The retro-style Olde Beach bakery at Waikanae conjures up images of a 1960s milk bar. However, as well as milkshakes, the bakery makes and sells 700 to 1000 homemade pies a week.
Assorted gourmet pies complement a wide selection of baked goods, including gluten- free berry friands ($4), breads, sandwiches ($7) and Foxton Fizz soft drinks.
It's the latest venture of the owners of the popular Long Beach Cafe across the road, and it's good to have on the block.
The Olde Beach bakery . . . is located on a cosy corner a couple of blocks back from the beach. With easy access for take-outs, it's a great spot to rest and relax during a day at the beach.
The interior is . . . small, compact and retro.
A 60s grass-green milkshake maker reinforces the retro theme, along with striped canvas deck chairs in the small outdoor eating area, as well as an old-world caravan selling fresh flowers and home-knitted babies' clothes.
The counter, shelves lining the walls and a pie warmer brim with golden-topped homemade pies, savouries and loaves made on the premises using butter.
The overall feeling of the place is . . . quirky, retro and cool. Customers of all ages stream in and out for their favourite treats, most wearing casual holiday clothes and enjoying banter with the chatty owner, Todd Cameron, a trained interior designer who worked in an Italian restaurant on the Californian coast.
It's pleasant to sit in the small outdoor area, which features retro tables and chairs, a raised vegetable and herb garden, a good crop of sweet corn and an old pushbike painted bright red, propped against a produce shed.
I am tempted by the . . . beef-cheek and red-wine pie ($5.50), which contains large chunks of tender, succulent beef in a rich, tasty red wine sauce. The pastry is distinctly buttery and light.
Other tempting treats include . . . pork and fennel pie and small mince pastries ($3.50), french sticks, baguettes, ciabatta, cheese scones, tarts, cream doughnuts and iced mudcake cupcakes.
My coffee is . . . a long black - Flight Coffee, produced by award- winning Wellington roasters at The Hangar. While it has a good flavour, it could have had a bit more cream.
The sounds are . . . upbeat folksy music, adding to the quirky summery ambience.
The Olde Beach bakery, 3 Ono St, Waikanae
Phone: 04 293 7641
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 6.30am to 4pm; Saturday and Sunday, 6.30am to 3pm.
- The Dominion Post