Raglan foodies could soon be enjoying the Kiwi ‘paddock to plate’ experience if local builder Rob Bailey pulls off a plan to put his own breakfast sausages and bacon on the menu at Rock-it on Wainui Road, just before the turn-off to Ocean Beach.
And that explains the recent appearance of some big pigs out the other side of town, on a hillside visible to SH23 traffic heading east between Okete and Te Uku.
Ten sows – from pink to patchy-coloured – are being housed there in sow pens trucked up the past few months from a farm in Raetahi.
And yes there’s “some big pigs” for sure, says Rob, some of them orphan pigs which’ve grown too big for different places around town and are now being fattened up for inclusion on the menu at Rock-it.
The 100-year-old shearing shed turned café-cum-surf shop – which has a Tractor FM studio run by Rob in its loft – is set to open its new full-scale kitchen any time soon, serving first breakfasts then dinners when the time’s right care of Rob’s partner Sarah Kay, a chef.
Meantime the plan’s not only to serve their own sausages and bacon from paddock to plate – a catchphrase for a trend in New Zealand cuisine towards meals of fresh, locally and sustainably produced fare – but to add salami, pastrami, prosciutto, Parma ham and more to the mix.
While Rob reckons he always intended to use his patch of land to the east of Raglan “a bit better” – he’s grazed cattle there for 10 to 15 years – he didn’t really plan on this latest development of breeding and fattening pigs.
But the opportunity to diversify came when a friend and local pig-hunter wanted more land for his ever-increasing herd of pigs, so the pair are in it together.