Salt & Sugar Store - Karitane
At the height of the Dunedin summer there’s only one place to be in Karitane - the newly revamped Karitane Store.
On weekends golden teenagers in wetsuits slurp ice-creams on the stoop, beside overflowing pots of thyme and sage. And on weekday mornings local mothers in togs buy loaves of sourdough bread, rubbing shoulders with tourists browsing the local arts and crafts.
Co-owners Nicola Feldmeier and Thomas Schroder opened Salt and Sugar in April of last year. The thin-crust pizzas, rich chocolate cake and excellent coffee have become an instant hit with locals - who also stop by to collect their mail, and catch up on the seaside gossip in this small settlement of 360 people, a 30-minute-drive from central Dunedin.
Previously in the hospitality trade in Germany, Feldmeier says the pair have never owned “a shop” before, but are loving being at the centre of Karitane’s active community life.
Although half of the village's houses are unoccupied, the population is steadily increasing, especially with young families.
“We get to hear all the news here and we believe it is really important that locals have somewhere to shop and eat rather than having to drive into town for every little thing.” said Feldmeier, a warm and welcoming hostess.
Weekend pizzas have become so popular that the couple are often forced to stay open till sundown, with hungry mouths craving their simple prosciutto, salami and margarita offerings (starting at the very reasonable $8.50).
Lunches and dinners can be eaten in-house, or taken as picnic food to Karitane beach, which is a five-minute stroll away. The beach is relatively sheltered and good for swimming, with interesting rock pools to explore at either end, and the easy 45-minute stroll over Huriawa Pa providing bracing views of Taiaroa Heads.
Increasingly, it is also becoming an excellent spot for property-perving, with lavish new beachfront homes replacing the simple baches used by Gwyneth Paltrow while shooting the biopic Sylvia.
Post submitted by Eleanor Ainge Roy