Awww brunch. My absolute favourite dining experience. Something about the lazy aspect of a midmorning post sleep-in meal that hits all of my culinary buttons. Brunch is that perfect family time when you can go slow and be spoiled with all things naughty. Eggs, bacon, French toast, fruit and coffee yum yum. We all have our favourites. Mine is Eggs Benedict and I pull them out to show off a little when friends come for a Hawkes Bay weekend. This month the Total Food Equipment Best Brunch in the Bay competition is in full swing. My top two contenders are Taste Cornucopia’s Crispy Pork Belly Benedict and Little Black Bird’s Hash topped with poached egg and the little flavour explosions of pickled mushrooms. How will I decide? Both have eggs poached to perfection and Holly Bacon pork belly co staring on the plate. There is only one solution. Go back next weekend for a second tie breaking plateful I think. Then maybe some new pants in a larger size… sigh.
On the topic of competitions our very own Grieve Diamond Jewellers has taken out the Retail NZ Top Shop awards in Wellington last weekend in the Jewellery and Giftware category. This award focusses on all aspects of a retail business including customer service, appearance, use of technology and innovation. Grieve has always been a benchmark retailer in Hastings as well as both Robert and James Griffiths being very involved in improving Hastings CBD. A huge congratulations to the whole Grieve team!
Lastly don’t forget the CBD Symposium on next Wednesday the 26th of August. This is a free workshop open to all interested landlords, developers, business owners and other interested parties in order to look forward to a healthier central city environment. Contact Hastings District Council to register.
Last Friday night Focal Point Cinema on Heretaunga Street was packed and buzzing with excited nominees for the 2015 NZME Hastings City Business Awards. What an amazing night with sparkling crystal candelabras showing off the Art Deco interior of the theatre. The guests were greeted with glasses of award winning Ngatarawa Reserve Wine and a great chance to catch up with old friends. Our guest speaker was the amazingly fit Kevin Biggar who rowed across the Atlantic and walked to the South Pole and now inspires others to reach their goals. He expertly tied his accomplishments to the challenges faced by our businesses in this challenging environment. A new award this year is the BWR Service to Business Personality which was presented to Coralie White owner of Suzelles Lingerie and Swimwear. Coralie has been a long-time supporter of local charities involving breast cancer such as Relay for Life and the Pink Ribbon Campaign. She runs three locations of Suzelles and has a solid and loyal staff. Coralie has also been a past board member of the HCBA and a passionate supporter of businesses in Hastings. The big winner of the night though was Breakers Café and Bar. They took out both the Ngatarawa Wines Excellence in Food and Beverage category and the NZME Supreme Award winner category as well. While owner Simon Withnall was in Europe his enthusiastic team accepted the awards on his behalf which is one of the reasons Breakers is such a solid business model. Their systems are so robust you can take any key team member out and the business continues without a hitch. Everything they do is thought out and costed to reduce risk but their biggest strength is their focus on keeping their customers happy. Congratulations to all but the real winner of the night was Hastings City!
At least once every week I am asked what can be done about helping our struggling CBD to survive. Like most provincial towns on New Zealand Hastings main CBD shopping and business district is plagued with empty retail shops changing use office environments and a balance between big box and online shopping versus the traditional high street boutique offers. While some of our members are thriving and having a great year others are struggling to stay afloat. On August 26th from 9am to 4pm the Hastings District Council is holding a one day symposium to identify the factors that threaten success in our CBD as well as some possible steps forward to improve our chances of success. This is open to all the businesses and landlords in the city centre as well as developers and other interested parties. The goal will be to share knowledge and identify key actions for achieving tangible improvements in our CBD.
The Hastings District Council in partnership with Hastings City Business Association have assembled a cast of experts who will offer their perspective on achieving a vibrant CBD. The symposium will be facilitated by Karen Remetis from the Town Centre Development Group. Karen will also speak on Business Improvement Districts, an internationally recognised CBD management model. I have attended Karen’s workshops in the past and found them full of information and professionally done. Other speakers include James Lunday of Common Ground Studio, an internationally recognised urban developer, with specialist knowledge of heritage property and its re-use for commercial purposes and Alexis Voutratzis of the Property Council of NZ.
The afternoon format will be workshop based where you will have the opportunity to share ideas and help identify key actions for achieving tangible and immediate improvements in our CBD. This Symposium will not provide a silver bullet but it will start the conversation and offer some actions to move forward towards success.
