Te Puna Village You get into this little collection of cafe, shops and the vivid red and white of a childcare centre from the Te Puna Road off State Highway 2 aka Tauranga West Road.
Nourish cafe now flourishes in the soild Tuscan-styled building. The morning I call in the place is humming with its diversity of human beings. Mums and children playing and enjoying morning tea; business meetings over coffee; stylish mature women reading morning papers. The food cabinet glows like art. There are jars of flowers positioned on a ladder shelf. On the walls there are quirky works of art – no indication of by whom – so I ask : Megan Hockly, Artist, Raglan “Megan is a New Zealand artist who paints from an imaginary world she creates. Her paintings feature quirky characters; portraits and narratives that take you on a journey through imaginary landscapes and olden day themes. Megan’s studio is based in the West coast township of Raglan”. Megan’s website says she creates paintings, limited edition prints, cards and homeware. Take a look at www.meganhocklyart.co.nz
Heaven & Home describes itself as “boutique clothing giftwares & furniture.” It’s one of these eclectic almost eccentric collections of beautiful things. They are unpacking jewel coloured merino for winter. There are racks of beautiful clothing side by side with covetable décor items like a large chandelier globe lamp. www.heavenboutique.co.nz There is another interesting little shop in the Village but the morning I am there, they are busily engaged in photographing everything so I don’t actually get to talk – I remember lots of beautiful scarves.
The development of the Te Puna Village and the cluster of shops and buildings on the opposite side of the main Tauranga West Road is indicative of the increasing numbers of people living and working in the Tauranga hinterlands. I’ve written before about the drive in from Whakamarama – there’s the Avalon complex with its country boutique and garden centre; the Te Puna Village and the wonderful little cluster at Village @7 on the corner of Clarke Road. And all of that is there before you get to the Bethlehem Town Centre and the traditional Bethlehem Village shops. It’s interesting that these boutiques, cafes and galleries are evocative of the old Downtown Tauranga I saw when I first visited then moved to the region.