One year ago, as our country moved through the Alert levels out of lockdown back to Level 1, we rediscovered the delights of having someone else prepare a meal for us. Had we ever before had such an appreciation for eating out? Of having someone else cook a meal for us and the little touches like a fern poured into the foam of your flat white or flower petals and a smattering of icing sugar across your plate?
Around the same time, on the other side of the world, in Munich to be exact, a young woman by the name of Linda Cywinski had also been prompted by Covid to ponder a few of her favourite things. At the top of her list was a return to Aotearoa, her country of birth, alongside a long-held dream to own a restaurant.
In June 2020 Linda spotted a restaurant listed for sale on the net. A grand white weatherboarded old lady on the banks of the Waimata River in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, Gisborne. Linda found herself falling in love and not long after, fourteen years after they had left, Linda returned to New Zealand with her parents and two brothers. But rather than returning to Palmerston North where she had grown up, they came to settle in Gisborne, a place none of them had ever so much as visited.
Linda admits it has been a bit of an adjustment from the fast paces of Munich, but she is grateful for the friendliness of people here, the abundance of beaches and the focus on lifestyle amongst Gisborne locals.
As for the object of Linda’s affections, the Marina Restaurant as we know it, is about to get quite the makeover… After six months of settling into her Gisborne groove and getting to know her guests, Linda is ready to make a fresh start.From July 1st the Marina Restaurant will become Globe representing a move toward a more relaxed and communal style of eating and as suggested by the name change, an International flavour. The menu will be designed around sharing plates from five continents, Europe, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas, which will move with the seasons.
The International flavour will extend beyond the establishment’s interior towards the riverbank, where a large deck is being built to make the most of the location to house a German beer garden – finally, a place to relax with friends on the river! At the heart of the rebrand and change in direction is a desire to create a fun and relaxed environment for Gizzy’s after work crowd, with a focus on encouraging interaction between guests..long tables, tall beer handles and food made for sharing! (Although Linda assures us you can order for yourself if you prefer.)
Talking to Linda it seems this particular dream has been a long-time brewing. Growing up in New Zealand with German parents, she travelled a lot, returning to her parent’s homeland every year or two. Some of Linda’s strongest childhood memories are from these trips; staying at hotels, eating out at restaurants with family and friends, and playing at being the waitress for her fellow diners.
Linda learnt to cook at a young age and her course was truly set when she enrolled in one of the top schools for hospitality management in Europe. She did her internships at establishments with gruelling standards, where performance is measured by a stop watch as well as output. But Linda says she enjoyed the high pressure environment and reckons the crazy fast pace is the fun part of hospitality.
Gisborne patrons to the soon-to-be-opened Globe need not fear a stopwatch approach to service however. Linda is most looking forward to creating a space in which people want to linger longer, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the company of others. Ultimately this is what drives Linda’s passion for hospitality – she relishes hearing people having fun and connecting with one another and is excited about opening an establishment designed around this premise.
Marina Restaurant will close on June 5 for three weeks, reopening as The Globe on July 1 2021 with a three-day launch event, featuring live music and performers, the new menu with a couple of special cocktails and dishes to celebrate, and with a beer garden in tow. We can’t wait!
It’s normal to get nervous before a date, right? What about a business date? I’d signed myself up for Business Speed Dating, a business networking event hosted by Tāiki e! in collaboration with Gisborne Chamber of Commerce. I’d also committed to writing an article on it, so no backing out now. Sometimes you’ve just gotta put yourself out there.
The place is already pumping when I arrive at Tāiki e! Impact House in Treble Court on Thursday night. It’s not even the advertised start time of 6:30 pm yet. I thought the Gizzy thing was to arrive late? Everyone is chatting away and happy to include someone new in their conversation. Strangers approach me and introduce themselves. As a new face I am in demand! Oh cool, there’s wine! Beer. Juice. Pizza. These folks have thought of everything.
As someone who struggles to remember names, I’m grateful that people are wearing name tags. There’s one for me on the table too. I don’t have to muddle along by myself, everyone is really helpful. More gratitude when I see my name is spelt correctly.
It’s just as well Cain and Seda have a microphone to announce the start of the event and how the evening’s going to run. We’re getting pretty loud. Those of us with tags written in green go sit on one side. We have to stay put for the evening. The folks with the black name tags move around to the left. We have 5 minutes to find out a bit about each other. Get your business cards ready!
It’s all a bit of a whirlwind from there. In quick succession, I meet 10 locals, tell them why I’m there, and find out about them. Many have gained skills away from home that they want to share with Te Tairāwhiti. Have I said I was impressed yet? I’m impressed. There’s some innovative stuff happening in our quiet corner of Aotearoa. I’ve never come across so many inspiring people who care about our community in one place before. Ever better, there’s plenty of crossover. Phil Kupenga hit the nail on the head, describing his goal to bring technology knowledge to the region. He said let’s be more future ready than shovel ready.
