Sarah's love for the Bay of Islands
Formative years for Sarah
I am originally from a little place called Te Kuiti, which is down in the King Country. I grew up on a farm there for the first eight years of my life. Mum and Dad ran a farm there. We then moved to a bigger farm in a place called Piopio which is even smaller, but we went to a bigger farm when I was about eight.
I was there for the next seven years of my life, so I spent a lot of time in the King country. I had an awesome childhood where we would go caving, swim in local rivers on tractor tyres, and ride horses. I always wanted a horse of my own but could never afford it and so I ended up earning money by doing jobs around the farm to buy a Shetland pony. The work on the farm could range from bagging up poo to sell for compost to filling up the pens behind the shearer's with sheep during shearing season. I grew up in that gritty background. With stable, strong parents to keep me grounded and focused in such a typical Kiwi farming lifestyle - the world was my oyster.
We then moved to Auckland, where my parents ran a business selling meat to hotels and restaurants. They also owned and operated a butchery business which was based inside "The Warehouse" before going on to do ready-made meals with McDonald's (that's right - actual McDonalds!) So I have generally been in and around the food industry pretty much all my life.
My little family and I have been living here in Paihia for the last ten years. Before that, I spent four years living in Thailand, where I met my husband, Jonny.
That's myself, Jonny and our little girl Scarlett. This is where I am, this is where we're based now, where I see us being for the foreseeable future is here in Paihia, in the Bay of Islands. I love living here. It's just an awesome place to bring up children as well, so accessible to the beaches and nature. We are so lucky to live and work here in Paihia.
I just want to share a little bit about myself.......my name is Sue Waddell.
I'm the administration manager at 35 Degrees and Alongside in Paihia. I've been here for about 15 months and I really enjoy working here. My favourite part about my job would be counting the cash in the morning. I find counting money very therapeutic - it slows my mind down and is a great way to start my work day - I know that sounds odd - but each to their own, right?
I have one daughter - her name is Abby. I have three grandsons. They are aged 11, 6 and 3 years old. I hang out a lot with them and they fill a lot of my time and keep me on my toes! Whether I am babysitting them, catering for their sports events, helping them with their rugby training, shopping for new clothes for them or just generally playing around with them! I am lucky to be fit enough to actually be able to keep up with them!
Other ways I fill my time outside of work include my role as a gymnastics coach based in Opua. I have been in this role for roughly 20 years. I really enjoy this role because I love the confidence that grows with each individual child as they learn new techniques and overcome their fears and insecurities. It's a very rewarding role and I am honoured to be in this position.
When I do manage to find some down time in my life I really enjoy sleeping! When I am not sleeping, I also delve into crosswords and/or reading romance novels. Yes - I am a romance novel fan! In the office at work, the girls constantly pick my brain for synonyms so I've got to keep my mind active to stay ahead of them!
I've been a round a few years and I'm well-known because of my various roles I have held over the years in our region. I love Paihia and I love my work too!
My name is Kate and I am originally from Staffordshire in England. I've been here in Paihia for about two and a
half years now.
My role here at 35 Degrees South and Alongside is sales manager. That's running shifts, doing some ordering, working the bar, running the floor. I love working here.
What brought me all the way to New Zealand from England is a bit of a funny story actually. It was completely by ac
cident. I didn't intend to come here. I was travelling around Australia, but I thought I might as well do New Zealand while I'm this far over the other side of the world. My plan was to come here for three months and then work for two months, save a bit of money, do a month's traveling and then go home.
Well - it didn't quite work out that way at all. Instead, I flew into New Zealand and came all the way up here to Paihia and I fell in love with the place straight away. That was two and a half years ago.
What I love the most about being here in Paihia is the people and the views. I'm originally from the midlands of England, and the closest beach is two and a half hours away, so to have the beach on my doorstep here in Paihia is such a luxury! I count myself lucky to be here. The summer's here are amazing. I'm quite the sun worshipper - so I lap up as much of the summer weather as I possibly can.
In my downtime I can be found at the beach, at home or socialising down Kings Road in Paihia. As I had mentioned before I love the people here in this community and I have formed some lifelong friendships with a range of awesome people.
