Working at Hamish's icecream parlour over the summer has obvious benefits, even if a summer's worth of scooping leads to an overdeveloped right arm.
Hamish's is named after Mapua's famous resident heron, who visited the wharf each winter for more than 20 years.
Owner Adele Calteaux bought the business four years ago, and runs it with the help of her children Emily, 15, Lauryn, 13 and Jason, 12. As well as sorbet and real fruit soft serve, there are more than 30 different flavours available in the chiller. Exotic choices like liquorice, coffee and walnut, after-dinner mint and "Pinky Winky" are all there, but Ms Calteaux said the most popular were chocolate for adults and rainbow for children.
She said she was well used to being surrounded by frozen goodies as her father had an ice-cream cart in Timaru while she was growing up.
"We certainly had a lot of people coming around," she said. "I can't say I spend much time eating ice-cream now."
Ms Calteaux said she set the parlour up as a young mother after struggling to find a restaurant to which she could take her sandy children after a visit to the beach.
As well as her children, Ms Calteaux has a regular crew of university students working part-time when they come home for the summer. "Luckily, being in Mapua, I get to keep my eye on all the kids around town and then when they walk in the door, I go, ‘Yep, I'll have you'."
Emily and Lauryn have worked at Hamish's since they were under 10. Ms Calteaux said the girls were now so experienced that they could run the parlour unaided if need be.
"You get to meet people from other countries who come and use the ferry, it's fun," said Lauryn. "Everyone's really nice."
Her favourite ice-cream flavour was raspberry frozen yoghurt, but if customers didn't know what they wanted, she asked them questions to try to figure out what kind of tastes they liked best.
After a summer of rolling ice-creams, her right arm usually got stronger than her left, but being in and out of the freezers constantly was not a problem. "You stay warm because you're working hard."
The Tasman District Council announced before Christmas it was negotiating to buy the building housing Hamish's, Golden Bear Brewery and Cool Change gallery. Ms Calteaux said this was just as well. "Honestly, [closing Hamish's] couldn't happen because there would be a riot in this town."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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