Gabby & Family
I am Gabby, a 24-year-old lover of food, animals, and our wonderful Mother Earth. Your Shelf is my pride and joy business baby. My passion for food and cooking started in 2016 when I was 18, I made the choice to go vegetarian. With the occasional meal of fresh fish here and there (I live in the Far North, would be rude not to), I found the vegetarian diet extremely well suited the kind of lifestyle I wanted to live. This is also when I started using cooking as a creative outlet. Becoming vegetarian I had NO idea what to cook. Pinterest became my best friend.
Once I got used to the vego diet, I became a lot more experimental and started making my own dishes. Now I never use a recipe, and most of my cooking is Vegan. I throw a whole lot of random things together and the results taste better than anything I ever made when I was a meat-eater!
My dishes are also well loved by my own personal MasterChef judges, Wendy & Brian, who are my Mum and Stepdad. They have been my biggest supporters, cheerleaders & business advisors. I even managed to completely covert Mum to the vego life! They both have played a huge role in getting Your Shelf up and running, and it’s even better getting to work right beside their shop Brakes Colourplus & Flooring Xtra.
I have always been environmentally aware, doing my part where I could. Including shopping at similar bulk food places like Bin Inn while I lived in Whangarei, and The Source while I lived in Melbourne. Moving home to the beautiful Ahipara, I noticed there was no-where around to grocery shop with a zero-waste mentality. All the plastic I was bringing home started weighing heavily on my conscience. This was when the brilliant idea came to me, why not open a store yourself! I had known ever since I was little that owning my own business one day was a definite in my future plan, and with no other commitments after being forced to come home from Melbourne due to Covid in 2020, the rest of my lockdown experience was spent planning and organising with the family about how we were going to make this happen.
My vision for Your Shelf was to make an AFFORDABLE & ZERO WASTE shopping destination for the people of Kaitaia and Far North District. Stocking organic, alternative foods that proved difficult to find up these ways. I wanted to introduce the community to this fun, sustainable way of grocery shopping, and hopefully contribute to the lessening of waste we produce as a collective.
I wanted the shop to be completely plastic free, which I mostly achieved, aside from the Home Brew section, which was originally next door at Colourplus, and even that contributes to minimising waste in its own way!
Setting up shop I up cycled where I could. I had so much fun learning how to utilise old pallets and turn them into something beautiful. I learned a lot from my best mate Shekinah who was a wiz on the power tools, and together with the help of other special people in my life, we built most of the wood shelving and displays that are in the shop today. A beautiful big slab of Macrocarpa steals the show as my front counter and was made by another good friend of mine Leslie Bore, he creates stunning wood pieces through his business Under The Table and is based locally in Ahipara.
Grateful does not even begin to describe how I feel about all the support I received in making Your Shelf a reality.
Getting Your Shelf up and running was definitely a collective project and I am beyond excited to see our community come together and live more sustainably. It’s a slow and steady process to change, but one that I feel Kaitaia is more than capable and ready for.
How It Works
There are a range of Organic and Non-Organic products. Unless specified organic it will not be.
We are very passionate about supporting local business and producers. Check us out in store and spot all the locally made goodies.
Buy as Much
as You Need
Buy a little or a lot depending on your requirments, it's completely up to you. If you have your own containers bring them in for refilling. You only pay for the product inside your container, we have a system that tare's your container weight. Alternativly you can use the paper bags provided.
Ask for Help
If you are unsure how this all works, we are always happy to help refill and gather the products you would like. Don't be afraid to ask!
224 COMMERCE STREET, KAITAIA, FAR NORTH.