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Fleur Sullivan is a restaurateur
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Fleur Sullivan is a restaurateur
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Fleur Sullivan is a restaurateur
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"There's a whole new interest in what's healthy and good and local and seasonal."
2 April 2010

Fleur Sullivan is a restaurateur

Interview by Kate Bezar
John Coghill and Jeff Kerr

Kate Bezar on Fleur Sullivan

Fleur Sullivan is an absolute character; down-to-earth, intelligent, gutsy, fun and passionate. Throughout her life, she has turned the things she’s felt strongly about into successful businesses. First there was Dunstan House in Clyde, a ‘dinner, bed and breakfast’, then there was Olivers, award-winning accommodation and a restaurant, and most recently Fleurs Place, a seafood restaurant on the Old Jetty in Moeraki. Fleur went to Moeraki to retire, but soon befriended the locals, as is her way, went out on their fishing boats, heard tales of hardship and decided to do something about it.

She thought, if she had a small caravan on the side of the road she could buy their fish and make wonderful soup to sell to drivers by. Those who know Fleur wouldn’t have been surprised when the caravan turned out to be just the beginning of a whole new chapter.

This story originally ran in issue #24 of Dumbo Feather

Discussed in this Story

KATE BEZAR: You mentioned yesterday that you were going to have a really busy night in the restaurant with a couple of parties from other restaurants coming in. How’d it go?

FLEUR SULLIVAN: It was great, everyone had a lovely time. It was sort of like a Christmas party. Chefs like to go to other restaurants and see what they’re doing, although some people don’t tell you till after they’ve been that they’re chefs or industry.

That must be flattering.

It’s an honour that they choose to come to you, but to be fair there’s not that many other places they could go!

So I’m guessing you come from good South Island farming stock?

Yes, but only small farming, family farming. It was pioneer stuff, it was how my grandparents and great-grandparents lived, on small farms on the Waitaki River. My granddad married my grandma who came from three small farms down the road. We had great uncles and great aunts and they went to town on Tuesdays. My aunts, Aunty Bunny and Aunty Ettie had felt bags with plaited felt handles with hollyhocks embroidered on them – it was that era.

And you had a pretty wholesome childhood?

Yes, really good. Ponies, dogs, paddocks, creeks … You were aware of … You got the wood to light the fire for the coal range, and you knew that the hen and the turkey got their heads chopped off, and that the sheep got cut up, and that rabbits got shot and the reality that went with it. We would go down the creek and get lobsters and boil them in a billy by the creek and pinch the hens’ eggs.

Was your mum a great cook? Did you learn to cook off her?

More from my grandparents than my mum. My mum was into sewing and having everything really clean and nice. We always had flowers and if we had a kids’ party she made the paper hats out of crepe paper or dyed paper. She could make Dior roses out of paper and materials.

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?

This story originally ran in issue #24 of Dumbo Feather

This story originally ran in issue #24 of Dumbo Feather

I was just brought up to be pretty and popular!

And did you turn out to be pretty and popular?

Yes! Probably the furtherest thing from my mind growing up was that I would grow up! I had such a secure childhood that I never ever thought about my future. I suppose that’s why I’m still working. Some people think about superannuation and all those things, but I never thought about anything like that and completely dismissed it as if it was never going to happen to me anyway. My mother’s interests were in books and history and finding lovely antique things.

Well, you definitely got that from her then.

Yes, she loved history, and reading books, and a lot of things that my grandparents had discarded into the shed, Mum got out and fixed; lovely old chairs and things … When I bought Dunstan House in Clyde, it had 19 rooms, a beautiful, internal staircase and a balcony inside which the rooms opened off, just like in those cowboy movies. That gave me every chance to put beautiful iron beds and iron hanging lamps, oil lamps and old linen … wash basins. Items like that were cheap then. I was 28 when I bought Dunstan House.


Yeah … it was the year decimal currency came in. Things were very cheap because they were out of fashion, but they were the era of the building and what I was doing was putting it back to how it would have been. A lot of the old iron beds were used as reinforcing in people’s concrete drives so they were gone forever! You could see them under the hedges too. Then with Olivers it was a different era and then here [at Fleurs Place], it’s been a different creation. This was from the whaling era and is the site where they pulled the whales up and dealt to them. I tried to keep it simple and not have too much … I wouldn’t say it’s minimalistic, but it is for me.

