This month our Newsletter is about us, the woman behind the counter / stocking shelves / packing out the back / paying the bills upstairs / toasting the muesli / talking about food etc.
Megan grew up in Des Moines, Iowa (land of GE soy and corn) in the U.S. She has lived in New Zealand over 3 ½ years and is now a permanent resident. It is most likely that anytime she has a considerable number of days to play, she is in the mountains tramping with her husband and a pack full of Piko treats (They recommend chocolate covered Printen biscuits or Rapunzel chocolate. The nut corners don't travel well, but still taste great squashed)! She and her husband came to New Zealand to help start EcoQuest, a university environmental field studies programme, located on the Miranda Coast of the North Island. Part of this experience included the management of an organic orchard and vegetable garden, where she developed a passion for organics for environmental and health reasons. She recently completed her second of three years of herbal medicine studies at the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine. Her background prior to living in N.Z. includes a B.A. degree in biology and work as an outdoor environmental educator in places such as the Palau Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Chesapeake Bay area of the U.S.
She greatly enjoyed that work, but still claims Piko is her favourite job yet!
Tall, blond and laughing. Tinke's motto is "You've got to have fun" and after 20 years in the co-op she really knows the ropes, and is still enjoying the atmosphere and the wonderful costumers that shop here.
Tineke, a committed conservationist is involved with the planting of native trees in the Travis Swamp, as well as being a member of Forest and Bird and the Kiwi Conservation Club.
In her own garden she looks after her frogs, axolotls and stick insects and her latest animals: 6 chooks.
She also is mother of three.
Tineke plays the flute, has a vast array of tropical pot plants, carnivorous plants and fills her cupboards with preserves and her famous plum sauce. Tineke's great love however is ornithology and she and Ariel are often seen heading off with binoculars and bird books to scan the horizons.
Brigette's job at Piko has kept her from being in and out of the courts for the past 11 years . . . yes as well as a classical homeopath and mother of two she is a qualified lawyer.
Rarely seen behind the counter these days, Brigette of the brilliant blue eyes keeps a tight rein on the finances of the business; balancing our books, paying the wages, ordering stock and a host of other administrative tasks.
You probably have heard her running up and down the stairs, so she stays in good condition for her favourite sport - skiing. In the summer she windsurfs and enjoys the green mountains. She is also a keen gardener with a passion for roses and likes her garden tours.
Ariel has now finally completed her studies in linguisties and anthropology and keeps threatening she will get a "real" job soon, once she gets over her current bout of omphaloskepsis.
Originally employed to make peanut butter (until she discovered an aversion to the said legume), she now works in the shop and doubling as security as she keeps strange hours packing fruit and nut late into the night.
Bird watcher, homeopath, cinema goer, stargazer, and full of party tricks. Ariel insists upon expanding our lexicon with obscure words. Modelling herself along Francescan lines she lives with a pride of cats in a house under the hills.
With a sardonic wit often mistaken for grumpiness. Ariel is rather bah humbug about the festive season, but assures us a good Merlot and a mature Stilton and a dark chocolate (Green and Black's, her favourite) goes a long way to
improving the day.
Kiaora, well my Piko days are coming to an end, but certainly not as a shopper, supporter and maybe occasional reliever. I'm following Sheryl's tracks and staying home to be a full-time mother – the inner life calls!
I've had seven years at Piko full of growth; for myself being part of a close-knit co-operativechallenging and caring for each other; and of being part of a successful, expanding business. There are always reliefs and regrets when you
leave a job. My regrets are in not being able to do quality control on the fruit and nut anymore . . . (mmm those macadamias I was never quite sure about!) and in not being around the inspiration and information of healthy living environmentalists including customers and organic growers. My relief is in never having to mop that dear old recycled lino floor at 6pm when I've walked several kilometres over it all afternoon; and not having to justify to my fellow workers- the other bosses, why I bought 10 outers of organic popcorn etc. etc.! Thank you for all your good company on the other site of the counter and I wish you a happy festive season, Shelley.
Susan is Piko's resident surfer. If you want a surf report for coastal Canterbury, Susan is the person to ask – changes are she has already been in the water at least once that day on her new custom built kneeboard and her hair is still wet.
Her interest in plants is reflected in her contributions at Piko: she orders the vege seeds and grows the vege seedlings, as well as ordering the Maruia soaps, which help the Solomon Islanders retain their rain forest. She also is the
herbs and spice girl and makes endless mountains of muesli.
She will be leaving for California in March with Bob, following their wedding on the beach at North beach.
Jo loves the country life and she lives over the hill and far away near Governors Bay, with her partner, four cats, 5 chooks, a lovely wee Chihuahua dog, some native snails and an 18-year-old goldfish.
After 10 unforgettable years of waitressing it has been a marvellous change of life for Jo to come to Piko, a little over six months ago. Another change in lifestyle will take place in May, when she gives birth to her first child, something
she waited 32 years to do!
Jo is an Aquarian dreamer – and exists part-time in an imaginary old-fashioned world full of morals and values, kindness and goodness.
Nadine, our gluten-free baking-queen, arrived at Piko just over a year ago. She originally came from the North Island and has been in Chch since early 2000. She is enjoying digging her heels in after several years of exploring some of England and Europe and much of the North Island.
Her various food allergies brought her to Piko as a customer, and now she tries to share her experience and knowledge with other customers.
When she is not at Piko she is either working on the long awaited Gluten-free Cook Book !!, reading, creating her art and craft, enjoying time out with her partner and their cat, gardening, walking and exploring unseen areas of the
She is looking forward to spending more time at Piko and starting the Herbal Medicine course at the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine next year.
Rebecca feels like her whole life revolves around food: selling it, ordering it, cooking it, talking about it, reading about it, eating it, buying it, growing it.
Rebecca also loves her friends, her cat, her garden, nature, natural health and her ancestors: she spends a lot of time behind her computer making her family tree. After work she visits the "Family Planning Centre" and late at night she visits family tree places on the web.
She likes spending time out of the city, enjoying the beautiful outdoors. And she loves babies, she decided to become a midwife. So all you midwifes out there, please make yourselves known.
When Mariska is not working at Piko she is: making websites, landscape designing, running, camping with her husband in their van, skiing, tramping, biking to Piko, dreaming about living in the Marlborough Sounds with her husband and a border collie, making wine, baking bread, travelling to Colorado to see her brother and to go skiing with his family, cooking, drawing, growing plants for the land in the Sounds, travelling to Holland to see her parents and to go speedskating with them, swimming in the ocean, climbing mountains . . . just enjoying life!
Lyn comes in at the end of the week and after a cup of coffee she fills up all the open sacks. She has been at Piko for quite a while now and has no plans to leave soon.
A very talented and creative woman with a penchant for mixing sounds and colours. Lyn taught audio engineering for the Polynesian Performing Arts Trust and studied jazz guitar at the Polytech. A brilliant musician (if you are
fortunate to ever hear any of her original jazz compositions), but shy of her talent, she also plays the harp. But talents not just for music – for 3 years she had a craft stall at the Arts Centre, mixing colours in the form of marbling paper.
What to do about all that plastic!??
We still need your help to reduce the amount of plastic carrier bags lying around on the planet!
Something to think about, also in the festive Season !
We wish you a happy and healthy new year.