The Mediterranean Market, Queenstown’s favourite food institution, celebrates 10 successful years in business next month (November 18) and will mark the occasion with a 10-day long celebration of all things foodie.
Festivities get underway on November 11 when Market customers will be greeted by a ten-tier, one metre-high 10th Birthday cake, lovingly crafted by the Market’s long-term baker, Jenny Lamond.
The fabulous birthday cake will be ceremoniously cut by owners Angela and Nathan Imlach in-store at 10am on Monday November 11 along with the obligatory celebratory bubbles provided by local Central Otago winery Quartz Reef.
One of the cake’s tiers will then be cut every day for the 10 days of celebrations and all customers will enjoy a slice of birthday cake and a glass of bubbles as they arrive in store.
The ten-day celebration will provide locals with free tastings each day and suppliers from all over New Zealand will offer exclusive insights into their products, divulging secret recipes and educating customers about good food.
Speaking on behalf of the Mediterranean Market owners and team, Angela Imlach said the 10th Birthday milestone enabled them to thank everyone who’d been a “part of the business” for the last ten years.
“Some of our staff and many of our suppliers have stood alongside us throughout this ten year journey,” said Mrs Imlach.
“In fact most of our supplier relationships span right back almost 19 years when we first started the wholesale part of the business.”
“The daily tastings will give our loyal customers a unique opportunity to sample the amazing products we have in-store, while also interacting with the suppliers.”
“People will be able to get invaluable tips from the people who know these products inside out.”
Some of the suppliers on display include Leelands Lamb, Shingle Creek Chevon Goat, fruit and veg from Goodies on the Gorge, Stir Tea, Cairnmuir Olive Oil, Kohi Road Ice Cream and Prenzel.
On Sunday November 17, there will be a barbeque in the main car park offering complimentary pulled pork rolls from Havoc Pork and throughout the week there will be tastings from Canter Valley Turkey.
“November is a perfect time to start thinking about the traditional Christmas roast dinner with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. People will be able to enjoy tastings then pre-order their turkey and ham in time for Christmas,” said Mrs Imlach.
The Mediterranean Market’s long-serving baker Jenny will also be doing tastings of her Christmas cake which can be pre-ordered in time for Christmas.
There will also be in-store wine tastings each day, showcasing some of New Zealand’s best wines including Mt Edward, Amisfield, Peregrine, Mondillo and Hawkeshead.
Mrs Imlach said they were “extremely grateful” for all the support they’d had in a decade of business.
“From our loyal customers to suppliers, family and staff, we simply wouldn’t be here today without them.”
“We wanted to celebrate our birthday by showing our appreciation to all those who’ve supported us over the last 10 years and longer.
“We look forward to seeing all our regulars during the festivities and welcoming some new faces as well.”
“Some of our staff have been with us for many years, so we’ll of course be saying thanks to them by holding a staff party as well.”
Created in 2003 to meet demand from the local market, The Mediterranean Market is a specialist food store that now incorporates a delicatessen offering freshly-made food using the finest local and imported ingredients, a popular café, an extensive imported Italian food range, and a home wares department.
About Mediterranean Market Queenstown
Queenstown Wholesale Market was purchased by the Imlach family in 1994 and started out with only a small team of seven staff located in a small premise at Industrial Place, off Gorge Road.
The market, which was originally manned by mainly family members, was owned by Nathan and Angela, Grant and Nadine and Grant and Nathan’s parents Ron and Pat Imlach.
Initially the market supplied fresh produce to just local hotels and restaurants, however word soon spread about the quality of produce and service and within two years (around 1996) they outgrew the building and moved to larger premises.
It wasn’t unusual in those early days for cars-especially around Christmas time-to be lined up all the way back down to Gorge Road, as savvy locals queued to buy premium produce and especially their Christmas berries.
The market’s wholesale customers grew and grew and the business expanded to supply businesses as far afield as Wanaka, Te Anau, Milford and Mt Cook as well as The Hermitage, cruise ships to Antarctica and the local ski fields.
By 2001 the customer list had expanded so much that the Imlach family, alongside locals Brendan and Sharon Wilson, opened the Wanaka Wholesale Market to meet demand.
In 2003 Queenstown Wholesale Market entered into a supply agreement with Christchurch-based Mediterranean Foods and Wellington-based Mediterranean Warehouse, re-branding the company to Mediterranean Wholesale Market.
The group imports products directly from overseas including Italy, Spain, Australia and South East Asia, enabling them to offer customers the finest quality overseas produce at competitive prices due to their extensive supplier network.
Soon after the re-brand, the family researched the idea of opening a retail store to meet the increased demand from the general public who would regularly turn up at the wholesale premise to buy their weekly supplies.
Following extensive research of local markets, producers and suppliers from around New Zealand, the Mediterranean Market as we know it day opened its doors at The Junction on Gorge Road in November 2003.
In 2004 the family expanded once more opening a retail and wholesale operation in Te Anau.
In 2005 the Imlach family sold the Wanaka and Te Anau retail and wholesale operations and the Queenstown wholesale business to multi-national company Bidvest. At its peak, the combined businesses employed over 70 people across the various operations.
Still owned and operated by Nathan and Angela Imlach, the Mediterranean Market remains a family business with many staff having worked with the Imlach family for 8+ years.
The family’s relationship with their suppliers is second-to-none and the company works with many of the same suppliers today as they did 19 years ago.
Ten years ago, the Imlach’s vision to provide a boutique food retail store and café in Queenstown was unprecedented and they continue to operate today, providing foodies from around New Zealand, and visitors from offshore, with superb quality produce and service.
Continually striving to offer the very best quality produce from New Zealand and overseas, Mediterranean Market is a Queenstown food institution.