It’s all relative isn’t it. So tell me, how did you come to be owning a hotel at the age of 28?

I went to the West Coast after I got married, and while we were down there the local policeman asked me if I would like to manage a pub called The Okarito Forks. I thought, I could do that, except I knew absolutely nothing about any of it. Oamaru, where I grew up, was a prohibition town where there were no liscenced hotels, so I had very limited knowledge of drinking and alcohol … I’d never been in a pub. I had a really good time. I wasn’t the best hotel keeper, but I kept it clean. I had an Aga stove which was huge. It had at least four ovens which you kept going with coke. They had only had the power on for a couple of months so the refrigerator was still a kerosene fridge. Often I let the Aga go out because I was away wandering so I had to use a two-bar heater to cook on until I got the Aga going again. I’d have to burn wooden pegs to get it going because kindling was so scarce.

What? You cooked food for the pub on a heater?

Well, there weren’t a lot of guests, but there was only one road and if the road had slipped anywhere, then the people in your part of the road had to stay. There were a fair few phone calls to the butcher in Whataroa to ask, how do I do this and that? I was buying Watties K brand vegetable soup in large tins and then the man who owned the sawmill and his wife taught me how to make really good soup. It was mainly logging guys working in the bush, contracting guys working on the road, a few tourists. It was for the locals really. Lots of card playing and drinking. I met all the bushmen, and the road men, and got to know the history of the coast and the vegetation plus the wildlife. I went into where the silver pine-cutters were way out in the bush and stayed in the huts and learned how to cook with camp ovens. They showed me all the wetas, and bugs, and birds: kiwis. I haven’t thought about this stuff for ages … I got formalin [aqueous formaldehyde] and preserved at least one specimen of every bug I ever found in the bush. It sounds a bit yucky, but it wasn’t horrible at the time. I had this amazing collection of little glass jars with bugs I’d found and the bushmen used to bring me things too. I learned to eat quite a lot of things. We’d go and get eels … The bushmen and the locals were very helpful to me because I was genuinely interested in all their stories. Men like Michael Moroney, Paddy – Patrick Daniel Mullins, and the Sweeneys, those sorts of people … Those two Irish guys fought in the War for England and really couldn’t go back to Ireland so they came to New Zealand. When you’re in a bar and those guys are telling you about their lives it’s fascinating … It was just like living in history. Patrick Daniel Mullins won the war really (laughs). He lived out the Nine Mile and was a gold miner on the black sand on the beach. He’d sell this very coarse gold in Whataroa and then come back with bacon, flour and salt and maybe new gumboots or something. He’d leave the balance of his money on the bar and when that as gone he’d go back into the bush with his provisions and come out five weeks later. When he died, he was dead quite a long time before anyone knew. They found what was left of him and put him in a lunch tin and brought him back. All those kinds of things were happening and they would have been happening all over New Zealand, but …

They probably kept happening in those parts of New Zealand longer than in others. So you were 25 or so at this stage?

Only 22. That’s also where I first met the ‘Good Keen Man’, Barry Crump. He was down there at that time. He married a girl called Fleur and when I came back to Otago there was some confusion – people thought I was the Fleur who’d been married to Barry Crump, but it wasn’t me.

How long did you run the pub for?

Maybe two years and then I was pregnant and we went to a village just under Mt Elie de Beaumont. Jim, who I was married to, worked in the sawmill because he was keen, it sounds silly, to learn saw sharpening. He was an electrician and had done a lot of refrigeration work but saw-sharpening was a skilled job on the coast. I had a daughter at Whataroa Hospital. The matron was Matron Gunn, and she was about 80 when my baby was born. The doctor, Dr Hogg, was in the Haast and couldn’t get out so there was just a 15-year old girl on correspondence assisting the matron. I didn’t know how I was going to have this baby. I’d never even been examined by a doctor. I was very interested in the whole process, but it was not a subject that was discussed a lot. I sent to Whitcoulls and bought a book. The book told me to get a corset which I sent away to one of those big department stores to get. This pink, boned thing with laces at the sides arrived and I think I wore it once. It was very expensive, an amazing piece of equient, a bit like a straight jacket really.

An instrument of torture! When did you end up in Clyde?

After some time there we went to Westport and I had my two boys. Then I applied for a job for my husband as a refrigeration engineer in the Chatham Islands without telling him. He actually got the job, but he didn’t want to go to the Chathams. I thought that that would have been very exciting.

