From gate to the plate

Paul and Nicky Viggers, of Gibbston, fill their shelves with Wakatipu and New Zealand artisan products to open their dream business, the Shotover Street Grocery Store and Deli, from yesterday. Photo by James Beech.
Paul and Nicky Viggers, of Gibbston, fill their shelves with Wakatipu and New Zealand artisan products to open their dream business, the Shotover Street Grocery Store and Deli, from yesterday. Photo by James Beech.
A farmers' market-style shop offering home-made artisan food and beverages, from gate to plate, is a dream business come true for Paul and Nicky Viggers after more than 10 years.

The Gibbston couple have transformed in record time - and with their own hands - a convenience outlet into the Shotover Street Grocery Store and Deli.

The food baskets of Central Otago and New Zealand are condensed into a one-stop shop for everything from breads, pastries, dairy products, meats and pantry items to teas, coffees, hot chocolate and sparkling and still beverages.

More products are planned.

''We took over in mid-November and ran it as a convenience store for three months, but it wasn't really us by any stretch of the imagination,'' Mr Viggers said.

Mrs Viggers said: ''To us, the location, the market and the locals are important and bringing in our own ideas has been wonderful.''

The couple said more New Zealanders wanted to eat well and were interested in where their food came from.

The couple contacted suppliers and formed several business relations which have become friendships.

The irony of Australians showcasing the best provisions New Zealand has to offer has not escaped them, after some of Australia's protectionist supermarket giants reportedly took New Zealand products off the shelves last month.

''The quality of the end product is a gesture of respect to the growers and it's about respect for the customer too,'' Mr Viggers said.

The Viggers said they would continue their property maintenance business and veterinarian practice and find the time, while juggling two children and pets, to operate the Shotover Street Grocery Store and Deli.