The Nest is a welcome addition to Kingsland, Tāmaki Makaurau – a neighbourhood better known for rugby games at nearby Eden Park. “Creating a space for locals to walk up and get their produce, bumping into neighbours, colleagues and old friends is all part of the experience,” says owner Tūī Hofmann.
Where did the inspiration come from?
I worked at a French grocer in London and wanted to create something similar here. I love how London has its boroughs – it’s a city of nine million that can feel like a village at times, with everything in walking distance. Tāmaki Makaurau has the opportunity for something similar.
I live on the main stretch here in Kingsland and really struggled with the fact that it had nowhere to buy fresh produce. When the lease became available I thought, now’s the time!
How did you want it to feel?
I wanted it to feel homely, a little cluttered, mixing a French food market with an industrial finish. My friends Olivier Jean and Mia Kober helped me design the space and my father Achmed, a carpenter, built it. Everything was repurposed, which I love.
You opened just in time for Tāmaki’s level-four lockdown. Was that scary?
I was worried for my business, but it gave me a chance to meet all the local Kingslanders, and gave me time to figure out exactly how to manage things.
Got a favourite product or two?
Ellen’s Pt Chev cookies have my heart and Mirella’s handmade pasta dishes are some of the best cannelloni I’ve ever had. Big call, I know.
434 New North Road, Kingsland