In South Westland life was really simple, one road, the wait baiting season …

I think the biggest thing you did was go to Hari Hari to the Great Benyon (Magic) Show. Westport was really different. Hanging your washing on the line became a nightmare because everybody’s was all tidy and mine was all higgledy-piggledy.

You weren’t tempted to go somewhere smaller?

Well, that was why I wanted to go to the Chathams, but anyway, a job came up in Alexandra which at least got us closer to my family on the other coast. I was terribly homesick. I’d been on the West Coast with its temperate climate, rain coats and jandals or gumboots, but in Alexandra it was 40 below so I had to learn to knit very fast. Luckily a neighbour showed me how and I remember one night at 11 pm I saw a light on next door and I went over because I had to learn how to cast off and was so excited. I had to knit three of everything by then. I had also developed a huge interest in herbs in Westport. Patrick Daniel Mullins had shown me bush medicine and Mrs O’Dea, who was a pioneer there, had celery, parsley and chives growing in an old, huge oval boiler. That was where she got the flavours for her soups and stews. Learning to grow things is such … It’s so rewarding for your soul and for your piece of mind. Everybody used to do it, but things change.

Have you had gardens for each of your restaurants?

Yes. When I did Dunstan House, the old hotel, I gathered rosehips and made rosehip syrup and jelly, amongst other stuff. It was nice, I get sick of the word nice … it was rewarding and fulfilling and all those good things. At Olivers I had a huge garden with walnut trees and lawns. People dined in the garden and in the courtyard. You’d go to the orchards and pick up all the windfall fruit and then bring it home. I used to buy cane washing baskets and fill them up with all the nectarines, apricots, apples and pears. When we went to Alexandra I did my best, but it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I went to JC Wives (Junior Chamber of Commerce) and I did the flower show thing, but it was terrible for me. I’d never, ever had to feel not as good as everybody else or worry about clothes, but in Alexandra everybody was very …

I found it soul-destroying being there. I would not have survived.

I did make a big herb garden and started the largest geranium and mint collections in the whole wide world probably, so I was very busy doing that and knitting to keep the kids warm. I’d go to the park with my pram and pick up all the pine cones. I gathered a lot of wild teasels and autumn leaves and went to a garment shop and asked if I could have all their old, flat cardboard boxes and put together wild flower arrangements in them to sell. Then I started going to the flower shows and I won the herb collection, of course. I probably would have got first, second and third because there would have been nobody else in it! Then I saw an ad saying it was the season to pick the wild thyme on the hills so I did that with my two boys. Through that I discovered the herb factory in Clyde, which dated back to 1880, and then I discovered Clyde. That’s when I found my old hotel [The Dunstan], and found the people of Clyde who were old enough to know what it used to be like when the men from Earnscleugh Station galloped the road, round the corner and into the pub. I got a book called Early Days in Central Otago written by Robert Gilkison. I read two books, and The Whole World of Gold Mining and The Early Days in Central Otago and Clyde. I was away in another world …

So when you went to Clyde you saw the hotel and just knew you had to have it?

One day I found the door open, crept inside and here was this cathedral, as far as I was concerned. I called out and discovered two lovely old people living in it. After I’d met them a couple of times I asked them if they’d ever like to sell it and they said they would be quite keen. I asked them how much and then went away to try to find the money. The funniest thing of all was, they’d been trying to sell it for 20 years! I found that out afterwards, and here I was begging them to sell it to me.

Spot the new girl in town. Did you want it as a business or just as somewhere to live?

To live in.

Were you still with your husband?

Yes. I wanted to be able to do something other than have a clean house and clean children every day. When I bought Dunstan House I was in heaven living there, doing it up, learning to wallpaper … John Lines, who’s still alive and well in Clyde – and incidentally sent me a bunch of dried lavender the other day – came and showed me how to use a plumb-bob and away I went.

Great project?

It was a great project. I ran a bed and breakfast to get the money to buy things for the rooms, and then I started doing dinner, bed and breakfast, and then I started an antique shop, and an art gallery, and I had eight boarders, and did cheese on toast things for the garage guys who used to get their morning tea off me, then at one stage I did a tearooms and did the plumbing myself …

You just grabbed opportunities as you saw them?

Yes, and in that little town, when the fire alarm sounded and the volunteer firemen went, I served petrol and sold meat at the butcher’s shop. I became impossible to live with and my husband left me.