Eddie Parker, our general manager talks about one of the things that he loves about being here at 35 Degrees South & Alongside.
One thing I love about my job is the team I work with, they are the source of my influx of grey hairs and deteriorating hair line for sure. But they are also the reason I get out of bed on those days I just want to stay wrapped up in my blankets, they are the ones that make me smile and laugh when I’m not feeling at the top of my game. And during six months of the year I spend more time with each of them than my friends or family. Actually scratch that, they are my friends and family. I guess that would make me the father. Urgh… Lets change that, how about we make Mike, the father in this family and I can be the ruggedly handsome younger uncle known for his swagger and style.
Right now we got that sorted, some Happy Facts about my team – Most of them have been part of our family for 2-3 years. All of them have a personality which is their own, although we have systems, scripts and structures they use these as a base line to shine through with their own personalities. They are all inspired to get involved in self development. They all (almost all.. it's a work in progress!) have a savings plan of 10%-30% of their weekly wages which go into a savings account that can’t touch for 90 days. That is on top of Kiwisaver contributions!
They all take part in every aspect of our business from menu and beverage list design to stock control, ordering, marketing and event planning. This business is a business of 20 leaders rather than that of 1-3 chiefs and 17 indians. No offense intended towards those that wish to just be Indians but my team is full of people who are striving towards being chiefs in their own right. We are involved in the local gym and our own company boot camps (healthy body and minds), we sit down together once a day and have a healthy meal and talk about our days events with each other. We all have learning journals with goals and a leadership team devoted to helping us all reach them. We are all humans, we make mistakes but we own up to them, we don’t blame, we admit when we are wrong . We are solution orientated rather than whiners and whingers, give us a problem and we will show you a solution. We spend a good deal of time joking & pranking as we do our learning and getting our hands dirty. We are in the business of experiences and memories and I think, well I know I have a team and family of individuals who are dedicated to this and dedicated to improving themselves so they get even better at this.
Ask me why I do this? On those really tough days what picks me up? What makes me go home and get ready to do it all again the next day? And I will answer easily without thought or hesitation and give you 20-40 names depending on the time of year or season. These are the names of my Team Members, the names of my Family.
Is it just me or has the whole world stepped up its game when it comes to what we eat? Dinner was very standard when I grew up and followed simple guidelines. Monday nights were sausages, potato & vegetables. Tuesday nights, chicken, potato & vegetables. Wednesday nights, chops (Could be lamb, could be pork, depending on how “ris-kay” Mum was feeling,) potato & yes you guessed it vegetables.
The rest of the week followed the same principle except for Fridays. we all loved Fridays, “Takeaways Night". Dessert was something we only got if we had friends or family visiting. Not to mention how breakfast stepped up from toast and spread or porridge to bacon & eggs on those same occasions. But now with the back drop of shows like Master Chef & My Kitchen rules, a greater awareness of what we should be eating and whole television channels dedicated to food, the domestic cook is now able to turn their kitchen into their very own 5 star restaurant. We are just so spoilt now with tastes, flavours and options.
I’m going to share with you today one of my favourite dishes at Alongside & 35 Degrees South. Two words people, “Lamb Ribs”. For those of you out there that know me, would know how I treat my body like a temple. I make sacrifices to it daily. Normally I spread the sacrificial love around not wanting to snub a certain type of meat for another. Living by the unshakeable principle that if you are a meat sitting portioned up at a restaurant or a super market your days are numbered, no use trying to hide. You have just booked a one way ticket to the temple of Ed.
Anyway back to Lamb Ribs, take a seat and let me paint you a picture. Lamb breast with ribs still attached placed in a casserole dish with white wine, peeled and then finely sliced garlic, rosemary and a dash of seasoning placed in an oven for around 2 hours. After cooking we are going to take that casserole dish and separate into individual ribs and then gently apply with a brush (as Michelangelo did when creating the Sistine chapel) some our very own home made BBQ sauce (a secret recipe but we will let you know there is a splash of beer in there just to get the party started). They then get roasted again for another half hour until the sauce is a rich brown in colour and sticky to the touch and the lamb just falls away from the bone.
Enough said I’m off to order some Ribs! Care to join me?