The Lawrence Mint
Alisa and Pete Dacy, along with Mel and Colin Foster have opened the beautiful Lawrence Mint, a chocolate shop and patisserie, in Lawrence. Alisa shares their story
What do you do and why is it important?
At the mint I make hand made chocolates, tarts and cakes along with other handmade sweets. I create new flavors daily using as many local ingredients as possible and love sharing my new creations with our customers. I love what I do and I never tire of seeing the smiles on my customers faces when they try my new recipes or share my chocolates on special occassions. I have worked in almost every aspect of food, from a cheese maker, to a wedding caterer. From picking fruit to working in castles in Scotland, I have run cooking schools and also been a vegetarian cook at a steak house. I have had 3 cookbooks published and 2 were best sellers and now I am thrilled to be putting my chocolate making skills (that I learnt in Belgium from my friend who owned the smallest chocolate shop in Belgium) to good use in little Lawrence.
After many years of setting up and running my very busy picnic wedding catering business, my picnic restaurant and managing a busy wedding farm venue on the Sunshine Coast in Qld Australia, My husband and I decided to slow down the pace of our our lives and in doing so we found Lawrence. We fell in love with the town and all it had to offer and sold the business and all we owned and moved here just over a year ago. I wanted to share my love of food and all the experience I had in catering with the area but also wanted to add something to the town as well. I specialize in unique food experiences and wanted to bring something new to the area. That's when we met Colin and Mel and all of us decided to renovate the old tourist tea rooms and open a chocolate shop and patisserie.
The town's support has been so fabulous and we have many more ventures that we will be expanding into soon, the most exciting one being that I will be launching my picnics in the area very soon. I have catered to just over 100 picnic's and weddings in my time as a caterer so I am thrilled to be able to share that with my new customers. Lawrence has been so wonderful to us since we moved here and we also wanted to give back to the town. Seeing the old photos of the street in its former glory inspired us to bring one of the old buildings back to life and to turn it into a loved shop again that would attract tourists to take day trips into the town and to spend some time exploring Lawrence. I am happy to say that the chocolate shop has exceeded our expectations with both attracting tourists and with the renovation we did (we used as much of the old bones the building had as we could). It is my dream that the Lawrence mint chocolate shop will be be a beautiful loved little shop for another 100 years and will continue to bring joy and sweet treats to the locals and tourist alike, while sharing my love of food and food experiences.
What is the best part about living and working in the Clutha District?
By far the best thing about living and working in Clutha is the support from the the town and the relaxed pace of life and the happy locals. The scenery is also hard to beat and the central location of Lawrence is perfect for the business with the Teviot valley being just up the road for all of our fruit. My husband is a beekeeper so he loves the incredible varity of scenery that he sees on a daily basis.
You can drive an hour in any direction and be in one of NZ's most beautiful locations. Kaka point and the ocean is only an hour away, Dunedin and its groovy restaurants and bars and shopping is only an hour away. Gore and its lush rolling hills and relaxing shopping is only an hour away and there is always something beautiful to see on the drive on your way there.
What’s your favorite place in the Clutha District?
The Catlins is our favorite place to go for a day trip or a night away. No matter how many times we go down there, we always find something new to explore.
You can find out more about The Lawrence Mint on facebook https://www.facebook.com/thelawrencemint/