Oamaru produce going to Queenstown

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A man with strong links to Oamaru plans to bring some of the best of what the Waitaki district has to offer to Queenstown, in the form of a new store.
Queenstown business owner James Porteous, who has several family members living in Oamaru, believed the town was under-appreciated by some and had a lot to offer _ particularly in the form of its organic produce.He has decided to open Oamaru Organics & Waitaki Wares at his Frankton restaurant, Thai 2 Go.“Being quite an expensive place to get supplies, I’ve always been looking at how to get better quality produce from other suppliers,” Mr Porteous said.“Vegetables is the highest of all of our costs, and I’ve been getting my vegetables from the area around Alma.”His organic produce is sourced from Brydone Growers, one of the largest producers of organic vegetables in the South Island. He said demand for organic produce had increased in Queenstown in recent times. Mr Porteous, who moved to Queenstown in 2014 after spending 20 years in Tokyo, said the idea for the store came to him when he “had a brainwave” while travelling between Queenstown and Oamaru with a ute full of vegetables. He recently upgraded to a small refrigerated truck and planned to travel to Oamaru weekly to pick up his produce to sell at his Thai restaurant, where he had managed to create space as a result of fewer people dining in and more people picking up. Mr Porteous planned to set up a website so people could order Oamaru produce through him and get it delivered directly to their homes in Wanaka, Cromwell and Queenstown. If successful, he planned to also sell meat and berries sourced from the Waitaki district. He wants to give the store an “Oamaru feel” so is displaying memorabilia, such as flour bags, bottles, old tools, wooden boxes and pretty much anything else with the words “Oamaru” or “Waitaki” stamped on it. He was also keen to sell products on behalf of Waitaki artists or crafts people. “There is so much history in the area. I see the opportunity for tourists going back towards Oamaru from Queenstown, so we’d like to have a bit of Oamaru information for people.” He received a positive response from Tourism Waitaki and Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher about his venture. The store is expected to open this month.