they’ve bought. Whether it’s anchors, crowns, Virgin Marys, yellow-eyed penguins or Miffy, Ann puts a bit of what she loves into everything she makes.
Ann originally hails from the West Coast of the South Island, but says that “Devonport’s the only place in New Zealand worth living in now.”
– Ann has a pottery studio at 139 Vauxhall Road, Devonport.  For opening hours and to contact Ann, you can message via Facebook or Instagram @AnnOsullivanPottery

Justin Burke, UGLYS Produce

Justin Burke’s 40-year career in the travel industry survived the Global Financial Crisis, 9/11, SARS – even the oil crisis of ’79 – but it was COVID-19 that finally put paid to his long-term vocation last year. “And then I asked myself what I’d really like to be doing,” he said.
“Things come together when you have time to get clear space,” he says. A fan of door-to-door sales in the 90’s – before internet shopping was a thing – Justin hit upon the idea of selling excess, straight-from-the-tree, locally-sourced fruit when he realised that his food purchasing had become identifiable on price only. “Food has become anonymous,” he says, “I want to know where it’s come from, how it’s been grown, and how much the food producers care about their product.”
UGLYS harvests fruit and herbs from around the neighbourhood – a bountiful supply of freshly-picked lemons, grapefruit, oranges, mandarins, kaffir limes, green bananas, avocados and rosemary – leaves some with the owners, gives a proportion to the community box and sells the rest locally, earmarking a percentage of funds for local schools, clubs and church groups. Suffice to say, nothing goes to waste -- it’s a win-win all around. Justin’s wife Kathy also uses the excess to make lemon curd and grapefruit marmalade, while daughter Gen, a talented design graduate, has fashioned the UGLY brand into all number of promotional opportunities. Justin sells direct from his fruit stall every weekend morning and is the consummate salesman, enticing passers-by with a free grapefruit “so they can see what real fruit tastes like,” he says. “No matter how ugly it might look.”
You can find UGLYS produce at 25 Clarence Street every Saturday morning from 9am-12pm across from the Devonport Community House and at the Fresh Market on Clarence Street, Devonport. There is also an UGLYS Koha box at 25 Clarence Street open 7 days a week. Justin also offers local deliveries.

Picnics that pack a punch

Picnicking on the beach is perfect at this time of year, and al fresco dining with friends just got a whole lot more fun with some great picnic food supplies on offer from local Devonport businesses.
Signal Hill boasts four different picnic hamper options that covers a range of different tastes, needs and cuisines.  The William Oliver Hamper for two people ($45) is a delicious array of fresh, clean tastes, including house smoked king salmon with a refreshing quinoa salad; a burrata cheese, rocket pesto and tomato mix, set off with a bang-bang dressing; charred flatbread with hummus and dukkah; and rounded off with a dreamy baked cheesecake mousse with macadamia cookie crumble.  Other options include a pork belly dinner for two ($55, complete with charcoal steamed bao buns); spatchcock dinner for two ($60); and the Signal Hill Classic ($110) which serves four people and takes picnics to another level with braised lamb shoulder, agria potato with truffle mascarpone and chargrilled asparagus.
If you’re looking for a vegan option, try the cold rolls and cauliflower salad served daily at the Living Room on Victoria Road, which also boasts mighty fine nachos and polenta fries; or the range of cabinet food from Lily Eatery around the corner on Wynyard Street which includes homemade quiche, brioche, sausage rolls and muffins.  
Fishy Business on Lake Road does some of the best value and best quality sushi around, if you’re looking for a platter to share with friends on the beach. A family-sized sushi platter of 48 pieces is $35.00, while smaller portions are available for $6 and $7.50, depending on the size of sushi you want.  
If you want to take the stress out of picnic planning, Devonport caterers Floss and Bec can do it all for you.  They provide bespoke picnic-style grazing tables, which you can enjoy both indoors or outdoors.

Signal Hill Takeaway Menu:
Wed-Fri 4.30pm-7.30pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-7.30pm
Tel 09 445 0193

Living Room
Open daily, 10am-4pm
09 4461010

Floss and Bec
Bespoke Grazing Tables
and Event Styling
Contact: felicity@flossandbec.co.nz

Lily Eatery
Open daily, 8am-4pm
09 445 0243

Fishy Business
Open daily, 10am-10pm
Deliveries available
09 445 7333

Issue 126 December-January 2021