For more information and to register to attend contact Raoul Oosterkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so proud to be part of the Hastings business community. I had the opportunity to meet with some visiting business people earlier this week. They were so impressed with the energy and vitality that shines in our business community. Working here every day I get focused on ways to fix what is not working well and tend to overlook the success that is all around me. We have businesses here in the heart of Hastings that not only succeed but are smashing it. This week judging has finished for the NZME Hastings City Business Awards 2015 and the winners will be announced in just over a week. Our awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate the business stars in our community. The categories this year are the Kiwibank Emerging Business Category for our newbies under 2 years old, World Travelers at Best Travel Non-profit Business, Brebner Print Independent Retail, NAI Harcourts National or Franchise Retail, EIT Service Professionals, Computer Care Corporate Service, and Ngatarawa Wine Food and Beverage. This year we have a special new award for a person who has given back to the business community over their career called the BWR Service to Business Personality. We have had a great response from businesses vying for prizes for the winners supplied by our fantastic sponsor NZME. The gala Awards Ceremony will be held on July 31st at the Focal Point Cinema Hastings in their stunning refurbished theatre. Tickets are limited so if you have not booked yours yet contact the Hastings City Business Association on 876-9017 or email email@example.com. Success is contagious and it is time for Hastings to celebrate.
It’s the first week of school holidays which means we are a few days away from hearing “Mum I’m bored!” Keeping the kids from driving us or each other nuts over the holidays can be a bit of a challenge especially if the weather is not cooperating. Luckily we have lots of programs here in Hastings to beat the boredom. The Hastings War Memorial Library is free and runs some amazing holiday programs for kids of all ages including the Great Wardini magic show on Thursday at 10am. The Hastings City Art Gallery has a Kids Holiday Art Programme called Weird and Wonderful Warriors On both Wednesdays from 10am to noon and the cost is $10.00. While the kids are occupied don’t forget to check out their amazing exhibition of Tungaru the Kiribati project. The beautiful Focal Point Cinema has all the latest blockbusters including Disneys Inside Out and those hilarious Minions. The Hastings Skate Park is a great place to burn off their excess energy for kids of all ages. Or if your kids have an entrepreneurial spirit and some musical talent we encourage busking in town. Just check with the retailers to make sure they don’t mind. As always a great way to distract the kids is a trip into town for some retail therapy or even sharing a hot chocolate at one of our fabulous cafes. The time we spend with our kids is priceless so make some memories this holiday. Have a safe and stress free school holiday in Hastings City.
Happy Birthday Hastings Leader! Wow 30 years of local free newsprint documenting local events, stories and personalities offering a true snapshot of the city each and every week. That amount of time in any industry is pretty impressive but in the competitive newspaper game it is staggering. And don’t forget this is another great excuse to eat some cake! (Science tip for the day; remember that staying warm actually burns calories so more cake can be consumed in the winter months.) As well as the birthday of our lovely local paper July 1st is also the start of the financial year for several associations and businesses including the Hastings City Business Association. This means I have budgets all over my desk and plans and strategies to be finalised. The next year is a crucial time for the CBD and our member businesses. We will be working with council on several projects to improve the environment, attract new business opportunities and continue to improve the safety and vibrancy of the city. In September we will have the opening of our exciting new Albert Square Park on the site of the old derelict Albert Hotel. This will include a small theatre space tucked inside a shipping container. The space will be managed by our Association but available to the wider public for entertainment and events. What an exciting change to see the 200 East Block full of vibrant businesses and a great green space. We are also in the final few weeks of judging before the NZME Hastings City Business Awards on July 31st. The tickets are selling fast so make sure you get in quickly before they are gone. Well back to the budgets and one more piece of the birthday cake of course.
The Winter Solstice marks the darkest days of winter, the season of Matariki and dormancy in the orchards. Hastings is anything but dormant though. This week the Arts community is in full bloom with two local community theatre productions, Love off the Shelf by Roger Hall at the Playhouse Theatre and Holiday Snap at the Aubyn Live Theatre. Operatunity presents The Best Musicals of All Time at the Bay Outreach Centre featuring Helen Medlyn. The Hastings City Art Gallery has not one but three exhibitions of high quality work and the Hastings Community Art Centre on Russell Street has a special concert Thursday Night with Rob Thorne, Charlotte Yates and Gil Eva Craig. As the Opera House sits waiting for her fate performances of theatre and music go on in small venues, galleries and other small spaces. This is the dormant winter of the beautiful old lady of Hastings and only time will tell if she will live to have another season in the sun. I have faith that the working party tasked with putting forth visions for the Hawkes Bay Opera House will present us all with options in a timely manner so that the public can be heard and we can have a strategy to move forward. The old lady will have to wait a little longer but in the meantime the shows will go on in Hastings.
