14 Nov 2017

New food truck makes a healthy difference in Māngere East

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:31 pm on 14 November 2017

Māngere East hasn't been the place to go for healthy takeaway food and ethically-sourced coffee – until The Village Cafē food truck popped up a few months ago.

Maria Hunt and The Village Cafē

Maria Hunt and The Village Cafē Photo: Supplied

People in the area who want something healthier than fast food no longer need to travel to Manukau or central Auckland, says project manager and chef Maria Hunt.

"[Mangere East] is literally saturated with fast food restaurants. You don't have to walk too far to get a pie or some fried chicken, but you won't find options to have a salad or something that hasn't been deep-fried."

The Village Cafē team did surveys on the streets to get an idea of what people wanted from a community cafe and have tailored their menu to that.

Their top seller by far is a stuffed kumara dish cooked in the truck's Victorian baking oven, which was once used to cook stuffed potatoes.

The Village Cafē is a social enterprise, with all profits going back into the cafē and other community projects.

It's just the beginning of Maria's dream to serve the South Auckland community where she was born and raised and help create pathways to employment in the hospitality industry for local youth.

The Village Cafe food truck is parked outside the Metro Theatre on Massey Road from Wednesday to Saturday. You can also find them 5pm - 9pm every Thursday through November at the Māngere East Summer Night Markets, Māngere East Village Green.

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