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Melba Pakinga will highlight and support local at her new artwork store and lunch bar. Photo: SUPPLIED

‘Homely’ vibe at Krafty Kitchen


Supporting Hauraki-Coromandel crafts people and producing “homely” food for locals was the inspiration for Melba Pakinga to open Krafty Kitchen on Paeroa’s main street.
The former te reo Māori lecturer and owner of Kapai Krafts in Paeroa said she wanted to “look at the bigger picture” after recently moving back to her hometown from Auckland.

“I decided a lunch bar would be a good opportunity to add to the craft shop expanding the business to provide some home bake favourites,” she said.
“We wanted to add to the food options already being provided here in Paeroa town such as some of our local delicacies experienced on the Marae.
“Just to name a few: steamed pudding, Māori bread, Rēwena bread, and fry bread, along with basic lunch bar foods.”
Melba said the arts and crafts side of the business was inspired by her previous life in Huntly, where she often visited a local craft shop whose business focused on local artists and crafters in the community.
She appreciated the personal touch rather than mass production or commercialised goods.
“We hope to provide a similar but different option for our town by giving it that homely boho-chic upcycled kind of product,” she said.
“We do like the personal touch and getting to know the community has been an amazing start to this venture.
“We want our customers to feel that they can find something a little more personalised and unique.”
Melba acknowledged her whānau and friends, who supported her in getting the store ready to open on March 6.