When we head north from Auckland in summer, it’s our habit to take SH16 through Kumeu and Helensville rather than endure the scramble on SH1. It takes longer but it’s scenic, less cluttered, and for us, there’s one compulsory stop along the way.
Try as he might, Bill has no chance of sliding past Blossoms Café and the Boric Food Market on the corner of Coatesville-Riverhead Highway near Kumeu. These are no newcomers but
if you don’t know about them, it’s time to find out.
In the cafe’s simple log cabin building, the food takes the cake. It’s all made on-site and consistently good. A wrap-around veranda traps the sun (when there is any) and overlooks an apple orchard and a grassy area lorded over by a magnificent rooster and his harem. It’s a rural setting but how peaceful it is depends on who else is there.
I don’t know how long Blossoms has bloomed on this spot but the Boric Food Market in the barn next door has a long history.
The history of the Boric Food Market
In 1942, on their first orchard, Frank and Zorka Boric supplied US Marines with marmalade. In 1962, they shifted to the Kumeu property and planted it with fruit trees and vegetables. In 2010, when it became my go-to place on northern excursions, their produce was still being sold in an unembellished shed.
Successive generations of Borics were more ambitious and have massively expanded the shed to house not only fresh produce but also a bewildering selection of meat, fish, wines, cheeses, and artisan foods from around the world.
It’s an education to wander the aisles discovering items such as sugarcane toilet paper and beeswax food wraps or gastronomic mysteries such as molten tortes, organic mesquite powder, and coconut and melon tea.
Next to the delicatessen is a coffee bar with a tantalising display of cabinet delicacies to consume on the alfresco decking that overlooks a children’s playground.
I become so happily lost among this forest of food that Bill has to find me and frog march me to the door. No wonder he never wants to stop there.