After gaining a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, Philippa Potaka spent 20 years overseas working in five-star hotels and high-end restaurants. Latterly, she helped set up The Bach Eatery – an award-winning Kiwi-inspired restaurant in Sydney.
Despite success in Australia, she yearned to come home and began dreaming up a home-based business in New Zealand.
Philippa came up with The Village Picnic. Based in Matakana, it delivers carefully-curated gift and picnic hampers for all occasions – whether it be for a mystery date, a corporate function or Friday night nibbles after work – with the emphasis on locally sourced contents.
Order a Village Picnic hamper and your choices to fill it include Matakana smoked salmon, Puhoi cheese, Matakana chocolate, and kombucha from Omaha.
To complement the local selections, Philippa has scoured the country for artisan producers of the best charcuterie, pate, seeded crackers, cheese and smoked snapper.
I have an eye for detail with my hospitality experience, a sustainable conscience and a taste for good things,” she says.
Gift selections can include beautifully recycled timber chopping boards, eco friendly Earth Candles made with upcycled beer bottles, beeswax wraps and even a large platter in the form of a mini picnic table with fold-up legs. Meanwhile, picnic baskets come with a compostable, insulated pouch to keep chilled items suitably cool.
In addition to having the right items, Philippa says presentation is a key part of The Village Picnic approach. She uses traditional Māori woven flax baskets, handmade in Mangawhai and says no two baskets are the same. It is important that I curate with the recipients taste and style in mind for the customers budget and occasion.
“I love to see people enjoying good quality food around the people they love,” she says.