Kaukapakapa Store

The smell of the Kaukapakapa Store has stayed with me from a little girl - I just loved the dry musty scents,  and to my young mind the idea of selling everything from stock food to roman sandals to ice creams was the ultimate fantasy.  The first Kaukapakapa General Store (pictured) was opened by my great grandfather, Frank Dye, in 1872,and later run by my Grandfather Harry, with his brother Percy. The idea was apparently borne from the struggle to buy goods needed to run their home in those early days. By the time I visited, the store had shifted to across the road from my grandparents home, and a was centre for the community. This memory has been a huge part of my vision for our little project - just a few minutes walk from our home, so we are always close, and a place nestled in our community where people can buy produce they will feel good about.

Glendowie Bay on the Tamaki Estuary

I will keep the interior very simple, so the produce takes centre stage, with colours from the nature - the taupes and silvers of the dried flax flowers, shells, driftwood and the mudflats of the Tamaki estuary  I  see from the shop window.

So many people I meet  have a clear idea of how they would like to live; a natural life, surrounded by friends and family,enjoying simple pleasures. Too often this is thwarted by the stresses of work and family commitments. Life is to be enjoyed, and our project will be to find products to enhance the enjoyment of our homes. Good food, bathroom treats, and even some items to make housework a little more pleasurable. I think housework should smell nice, and make us feel virtuous!

We are so lucky in New Zealand to have such a variety of wonderful, fresh, produce easily available. And, in Glendowie, we have locals who supply manufactured and imported goods all over the country, and we are only 10 minutes from the veg and flower markets. 

I have been looking at this sketch Holly drew of a boat stored up behind the GBC clubhouse and thinking what a great gift card it would be. We have other local artists who are doing the same - Sally Lornie is putting her gorgeous photos onto cards and they look sensational. Great things made by people we know...

 It will be wonderful to get all this together.

I think we spend about $400 per week on groceries in this house - $20,000.00 per year. It just should be more fun!

I am trying as many new products as I can, working on what will be "the best" to stock. The new packages of Bakels flour are so convenient, and they have a non wheat raising agent. While gluten free is not  for everyone, those who need it to be well celebrate any convenience they are offered. My children said these were the best cupcakes we have had for a ages...
Gluten free Chocolate Cupcakes
125gms butter or Olivani
3 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa (check your ingredients on the cocoa packet to ensure it is just cocoa - some of them have tricks)
1 1/2 cups Bakels gluten free flour
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup milk (dairy or substitute)
1 tsp vanilla
Beat fast for 3 minutes until smooth. Bake 180 for 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm when pushed with finger.

1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp soft butter or Olivani
1-2 tsp hot water of strong coffee


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