Live Like a Local: Gretta Carney and Fleur Du Fresne, Juice Bar Owners

Homeopath Gretta Carney and naturopath Fleur Du Fresne share their lifestyle secrets and favourite spots


Fleur Du Fresne and Gretta Carney. Pictures / Babiche Martens.

When Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”, he could’ve been talking about takeaway juice and clean food bar Hapi Kai Co-Op. Homeopath Gretta Carney and naturopath Fleur Du Fresne started the venture in December, setting up in a store in Napier and stalls at the Black Barn’s growers market in Havelock North and the Hawke’s Bay farmers’ market in Hastings.

The health practitioners make plant-based, nutrient-dense food. Although theirs isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, they specialise in sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan, raw and allergy-free items, anything from smoothies to chicken broths and vegan desserts.

They also do cold-pressed juices and produce a selection of grocery items, such as vegan cheese and nut milks.

“If people want to address their health through food, they can talk to us,” says Gretta, who has worked for years in the organic sector. Fleur has worked in the raw food scene in Melbourne and at Auckland’s Little Bird cafe. Her blog on the Hapi website illustrates a comprehensive knowledge of nutrition, from the health benefits of drinking broths to the advantages of soaking sprouts.

“It’s about managing your health really well through food because the results of eating well can be profound,” says Gretta. The idea is to focus on the food as a source of health and nutrition and healing.”

Both Gretta and Fleur now live close to the cafe, Fleur in Napier’s CBD, Gretta in Ahuriri. It’s a far cry from the Rissington farm, where Gretta grew up and raised her own three children. “Napier is so dynamic, it’s an amazing little town with all the Art Deco around: there are so many tourists and always events happening. Hawke’s Bay Tourism does such a great job of getting things on the calendar.”

Ball’s Clearing is one of our one of our few forest remnants and home to native bats and beautiful old-growth kahikatea and rimu. We use dried kahikatea seeds from this forest as a native peppercorn for Endemic, our upcoming Food and Wine Classic [FAWC] event. And if you want to make a day of it, you can keep driving to the Mangatutu Hot Springs.

We recommend sailing on Te Matau a Maui, the ocean voyaging waka of local iwi Ngati Kahungunu. There is such an incredible amount of matautanga Maori (knowledge and teachings) wrapped up in this waka and the crew who sail Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa (the Pacific) with only the winds, currents and stars. Hapi provides kai Maori for chartered sails on the waka including Art Deco weekend and FAWC.

There’s always something gorgeous and inspired at Aroha & Friends. Rakai and Melaina have overseen Hapi’s branding and we are always stunned by how clever they are.

We get our groceries at Chantal Wholefood Emporium. It’s just down the road from us and absolutely Hawke’s Bay’s best-kept secret for decades. Founding owners Peter and Maureen Alexander have been so supportive of our business and their daughter Tessa has just bought the shop so we are stoked they have managed to keep it in the family. We drink Hawthorne coffee because it is absolutely delicious and the owners are the nicest people, and we love to dine at Pacifica in Napier.

Visit Waipatiki Beach just north of Napier for a kid-friendly walk through old stands of nikau palms and a snug little sandy beach. Or hang out in Ahuriri — take the kids to the park, get a coffee from the Milk and Honey or dumplings from Hatch, wander along the cycleway and check out some of the amazing Sea Walls murals painted earlier this year. Take a drive to Wairoa for a blast of how things once were.

We have an amazing cycleway that you can just wander. It’s a really nice thing do with the kids, if you don’t have a massive amount of energy. A lot of people ride their bikes to work, past the sea. There’s no traffic. On the weekend you can just ditch the car and get some fresh air by the sea, checking out the wineries and restaurants.

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New Zealand Herald

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