But you were happy?

Yes. He was setting up a refrigeration business in Invercargill, had been gone for quite some time and just came back on the odd weekend by then. I was completely self-sufficient. That’s another whole story of absolute … It was just dumb role, power-play stuff with a bloke who needed to be the ‘man’ and all that.

Particularly back then.

Yes, it was terrible. He took a mortgage on Dunstan House to finance his business, but said it was to build a new kitchen. Anyway, I sold it after seven years, and went down to Invercargill. We gave it another try, but it only lasted about ten minutes! It was the wrongest thing so I left with my three kids, a ’56 Chev and $60 and went to Queenstown. I worked there for four years and then came back to Clyde. I asked Ron and June Jackson if I could rent the old ‘general store’ off them, and that became ‘Olivers’. In the lease I asked for the first right to purchase the property, which I did and was there for 20 years. I restored it and people even ticked the New Zealand Tourism box nominating it as one of their reasons for coming to New Zealand.

Why do you think it was so successful?

Because it was all so beautiful and so regional. The food was all regional, grapes were being grown and the area had started producing wine. The bedrooms were beautiful, nothing ever like it. It got voted ‘Best Boutique Accommodation’ in 1990 or something. I did the rooms all different colours and I had this magnificent old wallpaper I’d bought at an auction, a collection. We were out of the way and we were hard to find, but we were an international restaurant. I made the restaurant for people to be able to step into that world of beautiful food and beautiful surroundings.

It was a hard job to stay true to what you did, but I never deviated from it.

I’d love you to know more about Olivers, it was an amazing place. There was nothing else like it and reasonably ahead of its time. It was an era when people were trusted. We didn’t have locks and keys … With everything I’ve done, the timing has been right.

Did you engage a chef at Olivers or were you in charge of the kitchen too?

Well, when I was in Queenstown I worked in restaurants during the day and I asked if I could sit in at night to see the difference between night and day food and all of that. I met a guy who was a chef and we had a relationship, which was reasonably casual until I wanted to go back to Clyde and make a restaurant. We decided then that we either went together, and be partners in my idea, or we went separately. He was keener on me than I was on him because I felt it was a rather ridiculous situation; I had three, rather hard to control, teenagers and he was ten years younger than me. My idea was to rent the old general store in Clyde and make a beautiful restaurant for people to go to. So John came with me. He was a very good chef, but he wasn’t a people person and didn’t have any flair for the restoration, so it was a good partnership. We both worked really, really hard to build that beautiful restaurant, but he had different values to me and wanted to windsurf and ski. That didn’t matter, but I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to put bricks on the floor and make a courtyard. It was always a bit of a balancing act. Then he turned out to be a cheat and a liar and a two-timer.

A scoundrel.

John really, really blotted his copybook while I was away getting the highest award from the Department of Tourism. I thought he was having a nervous breakdown, but he was having an affair! Normal, normal me just had to keep on running the restaurant while John sailed off into the blue. I kept doing it for eight years and had to refinance after taking on his shares and his debt. When John left, I was very, very determined, but I was very bitter inside because my choices were taken away from me. We had five chefs, gardeners … it was a big business, impossible to do on your own. I was also absolutely humiliated in such a small town, but within 12 months everyone had forgotten that there ever was a John. And then, after 20 years of Olivers, I got cancer. That sounds like a really sad story, it isn’t, and I could have died, but I didn’t.

What kind did you have?

I had it in my bowel and it went through the wall of my bowel into my blood. It’s called Dukes C.

God, you are lucky.

