Couple set up site to find stalls
They could not believe their eyes. Stalls? On the side of the road? What? Honesty boxes? How bizarre.
Ana Aceves and Danny Sugar moved to New Zealand from England in 2010 and soon became enamoured with the concept of roadside stalls.
The pair, who run a design company from their Richmond home called Sugarcube Studios, have now launched a web-based community resource to share their love for fresh produce.
Ms Aceves, 43, and Mr Sugar, 34, have sunk their creative powers, computer nous, and time into StallSpot.
The website sprung out of the abundance of roadside stalls in New Zealand, and in particular, the Nelson region. It already lists about 60 fresh produce stalls, pick-your-own farms, farm shops and foraging spots in the area, and almost 40 others around the country.
Visitors can either search for the type of produce they want or search within a perimeter of an address.
It's free to add a new stall too, and stallholders can add additional information for a $10 fee.
Ms Aceves and Mr Sugar moved to Nelson from Christchurch soon after the February 22, 2011, earthquake, because their rental home in Redcliffs was a writeoff, with boulders through it.
Mr Sugar said Nelson's sunshine hours and "arty and crafty" populace drew them in, and "we love it".
"I think Christchurch has got a long road ahead of it before it's fully back on its feet. We had the choice of staying there or discovering somewhere new," he said.
Mr Sugar said StallSpot was their first "personal project" in their 10 years of running a design business together.
"We don't really expect this to become a big money spinner. It's just something we wanted to do. We're just hoping to get people interested and involved," he said.
The couple buy their non-perishable groceries online and get their fresh produce from the stalls they have found.
"When we first came to New Zealand, it was surprising to see these things by the road," Ms Aceves said. "It was a testament to Kiwi honesty and trust."
Mr Sugar added: "Within a very small area, you can just drive around and find anything you need."
For more information, see stallspot.co.nz.