Matariki is Thanksgiving, New Years and Winter Solstice all rolled into one purely authentic kiwi celebration. To celebrate the Hastings City Night Market is back tonight for a one-off winter market to celebrate the Matariki festival. The Hastings City centre will come alive from 5 until 8pm with numerous diverse street food trucks, free entertainment and arts and crafts.
The rising of the star constellation known as Matariki is an important time in the Māori calendar. It heralds in the Māori New Year, which is a time to connect with, and give thanks to the land, sea and sky. It is also a time for the community to come together and acknowledge the year gone by, as well celebrating and preparing for the year ahead involving the sharing of food, rituals, entertainment, hospitality and knowledge. The Night Market will be an ideal start to the celebrations, and one all the family and community can enjoy together.
The evening’s entertainment will come in the form of ever popular covers band Generator, on stage from 5.30 til 8pm. This five-piece rock show will have you dancing all night with songs you know all the words to. The Karamu High School choir will also be performing from 5-5.30pm. The market will be also be a chance to see the new CBD lighting in all its glory and there will be free glow sticks for the kids to add the fun.
Whatever your taste in food you will find the market a gastronomical delight with something for everyone from nachos to paella, Asian and Indian influenced food, pizza and the always popular Churros! Wandering from stall to stall until you find something that takes your fancy is half the fun. The locally made arts and crafts hidden amongst the food stalls are also popular with market goers; there’s always something unique to be found.
On Saturday the Hastings Pak n Save Edible Fashion Show will once again allow children and adults a chance to show their talents on a runway that rivals any in the country. If you love art, fashion or just want a great show grab your tickets and head to the Showgrounds for the show of the year. I promise it is an experience you won’t forget. Three years ago my daughter decided to enter a design contest called the Edible Fashion Awards. I thought, how cute! Our kitchen was soon covered with sugar and coconut and noodles of every shape. She spent weeks planning and designing and failing and learning. The big day arrived and her nerves turned to terror when she saw the other designs. I couldn't have been more wrong about the "cute" little show. It was a professional gala performance with amazing designs that defy description. I thought my daughter might pass out from fright but as she walked on that grand stage for the evening finals I saw her confidence soar. This year is the third year my kitchen has become design central with dried beans littering every surface. The glue guns and sewing machine are in overdrive and she is in the zone. She has a budget and work timeline as well as the creative process to manage. All over the bay, in classrooms, kitchens and sewing rooms the ideas are taking shape. As a learning experience for young designers or a challenge for adult creatives the show is a fantastic opportunity and for the audience an unforgettable spectacle. WOW’s little sister in Hawkes Bay is definitely worth putting on your calendar.
Your Local. That place that you feel at home with the knowledge that tomorrows water cooler tale is about to begin. We have amongst us in Hastings several of these watering holes all with their own regulars, atmosphere and music. Last week the best of the best was crowned. Our very own Common Room has taken out the Hawke's Bay Hospitality Awards Best Local category for 2015. The Hospitality Awards are an industry only award so the votes are cast by people who work in the industry not customers. This is a tight peers here in Hawke's Bay and they have very high standards but they chose a clear winner in the uncommonly fabulous Common Room. Now this is made even more remarkable because it is less than two years old. Gerard Barron and his team of quirky staff have made the little pub on the East side of Hastings the benchmark for cool. For those who haven't been in yet the collection of retro comfy couches, wooden benches and kitch can't help but flood you with memories and make you smile. The back garden bar is a cool oasis in summer and a place to toast marshmallows over the fire pit in winter. Gerard mans the bar with his bushy beard, cap and fierce intelligence. Pouring craft beers on tap and wine by the glass he keeps an eye on the eclectic clientele of hipster European backpackers, the young couples on dates and the after work business crowd. The band warms up and all of a sudden you could be in any city in the world. The jazz nights, poetry competitions and comedy open mike nights give the Common Room its true spirit and sense of community and we are very luck to have our local.
Hastings City Business Association 107b Market Street South, Hastings
+64 6 876 9093
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