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Food and Drink

Nook – inspired by The Fillery

Georgia Gilsenan-Fitzgerald has brought her environmental ethos to Nook, her new business. She opened Nook, at 24 Albert Street, nestled between Ball and Co and gathered co, in the second week of December.
 |  Lynette Gee  | 
Georgia welcomes all consumers to her store. There is healthy food for everyone, but especially for vegetarians and vegans.

“I’ve always been focused on trying to do my bit for the environment. I try to live conscientiously,” said Georgia.

Georgia studied Environmental Science at Toi Ohoma Institute of Technology in Tauranga. This pushed her into environmental work.

Before she opened Nook, Georgia worked for the Mercury Bay Environmental Trust and has done bush restoration and environmental community work.

Georgia has always enjoyed shopping plastic-free. She used to shop at The Fillery with Kathryn. “She inspired me. I loved The Fillery so much and I was sad when it closed.”

Georgia has been vegan for nine years. She tries to avoid dairy in the products she has in her shop. She doesn’t offer dairy milk.

“This business idea is environmentally focussed, and for me, it didn’t align with my values to offer dairy milk in our coffees and support the current New Zealand dairy industry model.

“I wanted to encourage an alternative,” she said.

Her concerns with dairy are the environmental impact, the water use, land use, and methane issues.

“It takes a lot of those resources to produce milk, whereas oat, soy, and coconut have less impact and use a lot less water, a lot less land, and it tastes pretty good as well.”

The oat milk Georgia uses comes in a tetra pak which Georgia says is not ideal, but she puts the empty containers aside, cleans them and sends them to Save Board in Thames where they are turned into insulation. There is no waste.

Her intention with her business is to minimise waste, and avoid single-use plastic. She has a range of bulk bins, half and half organic, nonorganic at the moment. She hopes to increase the organic range in time.

Georgia uses Kōkako coffee beans, a Fair Trade, organic brand.

You can fill up your honey, coconut oil, olive oil, tamari, nuts, seeds, and flours. There is a freezer full of dumplings and frozen fruit. You come with your packaging or any vessel and fill up with as much or as little as you want.

Nook also stocks the Eco Store cleaning range. You can refill your detergents, and cleaners.

Georgia has bread from ‘Bread and Butter’, an organic bread range. Bread arrives at the store on Wednesdays and Fridays, and sometimes Saturdays too.

Georgia is looking to expand her range to introduce spices and herbs, “I’m just gauging what the community is after,” she said.

So far things are going well for Georgia. “It’s been good. There’s been a lot of community support. I’ve had lots of suggestions which is helpful, and I’m trying to cater to those requests and do what I can. There are a lot of people who used to shop at The Fillery. Once they heard about Nook, they started to come in.”

Georgia likes to partner with different brands that share a similar ethos, and are environmentally minded and New Zealand made. All the retail range falls into that category. It’s either Coromandel local or New Zealand local.

Her focus is either on health and wellness, or a food product that has sustainable packaging and sustainable ethos.

“I try to support small and local New Zealand.”

Georgia has an Instagram page nook.grocer. She will have a full range of her products on her website soon, with click and collect in the near future.