For those who consider ice cream an essential lockdown commodity, help is on its way, courtesy of ski patroller turned ice cream manufacturer Jon Mactaggart.
Hawea Flat businessman Mr Mactaggart launched a back-to-back ice career nearly 10 years ago, in October 2011, when he opened Black Peak Gelato’s premises in Wanaka’s main street. Business boomed as more and more tourists came to town.
Last October, Mr Mactaggart opened a Queenstown store, just as the region was starting to get back on its feet after the first Covid-19 lockdown.
This winter, he opened a gelato truck in Cardrona skifield’s main hub.
Then everything screeched to a halt, including Mr Mactaggart’s side hustle letting off avalanche explosives at Treble Cone skifield.
During Level 4, Mr Mactaggart and his family cannot ski. Nor can he and his four staff – one in Queenstown and three in Wanaka – sell his products .
Heaps of ice cream is banked up his shop freezers and his staff are on wage subsidies.
Yesterday, Mr Mactaggart launched a new home delivery service, a first for his company.
Demand has been good. He has fielded at least 20 phone calls this week demanding his products, and he is keen to get back to making fresh ice cream during Level 3.
“When Covid hit, then it’s been quite tough. Eighty percent of my customers would have been travellers. They don’t exist anymore, so we are working on the locals, who have been great,” he said.
The August lockdown had come suddenly, at a terrible time for snow and ice cream fans, he said.
“We can’t wait to get back out there. It is frustrating. We had the storm of the season,” he said.
However, the region’s buy local campaign was kicking into its own.
“With a freezer truck, there’s no reason why I can’t do this,” he said.
There would be two deliveries a week in Wanaka and another two in Queenstown.
More information on available flavours, ordering and delivery schedules can be found online.