Fresh food outlet brings city new life

GARDEN CITY 2.0: Helping to rebuild the city from the ground up.
GARDEN CITY 2.0: Helping to rebuild the city from the ground up.

Garden City 2.0 is helping to rebuild the city from the ground up.

The award-winning social enterprise has a focus on growing a more resilient local food system and has been organising food supplies and deliveries of locally grown organic produce throughout the city since May 2013.

Next week it will branch out and open a fresh produce market in Sumner.

Run by Bailey Peryman and Michelle Marquet it aims to support local food producers and bring new life and energy to the village.

The Garden City 2.0 store hopes to be a focal point to demonstrate the potency of local community, gardening, and sustainable retail as new ways of working in a new city.

It will be an experiment, through temporary use, of whether this kind of idea can work in Sumner, and to what extent.

"We have run a FoodBag delivery service which supports small farms, urban food producers and artisans in Christchurch for a year now," says Peryman.

"It has had a good uptake and loyal support from people in Sumner.

"As we have grown we have added in pick-up points around the city and now we're at the point where we can service a retail outlet."

The Sumner site in the courtyard of the former Almeidas Tapas Bar in the village mall was sourced by local initiative Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS).

Jane Gregg of LiVS says the site was secured after months of negotiations with the local owners who warmed to the idea of a local enterprise in start up mode who might be able to "grow" into the space as a permanent tenant when the building is eventually repaired.

The store has been completely fitted out with recycled items, including tables from the recently closed Pallet Pavilion. It will open on May 7 and its operating hours will be Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 3pm to 6pm or until produce is sold.

"We will continue to do our deliveries on Tuesday and Thursdays," says Peryman. "The store will be open on just those two weekdays, Wednesday and Friday, because we don't want to detract from farmers markets. The idea is to increase people's access to locally sourced organic produce."

Peryman describes it as a co-operative effort between Garden City 2.0 and supportive produce growers.

He is enthusiastic about "telling the story" of nutritious food and the local growers who produce it.

"The city has a deep and rich history of food production. People lead busy lives and it's about reconnecting them with the fresh food which is readily available in our communities."


The Press