Whangamata business to donate day's takings for Kaikoura bakery

By Lesley Staniland

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Oliver's Bakery owner Dion Mackwood plans to get up even earlier than usual to bake in anticipation of a busy day. Photo/file
Oliver's Bakery owner Dion Mackwood plans to get up even earlier than usual to bake in anticipation of a busy day. Photo/file

They were "bummed about what happened down there" so Whangamata bakers Dion and Rochelle Mackwood decided to do something to help the quake-stricken town of Kaikoura.

The owners of Oliver's Bakery searched Google to see if there was a bakery, like them, that could do with a helping hand.

"We didn't know its name but it came straight up as Kaikoura Bakery," Mr Mackwood said.

"We rang and spoke to them a couple of days ago then Rochelle put on our Facebook page that we were going to donate all of Friday's takings to the Kaikoura Bakery - since then it's just exploded.

"By about 7am we had 129,000 hits on the page, and even a comment from someone in Perth. It's just amazing. It makes my heart burst."

In conversations with Sophia Smedley, owner of Kaikoura Bakery, Mr Mackwood said they had discovered some interesting links.

"We found out not only that Sophia's husband's mum, and Rochelle's mum went to school together in Oamaru, but his sister is here in Whangamata on holiday and plans to come in to see us tomorrow."

The Smedleys have two children - one at university and another working as an apprentice in the bakery so the money raised would be a help to them.

He said they had not expected their project to attract so much media interest.

"We're the same sort of town as Kaikoura - one road in and out - and it's just heartbreaking for them to be cut off from their everyday trade. It makes you stop and evaluate life."

As word spreads, Mr Mackwood is expecting tomorrow's trade to be as busy as a Labour Weekend Saturday.

"If that happens we'll be stoked. We'd be happy if we get $5000 but I've got a feeling we'll go past that."

So, instead of getting to work at 3.30am tomorrow, Mr Mackwood will be up and baking at 2.30am. Aside from the pies which are bought in, the couple and their staff scratch bake everything.

"We'll be pulling in extra staff - they're all amped about it and keen to help."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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