I had to have chemotherapy once a week for a year. I eventually faced the reality that I wouldn’t have a show of getting better if I kept doing the restaurant and the whole complex. I thought I would sell everything, but you get a shock when you sell your business and see people doing things that are detrimental to it – you’re best not to look. My mother was alive in Oamaru and I didn’t want to be too far away from her if my health really failed. So, I decided to come to Moeraki where I’d thought that maybe someday in my life I would live … although I would have stayed at Olivers forever. Moeraki is just an amazingly beautiful little village that I’d always loved. I found a house with the view I’d always imagined and just set it up with the basic necessities to have a simple time. If I was going to die, I was going to die in this beautiful place and people would be able to visit and say, “Isn’t it lovely that she’s in such a lovely place,” and not feel too sorry for me. Coing over here was a whole new experience. I met the people and I met the fishermen and I went out on the fishing boats here in Moeraki with some of them. I just loved what they did, the enormity of their lives, their skill, their bravery and their determination. I realised what I could do with the [left-over fish] bodies was to make soup, and I thought that I would probably have a little spare time to do a project. So, I made the fish stock for the soup and then this wee bit of land, where I eventually built the restaurant, came up for sale. It had a walk-in chiller and a concrete block room with were some tubs in it where they’d swim live crayfish for the export market. I thought I’d be able to smoke fish in the concrete room and make fish stock in the chiller if I turned it into a kitchen. Then I got the caravan to sell the fish stock and fish soup from. My grown up children said to me, “What are you doing? What are you making another restaurant for? What are you doing to yourself?” … all of those things. Chef and media personality] Peta Mathias gave me a badge that said, “If I look like buying another restaurant shoot me.” I wore that for quite a long time. They said, “How many cups of tea do you really think you’re going to sell in your caravan?” and I said, “Well, maybe the whales will start coming back in and I’ll be selling lots of bowls of soup.” Martin Sullivan said to me, “The whales have too long a memory Mum, they’ll never come back in here because this was where they were slaughtered and processed.” One day in my caravan I was so busy … like people started to bring their own tables and chairs to my caravan. Then people who were taking their old formica tables and chairs to the tip stopped and gave them to me so I had tables and chairs outside my caravan. Of course the council then said that if I was providing tables and chairs at my caravan, then I had to provide toilets, but that’s another story. People were booking the caravan for night time and wanting to book to come to it and it was like, “Oh o, what have I done?” Anyway, at the end of this day, when I’d finished up in the caravan I went out the back of the caravan and I called out into the sea to the whales and said, “You don’t need to come in here whales, I don’t need any whales thank you.”

You hadn’t ever seen one there?

No. We actually had a pod of dolphins in the bay yesterday and the other day we had three orcas: we imagined it was mum, dad and a baby. The big one had a six-foot diamond fin coming off his back. My daughter followed them in the car round to the first and second Kaik and she could see their eyes and everything. Anyway, after I’d called out and told the whales I didn’t need them that was the end of it. I would never have remembered I’d done it or thought about it again, except that, on the day the restaurant was ready to open and we were really busy one of the fishermen came in, in his gumboots. He said, just quietly to me, “Fleur you might like to go out and have a look, there’s a whale in the bay.” So, I went out to make sure there was and then went back into the kitchen and told them all to turn everything off and come out. They looked at me very strangely because it’s a big thing to disrupt a kitchen when it’s busy. We all went outside and here was this whale. The tide was high and from where we stood he was not three metres from the edge. He was going backwards and forwards along the coastline – I’ve got water on three sides here – up and down, up and down. I just stood there and cried, not sobbed, but tears rolled out of my eyes. You can imagine.

I just wanted to take my clothes off and walk into the sea.

It was the most amazing feeling I had that I wanted to … I’m not into taking my clothes off in front of lots of people, that would not be normal behaviour for me, but that’s what I wanted to do. Then it just … It didn’t do a big tail flip, it just shrugged, a toss of its tail and did a wee spout of water and went away. I turned into a headache for the council because they had no interest in the restaurant being built and gave me no help … It was like pulling teeth, so a dear old Maori man from here went into the council a little bit later, I didn’t know about it for a couple of years, and said to them, “You leave that girl alone. The whale appears to very few people. The whale is the father of a kaumatua [respected elder] from the first Kaik and it appears to very few people.” So that was another beautiful moment in my life. I don’t expect everybody to believe all those things, but it’s been very, very special for me and I just felt at that time, whatever will be, will be. [A man walks in] Hi Mick. That’s the pig man coming to get our scraps for his pigs. I’ve just bought eggs off him, $165 worth of free range eggs, that, if the New Zealand Food Safety Authority get their way, we won’t be able to use. They’ll have to come from an approved ra-dee-ra free range person. I don’t know when it’ll come into force, but there’s certain things you feel … What’s been happening is that people have been wanting free range, have been wanting to grow their own vegetables and wanting to be food foragers, and it’s all been encouraged, in schools and everywhere. There’s a whole new interest in what’s healthy and good and local and seasonal and now the Food and Safety people are tying to regulate it all. I don’t want to make any rash statements about me and what I do, but if I can’t give my pig food to a man who then sells me eggs and brings me bunches of parsley, that would be defeating everything that I stand for … That’s what’s so good about what we do. We had a lady the other day who got a potato that had a caterpillar inside the potato. Well, I had to let someone else deal with that because I would have laughed. They’re organically grown in Kakanui by a man who tills his grounds and is very proud of every bucket of potatoes he gives us, and some person cuts one open and finds a caterpillar. Maybe that’s the lucky one! I know that they’ve paid for it and everything, but I find that kind of thing really hard to be serious about. “I’m sorry you got the caterpillar … ” It gives us a fright if we get someone who’s grumpy because most people say it’s the nicest, freshest food they’ve had. This morning we had people upstairs, and this happens so often, who said, “This is the nicest food we’ve had.” That makes you not tired.

