Buckland store a family affair
Buckland people can finally pop down the road for a burger and chips, or a pint of milk.
For years, residents had to travel to Pukekohe or Tuakau for grocery basics or takeaways, but now they are spoilt with the opening of the Buckland Store and Tearooms.
A family from Weymouth has transformed the old, vacant general store into a modern dairy with a traditional art deco-style tearooms next door.
Business is already booming; the facility is obviously serving a demand and the owners are indebted for the support received from residents.
"The community has been so supportive and we are so grateful," manager Simone Katavich says. "We are now trying to give them even more we hope to have post boxes outside soon and we are doing the Buckland School lunches."
The Buckland Store and Tearooms truly is a family business. While Simone works the floor and counter, her sister, chef Andrea, is in the kitchen. Mum Lenis helps out when she can and brother Matthew also does his bit.
And when it gets hectic on the weekends, Simone and Andrea's partners get busy in the kitchen. Simone explains that starting the business was a long-term dream of her mother and stepfather Martin Mudford.
Sadly, Martin died before the project was completed. His untimely death, coupled with building and consent delays, meant the tearooms took a long time to open, and the family is grateful for the community's patience.
However, judging by the business' popularity, it was worth the wait.
The dairy sells basic grocery items and ice-creams, as well as takeaways.
The already famous Buckland Beast and Buckland Beauty burgers have proved a hit.
Notably, the dairy does not sell cigarettes. Simone and Lenis say it's about being community-minded and because the shop is so close to the school.
Next door, the elegant tearooms serve home-made, old-fashioned food cakes, scones, club sandwiches, iced cupcakes, party pies and Devonshire teas.
Simone stresses the tearooms are just that "we are not a cafe". They even do tea parties and specialise in New Zealand blended brews.
Everything is sourced locally the family is committed to supporting the community that supports them.
Franklin County News