Station cafe plans chugging along
Gourmet icecream, wild meat sausages, and coffee roasted on site is the vision for a new cafe to open at the Blenheim Railway Station.
Havelock man Jeremy Harris and his partner Leanne Banno took over the lease of the historic building last week.
The couple planned to create an artisan cafe and a shop that sold Marlborough crafts and produce. The right half of the building would be transformed into the cafe, where gourmet icecream and wild meat sausages would be made on-site in an open-plan kitchen. A coffee roastery would also be on-site, Harris said.
On the other side of the building, people could rent space to sell craft and produce, similar to what was available at Marlborough markets, he said.
"We want to create a retail hub for small producers," he said.
The couple own two restaurants in Auckland called Kiwi Kiss, the same name as their award-winning icecream - which took home three golds, two silvers, and a best of category at this year's New Zealand Ice Cream Awards.
Harris, originally from Nelson, said the aim was to apply the same principle behind their Auckland restaurants while keeping the historical theme of the building.
"We want to use really good, local ingredients, but make it a bit more casual than what we have in Auckland," he said.
"We're hoping all the visitors to the region will stop here on their way to the iSite and park up."
They were still waiting on resource consent, but hoped to be open by October, he said.
"People can come in and have a taste of Marlborough with the best local ingredients used in an innovative way," he said.
"We want it to be an attraction, but somewhere local people can also come and enjoy an icecream, or a hot chocolate or hot drinking custard in the winter."
The couple had talked about opening a cafe in Marlborough for a long time, he said.
"I spend a lot of my time commuting, but I prefer it here. It's a lifestyle choice."
The KiwiRail-owned New Zealand Heritage Trust building has been vacant since renovation work in March 2012.
The Marlborough Express