The event focus is on business networking in a fun and friendly environment. You can share your contact information and decide who you’d like to follow up with. It’s a great way to boost professional networks, generate new business leads and find other skills and wisdom within the community. As they say, It’s all about who you know.
The event is for anyone, budding or established entrepreneurs and anyone else interested in meeting new people and building their networks. The next one will be advertised on Taiki e’s Facebook page and you’ll need to register through Eventbrite.
A local business venture is pitching in to reduce the number of tents that end up in landfill after festivals and events around Aotearoa and, just as it has its beginnings here in Gisborne, it will be launched at Waiohika Estate for Rhythm & Vines 2020-21.
Meet Lisa Taylor, otherwise known as Camp Mother to thousands of kids who have passed through the gates of RnV over the past 15 years. Lisa first stepped into her role as Camp Mother in 2007, when she was employed to manage one of the BW Campgrounds. In that first year her team were responsible for 1500 campers, a number which swelled over the years, culminating in the 4000 punters that camped at Te Kuri A Tuatai Marae under Lisa and her crew’s care.
Lisa attributes the success of the campgrounds she’s managed over the years, “we’ve only ever had to cut one wristband” she says, to the spirit of manaakitanga, a way of receiving their visitors which comes naturally to her and her crew of camp managers and staff, which has remained fairly consistent over the years.
Lisa’s role has now extended to HOD Festival Camp Manager, managing all of the eight campsites and staff, which this year includes seven Camp Managers. All of the Camp Managers except one are women, Māori, and “bloody amazing” Lisa says. “They’ve got that natural manaaki, which they bring from the marae. As soon as the kids arrive we’re looking after them. By the time they leave, they’re calling us ‘Aunty’, ‘Whaia’ or ‘Bro’”.
The Camp Managers see their main jobs as keeping their campers safe, “We look at it like, that could have been my daughter or my son – we know we’d be grateful that there was someone looking after them”. By the end of each festival, life stories have been shared, and many a new Facebook friendship has been formed between staff and campers.
Lisa strongly believes that camping is one of the success stories for R&V. She notices more and more kids coming back year after year and she says that often tickets are selling before the lineup has even been announced, “What it’s done is it’s flipped the whole experience of R&V on its head I suppose. Kids are now coming for the experience rather than just the lineup”.
Lisa reckons they were quite strategic about how they went about managing the camps, especially those early days, “knowing our communities more than anyone, we were able to mitigate any mischief making. We had some hearty locals stay at our campsite to uphold a kind of family atmosphere that encouraged good behaviour”.
In collaboration with one of R&V and BW’s founders, Andrew Witters, Lisa has now applied that same underpinning of kaupapa Māori, namely the principal of kaitiakitanga, to approach the problem of so-called single use tents at events such as R&V; that solution is called ‘Bookatent.’
As Andrew Witters puts it “there’s no hiding behind the fact that until now, two days after R&V there has always been this sea of rubbish, namely tents” and while enterprising locals had done their best to turn the situation into an opportunity by passing the tents onto charities to sell as fundraising, Andrew says that in reality “the issue had overwhelmed a lot of the charity groups – it became their problem”.
Bookatent has been created by Lisa and Andrew to provide sustainable tent solutions for events in New Zealand, which will be providing pre-pitched camping options at various festivals around the country this coming season, starting here with Rhythm & Vines.
Their Bookatent website provides an easy-to-use booking system for tent and ticket packages at the different events, offering punters a quality festival experience that starts with a purchase and ends with the good vibe of reducing their environmental impact at their favourite events. Bookatent has also joined the Sustainable Business Network Product Stewardship scheme with the catch cry ‘If you can’t “Love Your Tent”, love one of ours and we will use it again, and again, and again.’
Some of Lisa’s 200 camping staff start as early as August and last week began the mammoth task of pitching perfectly formed lines of tents ready for occupation come December 27. There are ranges of both nylon and canvas tents, catering to 2 – 4 people and with optional extras such as stretchers, which tackle the problem of airbeds – one of the worst offenders when it comes to landfill-fillers.
Rhythm & Vines is the first festival in Australasia to do anything of this scale, and the Bookatent team had one of the tent manufacturers there onsite for set up, for problem-solving and to help shape their future plans, in which they hope will include more and more event campsites filled with booked tents as opposed to cheap tents only fit for a single outing.
“We’re all learning” both Lisa and Andrew agree, but in bringing together their experiences from the past into play they hope that this new venture of theirs will not only make a big difference at Rhythm & Vines but will help change that particular aspect of festival culture across the country. They hope that Bookatent will provide a sustainable and affordable option for local groups, schools and events too – a local business which provides a local solution to a global problem.
