Mount Maunganui’s newest eatery Providores, calls itself an ‘urban food store.’ It’s a clever mix of cafe, bakery, and deli - all given equal emphasis, according to one of the partners Robin Feron.
Providores is a cafe with a large amount of food made “in-house,” says Robin, including genuine artisan breads - sourdoughs, French baguettes and ciabatta - made in a stone hearth oven using organic flour and slow fermentation. The home baking extends to a large cabinet bursting with gourmet pies, tarts, lasagnes, and baguettes with fillings – such as bacon, lettuce avocado & tomato. Breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes are also made where possible, using local, organic and free range produce, including bacon, ham, and milk.
Providores is run by two couples with impressive food credentials – Robin and Andrea Feron, and Lisa and Dean Komene. Robin Feron’s “chefing” goes back 24 years, and includes founding the well known cafe Mediterraneo in central Tauranga, along with Harbour Side restaurant. A highly experienced pastry chef and artisan baker, Dean was a partner in popular Boulangerie cafe in Tauranga, and has worked for other well known businesses such as Florentines.
Surfboards adorn at least two walls of Providores, but it’s not a lame attempt at a neo-Californian decor. The surfboards are NZ-made and the theme is “Kiwi bach – holiday home.” “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an old shack on the beach, or you’re up in a high rise...you’re coming to your bach and this is what it is - just a bach. We’re trying to go for that holiday home theme; you’re coming down and you’re relaxed...” says Robin. The bachy decor is helped along with surfing videos on a big screen, and big wooden, quite homely, spread-your-stuff-out tables.
The cafe-bakery-deli concept appears to be working well for the couples, with weekends in particular “going nuts.” Some people come in three times a day, such is the multi-purpose nature of Providores. This deli side of the business is geared towards picking up a few essentials to whip up an easy dinner, rather than “lots of little knick knacks to put in the cupboard and forget about.”
“Ours is more about, you can come in and construct a meal...it’s more for busy locals or the holidaymakers who come in and grab something for the meal that night. Or they’ve got friends coming around; they can put a platter together with cheeses, coupla things from the deli, breads...”
The deli stocks local cheeses from the Kaimais, and imported cheeses from countries like France, Italy and Spain. You’ll find Australian salami and other meats, preserves and chutneys, pastas and oils, and organic fruit and veg round off the selection.
Lots of people pop in for Providores frozen meals. A big fridge is kept well stocked with ready-made Thai curries, lamb shanks, lasagnes, and soups. The average takeaway meal is $12, with smoked fish chowder $10 for two servings. They roast their own beef and smoke their own salmon from Marlborough.
Providores sweets are popular including Dean’s celebrated carrot cake, and white chocolate custard brioche (they’ve just added a black cherry and custard brioche as well). The coffee is Millar’s, from Auckland coffee roasting legend Craig Millar, and Providores is fully licensed with a selection of wines and boutique beers sold by the glass.
In the deli section a blackboard message reads “Providores is a work in progress,” inviting ideas from customers. Many will think they’ve got the cafe-bakery-deli mix pretty right. Providores is at 19a Pacific Ave, Downtown Mount Maunganui. Tel 572 1300