Wānaka’s Fresh Link grocery store has a simple mantra – “it’s all about real food”.
Owner Jesse Herbert grew up on a remote farm on the North Island’s east coast where they grew and produced much of their own food including milk, cheese and bread.
Based on this experience he developed his food market business idea while studying at university, wanting to give people the opportunity to re-connect and have access to whole foods, grown locally.
“I like to use the Māori word, kai, because it can’t be misconstrued. It simply means food and that’s our singular focus at Fresh Link. When you shop here you should be able to recognise all the ingredients on the back of a package as actual food. That means no preservatives, stock, thickeners, e- numbers or emulsifiers – what we are is 100 per cent food.”
Fresh Link supplies daily essentials including meat, bread, eggs and dairy alongside a range of dry goods and sustainable household products.
“In many ways we’re creating a traditional marketplace for these producers being somewhere between a supermarket and a weekend marketplace.”
The store, at 82 Anderson Road, is open seven days and online shopping will shortly be available. Jesse and his team of ten are committed to sharing an authentic food connection with their customers.
“Customers very quickly understand our whole foods concept when they step through the door. Our oat and dairy milks come in glass bottles made in New Zealand, our fresh meats are wrapped in paper and we only sell fresh, naturally fermented sourdough bread that arrives daily from Wānaka and Queenstown.”
“The store is diet neutral so it doesn’t really matter what the food agenda might be, whether its vegan, vegetarian, paleo, environmental or traditional the shop is for everyone,” says Jesse. “We are consumer friendly and above all provide that traditional Kiwi grocer experience.”