Well, in the case of the Neighborhood Pizzeria – it was to get to the other side.
As of Labour Weekend the Neighborhood Pizzeria crew have gone from cooking pizzas in a shipping container, where they often faced crazy-making temperatures and only narrowly avoiding melting as concerned customers looked on closely, to restoring an old favourite haunt for many locals, formerly known as Cafe Villagio, just over the road in the Ballance Street Village.
In many ways, crossing the road has also been a case of coming full circle for owner Marcel Campbell. Thirty years ago Anna Walker took on the task of transforming an old Stucco home into what has been known since as Cafe Villagio. Framed photos on the wall of the new fit-out tell the story of the group of village locals that gathered around to help Anna realise her vision for the original reincarnation of the space.
At the time Marcel’s dad, Nigel Campbell’s pharmacy was next door where the bookshop is now, so Marcel’s family were amongst that crew of helpers. These past couple of weeks, “by the magic of Gizzy” as Marcel puts it, many of those original helpers including Anna Walker were back in there helping Marcel and his team get it all ready for its Labour Weekend Opening.
Marcel also served an apprenticeship of sorts when he worked in a waiter for sister Amy and brother in-law Dave when they owned Cafe Villagio some thirteen years or so ago, so after being away in the Bay of Plenty for a few years, this is as much a revisitation of the past as it is a new start for Marcel. That interplay between the past and these new beginnings was clearly front of mind when I sat down with Marcel just 48 hours before Opening Night.
Marcel likened the imminent Opening of the new and improved Neighborhood Pizzeria experience to the first few days at school, “The first couple of days don’t actually go that well” he said, remembering his first day at Central School, just a hop skip and jump down the road. He recalls not wanting to go; the anxiety of meeting other people’s expectations, and likened that to how he was feeling about the week ahead:
“Everyone wants it to be amazing, they want it to be good, and I think it’s going to be – we’ve just got to get through this first couple of weeks or so.” When we spoke, Marcel wasn’t even sure whether they were going to be able to open that week “that’s how Gizzy it is” with the pizza oven – an Italian Stallion – requiring more juice than a residentially-wired building can provide.
Ultimately though, it’s clear to Marcel, his team and all of the salivating locals that had been counting down the minutes until our new Local opened its doors, that the ingredients for a good time are all present and accounted for..
Take a simple base of pizza, a great wine list, Sunshine Brewery on tap and an outdoor area with Gisborne sunshine and plenty of room for the kids to tear about. Add your toppings of choice: Sunday sessions in the courtyard, art on the walls, sexy lighting, dining beneath the stars, after-work drinks, cocktails, a fire pit, old friends, new friends, local yokels and you have the new and improved Neighborhood Pizzeria experience, which is nothing short of good times.
As one of the locals whose path home passes directly alongside the new and improved Neighborhood Pizzeria, I fear for the waistlines of myself and my family, knowing how favourably the prospect of pizza, beer and impromptu fun are going to stack up against the gruelling daily reality of having to figure out what to cook for dinner on any given night.
However as was discussed on a balmy and buzzing evening at the Pizzeria last week, those ample waistlines are going to be more than compensated for by the kinds of community-building goodness that is set to go down at this new local hang out that we’ve all been hanging out for. Thanks Neighborhood Pizzeria for filling the gap X
Words by Sarah Cleave
Photographs X Tom Teutenberg.
Keep up with the pizza, cocktail & band of the week at @neighborhoodpizzeria on Facebook & the Insta.
If you’d like your business to be given the Gizzy Local treatment, get in touch! email@example.com
For many Whataupoko dwellers, Ballance Street Village lingerers, and lovers of fine secondhand goods alike, this view of Ro Darrall and Doris in graceful repose out on the porch, will be a familiar sight. Waving out to passersby, receiving visitors and customers, taking in the gentle bustle of the Ballance Street Village on a good day..
Ro Darrall’s porch provides the shop frontage to her beloved shop Retro, a veritable treasure trove of retro and vintage goods from household objects to furniture, jewellery and clothing.
The roots of Ro’s shop might be traced back to Ro’s childhood in Morrinsville and the many hours whiled away waiting and looking around the local Auction House as her mother, an avid collector of antiques, scoured the sprawling premises for elegant pieces to grace their home.
When Ro left school and headed to Auckland, it was probably her grandmother’s influence that saw her entering the fashion business. Her grandmother liked to attend fashion shows, bought a new wardrobe for every season and put on a fresh outfit at 5pm each day, ready to face the evening ahead in style.
