Before taking on the café ventures the couple operated a ski lodge in Australia and developed hospitality for tourist operator Real Journeys in Milford Sound.
“I am not a trained chef but have always been a real foodie and involved with food,” says Jane. “It’s about people – I love people and looking after them.”
Jane worked on one of TVNZ’s earliest cooking shows with renowned chef Julie Biuso and instinctively wanted to start her own business. In 2003, while working for Destination Queenstown, she bumped into a friend and the idea for Provisions was borne.
“There were all these amazing wineries in Central Otago but no one doing ‘value added’ with local fruit. We took a lease in Old Cromwell town and started our own little artisan business producing bespoke preserves under the Provisions label.”
“We had the best time setting up and making innovative products that eventually led to starting the Cromwell Farmers Market as well.There was fun along the way like appearing on chef Al Brown’s Hunger for the Wild television show and the brand became very popular.”
During this time Jane set up Provisions of Arrowtown after discovering a charming historic cottage and garden available for rent.
“There were hardly any cafés in the town and I like old buildings so that was a done deal,” she says. “Cafés are wonderful spaces to interact with people and it was a lovely change from the preserves production line.”
“Later I found another historic building at the Frankton Marina which was an original boat shed and was able to createThe Boat Shed café & bistro in the premises.”
Both cafés follow a philosophy of fresh, contemporary and healthy food with plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes, delicious baking and treats.
“We make everything from scratch using local and seasonal produce and don’t buy things in,” says Jane. “That includes our breads, bagels, all the sauces and cakes – our food has a lot of integrity.”
Fresh baking is a real drawcard and Jane’s “obscenely good” sticky buns have developed a cult following.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t get people asking for the sticky buns or telling us they have heard about them and want to buy some. It was Australian MasterChef judge Matt Preston who coined the phrase “obscenely good” after he ate one here at Provisions and the name has stuck,” says Jane.
Each of the Shaw’s cafés has its own unique setting – Provisions in its idyllic Arrowtown cottage garden and The Boatshed on a superb waterfront site at Frankton Marina.
Both cafés specialise in only New Zealand made drinks, wine and beer and Allpress coffee.
“Allpress coffee is roasted in Dunedin, they are the best people to work with and the coffee is beautiful.”
Jane and her team are passionate about the food they produce and enjoy seeing their customers happy.
“I am so lucky with my kitchen and café team who do a wonderful job. My head chef Rebecca O’Malley and café manager Barbara Griffin at Provisions are an integral part of the business having been here since day one.We have a younger demographic at The Boatshed with head chef Jess Ross and café manager, Natalie Fearon.Together both cafés cater to a wide cross section of people and families.