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Five Specialty Food Stores to Visit When You Want to Skip the Supermarket

Head to these independent food stores and bring the joy back into your grocery shopping.
By Janine Smith
May 02, 2019
By Janine Smith
May 02, 2019

Supermarket shopping can feel like the most frustrating video game ever. You enter the florescent space muttering about the price of avocadoes whilst swerving to avoid other shoppers with trolleys who stop right in front of you. You stare down at your list, ticking it off one by one and wonder why everything is covered in plastic. You know exactly what you want and where it is but you're never surprised or pleased by the things you're putting in your basket. When you're done, you stand in a long queue and realise you forgot the lettuce but it's too late. It's too far away to go back and you just don't have the energy.

Don't worry, there are alternatives. If you want the full food sensory experience, head to these independent food stores and bring the joy back into your grocery shopping.



Sourcing delicious European food for Auckland since 1993, Sabato is a treasure trove of deliciousness. The majority of their suppliers are small, often family run businesses who use traditional methods of production to create outstanding products. It also sells its own range of artisan pasta and sauces which is perfect for a quick and easy dinner, but one that will make your guests think you've hired an Italian chef. Once inside Sabato you won't be able to resist heading to the delicatessen, with wheels of cheese and antipasti delights on offer for you to sample and buy. The range of confectionery and chocolate alone is immense, including Miann's Valhona chocolate and you probably won't make it out of the door without buying a bar (or two). It's worth signing up for a loyalty card as for every dollar you spend, either in-store or online you earn reward points and you get kept in the loop regarding their cooking classes and cheese and wine evenings.

57 Normanby Road, Mt Eden.



Like a little piece of France in Newmarket, L'Atelier offers a great selection of du fromage francais and charcuterie from their deli. As an added bonus, they have their own wine cellar Maison Vauron on hand. Walk up the stairs and their sommelier and wine consultants are always on hand to give advice on their great selection of French wines. f you find yourself in need of a coffee pick me up they also have a café in-store, which does a fantastic selection of fresh pastries and a light lunch option, including quiches and croque monsieur.

3-5 McColl Street, Newmarket.



Commonsense first opened its doors in Wellington in 1991 when a community minded couple realised they needed somewhere to sell their enormous bounty of organically grown fruit and veg from. They sell certified organic food and also offer a wide range of gluten free, vegan, dairy free and raw produce with a huge emphasis on New Zealand made and grown groceries and products. They are the antithesis of big chain supermarkets as they know where everything they sell comes from and really talk the talk when it comes to sustainability. The Mt Eden store has a warm, friendly vibe but they offer online shopping too. Their motto is "Good for you, Good for the Earth". Shopping that gives you the fuzzies — what more could you ask for?

284 Dominion Road, Mt Eden.



Sanford & Sons is still doing what it has been doing for over a century, catching and selling the best pieces of fish in Auckland. The idea behind the redevelopment was to educate consumers to try fish other than the main varieties of snapper, tarakihi, salmon, gurnard and hoki, and in doing so promote the sustainable consumption of seafood. They've done this by putting the newly revamped fish market at the heart of the complex, not only highlighting the sheer range of fresh fish on offer but also providing experts who know about the various species and how to best prepare and cook.

22 Jellicoe Street, Freemans Bay.



Daily Bread is the best thing since, well, sliced bread. It's a bakery that focuses on traditional techniques with an emphasis on using Canterbury Plains growers who produce either organic or spray free wheat. Along with the favoured Sourdough, you can buy a fruit loaf, seeded loaf, kumara loaf and there's even a gluten-free sprouted quinoa loaf. You can buy instore at either location, or even online but there's no greater smell than freshly baked bread so the best option would be to head to the Point Chev store and get yourself a coffee, a warm pastries and of course, a loaf of bread.

210 Great North Road, Point Chevalier or 15 Faraday Street, Parnell.

Published on May 02, 2019 by Janine Smith


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