Ro did her training in the Fashion Department at Milne and Choice, did a bit of modelling, was a Mary Quant cosmetic consultant for a while, and began collecting herself, “The op shops were fantastic back then.” Even then Ro would mostly go for objects from the 1940’s and 50’s eras because of “the design and the way things were made, they were made to last”.
After a while Ro set off travelling, off to experience the ‘Shipboard Life’ for a while. The ship Ro boarded ended up in Italy, which was where Ro got off. Some few years later later, she came to Gisborne to hang out at the beach for a summer, and “that was it really.”
During the 80’s and 90’s photography and music provided a colourful backdrop to Ro’s new life in Gisborne. For these she had her father to thank. Her dad had loved to make movies during her own childhood, and had bought Ro her first Box Brownie as a child. He had a couple of speakers permanently set up in the cowshed, presumably to woo the cows with Dean Martin and the likes, and was “always buying new 45s”.
So in amongst raising two beautiful children Ro also used to DJ at the Gladstone Road bar No9, “up in the rafters” and brought in House DJ’s from the cities during the late 80s and, as I’m sure anyone who was there at the time will also attest, “the place went off”. Ro was also doing family portraiture, wedding and commercial photography and has also put together her fair share of shows on Radio 2ZG, The Switch and Tūranga FM over the years, sticking with her two favourite genres House and Jazz.
It was after returning to Europe to watch her daughter Darnelle race at the World Rowing Championships in Eton, that Ro began collecting again in earnest with the idea of opening up a shop; a shop as it turned out, called Retro.
Ro loves all the people she gets to meet and the stories she gets told about the treasures that end up in Retro – stories she then gets to pass on to the people who buy them. There’s a bit of sadness too though, which is the nature of the job when all of the items in her shop come from people cleaning out their parent’s homes or people who are down-sizing from the family home to a unit or residential care. More often than not, that passing of items from one set of hands to another represents the end of an era.
To off-set that sadness though, Ro has plenty of local regulars as well as people visiting her shop from all over the country. Since Covid she says “it’s just like Christmas, it’s been so busy”. Busy with lots of people who just love this place, this place that Ro so clearly adores too.
You’d be forgiven for not knowing there is a restaurant hidden inside the Gisborne RSA but, if you keep your eyes peeled to the corner of Derby Street and Childers Road around 5pm between Wednesdays and Sundays, you may just notice a crowd starting to gather.
Smokey Joe’s is a smokehouse buffet style eatery, which serves up “good, clean local food with local people in mind” says owner Joe Hutley.
Joe’s passion for food really began after travelling the world and tasting all the delights on offer. Bringing his love of food home, Joe established Spitfire, a full service catering business based on kai over charcoal. Using this as his base Joe and his team have catered numerous events including weddings, unveilings, and corporate events. His 6 metre Camo food trailer has become a staple in Gisborne’s food scene over the past few years.
You might have enjoyed one of Joe’s Spitfire burgers on a Sunday afternoon at Smash Palace, or perhaps more recently as we emerged out of lockdown into Level 3 and Joe set up his Spitfire gear on his front lawn on Ormond Road with a takeaway service. His burgers and whanau meals were flying out faster than he could make them.
It doesn’t get more Gizzy than that! Except, perhaps a restaurant in an institution like the ‘Razza’..
One Saturday night after a few quiets, the opportunity to build a restaurant within the RSA presented itself, and Joe jumped at it. Not only was Joe stoked about the great location but, after serving in the forces himself, it offered him the chance to give a little something back to an institution that has been struggling to survive for years across the country.
So with kids in tow, Joe set about clearing the rooms of forgotten treasures, painting, making furniture, and reinstating some of the original cabinetry to ensure that some of the choicest treasures might be displayed and able to be appreciated for years to come.
When Covid19 changed our world and lockdown hit the Spitfire team went to work to help the coastal community. Using his own resources, Joe and his team put 11,000kms on the clock with his chiller truck, ute and trailers over six weeks. They delivered 45 tonne of kai, chilled and dry goods and bins of fruit from different food providers, to various community groups, from Tolaga to Hicks Bay, who then distributed that food to whanau in need.
These days though you can find Joe back in the kitchen, serving up evening feasts of smoked meats and seafood, not to mention multiple vegetarian offerings to the happy masses. “I wanted to offer something different to our customers, something no one else is doing. I have taken my buffet-style of catering from Spitfire and put it into a restaurant. We offer 22 different options each night on our buffet and nothing is deep fried. No chips, nuggets or hotdogs for kids – they eat what the parents eat. It’s a change but it seems to be working”
You can find and book a table for Smokey Joes on Facebook Smokey Joe’s
Or of course at 184 Childers Rd in The RSA. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 5 – 9pm. Call on 867 7047