There’s a whole new interest in what’s healthy and good and local and seasonal and now the Food and Safety people are tying to regulate it all. I don’t want to make any rash statements about me and what I do, but if I can’t give my pig food to a man who then sells me eggs and brings me bunches of parsley, that would be defeating everything that I stand for … That’s what’s so good about what we do. We had a lady the other day who got a potato that had a caterpillar inside the potato. Well, I had to let someone else deal with that because I would have laughed. They’re organically grown in Kakanui by a man who tills his grounds and is very proud of every bucket of potatoes he gives us, and some person cuts one open and finds a caterpillar. Maybe that’s the lucky one! I know that they’ve paid for it and everything, but I find that kind of thing really hard to be serious about. “I’m sorry you got the caterpillar … ” It gives us a fright if we get someone who’s grumpy because most people say it’s the nicest, freshest food they’ve had. This morning we had people upstairs, and this happens so often, who said, “This is the nicest food we’ve had.” That makes you not tired.

You’re in perfect health now?

Absolutely, yes.

You managed to heal yourself?

Yes, I’m a lucky girl.

No signs of slowing down?

There don’t seem to be, mainly because I can’t.

Can’t or won’t?

People would say I won’t, but how can I [laughs]? How can I not come to work? You just can’t not. Every day there are too many neat people here expecting so see you. Like there were two lots that I went to school with in today. I know it’s not the be all and end all, but it is important to enjoy your job. I’d hate to miss out on all this. It’s like the icing on the cake.

Do you have any more plans for Fleurs now that you’ve upgraded from a caravan to a proper restaurant?

I’ve purchased a block of land coming into Moeraki and I’m hoping to be able to set up a drive in for fresh fish, soup stock, raw fish salads, mutton birds, vacuum-packed, proper fish processing … We’re also working with seaweed products, we’re doing muttonbird a rillette which is a Pakeha version of the titi tahu, how the confit of muttonbird used to be preserved in the fat in the kelp bags. There’s heaps of other things too. There will also be demonstration kitchens for people … It’ll still be in this great big barn, a simple kitchen, were people can come to learn things like how to fillet fish, or the basics of smoking fish, or … It’ll give people something to do while their partners are out on fishing charters all weekend.

Why are you going to do that, to start up a drive in?

Well that’s what people want, but we don’t have time to do it here at Fleurs.

You’re busy and I’m sure the restaurant’s making enough money, so why do something else?

I want to do it so that the fishing industry, the small fishermen, have … Basically I want the fishermen to survive because their life is very hard; the regulations in the fishing industry, the diesel prices, the administration, the breakdowns, all of these things. They need to get more money in their hands and this will be an opportunity for them to do that. There’s an opportunity for the fishermen to invest in it so that it gives them more security, another string to their bow, and they will be receiving better prices. I won’t make the produce any more expensive, but it will assist them in having a more stable and secure livelihood. I don’t know if they know it yet though! I hope they know it. Our mussels come from the Hairy Mussel Company in Marlborough and we get all our other shellfish from Southern Clams in Dunedin so we really do help to keep the whole show on the road. During crayfish season that’s when the cray fishermen really make the money that helps keep them going for the rest of the year, but he last crayfish season wasn’t brilliant. When I do this, they’ll be able to sell their crayfish and fish direct at the drive in. I just want to make it more sustainable for them. The restaurant wouldn’t be here if they weren’t, along with the support of clients who share that philosophy and support us. That’s what it’s all about.

Kate Bezar

Kate Bezar started Dumbo Feather—and is a living legend, simple as that. Read all about her and the kernel of an idea that became a magazine.

John Coghill and Jeff Kerr

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