Raeward Fresh Queenstown has fresh stock arriving daily. We would like to offer a new service to our local clientele over this time of uncertainty. We will personally pick and pack the freshest produce, meat, bakery and dry goods for you. We also have a range of freshly prepared ready to cook meals our chefs make daily, talk to us about the options available.
Personalised Pick & Pack Service
• Collect 7 days a week. Monday-Sunday 8am-5pm • Order before 2pm for collection the next day
Personalised Pick & Pack + Delivery Service
• Deliveries will be Tuesdays and Fridays • To homes in the Wakatipu Basin, including Arrowtown • Order before 2pm for delivery the next day • Free delivery for orders over $150 or a $25 delivery fee for orders under this amount
Payment for groceries/delivery fee can be made via credit card over the phone or email
Oonagh Browne makes chocolate from the heart. She chooses ingredients based on her inner passions and combines them in ways that delight her soul. Her production process is a meditation of sorts, whereby she forms each chocolate rolled ginger, or sesame thin slab, with the intention to bless. She shares her heart via these creations at her cafe, at the Littleton markets and, now, at Raeward Fresh in Queenstown where I had the good fortune to try them out. Oonagh’s certified organic chocolate was rich and smooth, tempered perfectly to create the essential snap and crunch of a first bite, quickly followed with that smooth, melt-in-your-mouth-endorphin-stimulating sweetness. Then the ginger hit – all kinds of spicy and candied notes melded in with the cacao (making me very, very happy). And the Fresh Truffles! Each one in the box of six were delicious revelations of dark caramels and rich fruity creams (like lime!) encased in delicate chocolate architectures. This is Oonagh’s goal, to spread some love through the work of her and the whole teams hands.
Oonagh grew up in Baltinglass, Ireland, where chocolate meant Cadburys. It wasn’t until later in life, when she took a business trip to Belgium, that she discovered chocolate could be so much more. Having finished her business degree, Oonagh worked for a multinational in London. Despite doing well, she longed for her life to be more creative and fulfilling. Hosting dinners and expressing herself through hospitality covered some of this ground but, at the end of the day, working in a business that didn’t operate from her passions made her feel as though her soul would shrivel up and waste away. It seemed to her at that point that the most logical thing to do (as it seems to be for many people) was to head to the Himalayas. Oonagh shook off London in the mountains of Nepal, went on to study meditation in Thailand and discovered during her sojourn how wonderful New Zealand is for the soul. She went on to Australia for a time, where her love of creating with first chocolate began. She discovered how to be creative through practicing a moving meditation called The Form. Oonagh met the founder (B Prior) who told her he was planning on opening a centre in NZ. She loved the idea of being a part of something that was about more then just business as usual. She joined with Bernie, Suzanne Johnson and Declan Scott to create She Universe, a business that was about expressing human potential and heart in the business world, one beautiful chocolate at a time.
Along the way, Oonagh serendipitously met a woman at an Australian church fundraiser who offered her a chocolate covered date. It was a turning point for Oonagh, describing what hit her taste buds as “pure perfection”. The woman kindly shared her recipe and Oonagh started making these and a few other treats for the Littleton Markets. She also started making petit fours for local fundraisers and her inner-creative started blossoming. As the passion took hold, she converted a room in her home to a commercial kitchen and let her imagination run wild. Bernie (who bought a cafe in Governors Bay) continued to encourage Oonagh and gave her space in his cafe for her to share her creations. Eventually, production moved into the cafe and the She Chocolate Universe flowered.There are now four chocolatiers who craft at She creating new ideas to keep up with the growing demand for an exceptional range of products, including things such as specialized Valentine treats that walk a couple through their love story via six distinct chocolates, to a rich hot chocolate drink made with coconut sugar, to Mayan chocolate slabs chocked full of nuts and dried fruits.
For many companies, making a great product is enough. For Oonagh and Bernie, life and what they make of it means extending themselves and the work of their hands out into all facets of their community. For instance, Bernie travels the world running personal development workshops and raising funds for community projects. Oonagh takes her chocolate passions to high schools around the region showing kids how to create with cacao and how to discover their own passions. Their brand, She Universe, also runs ‘Chocolate Journeys’ (chocolate appreciation and history courses… with LOTS of tastings), has a 1947 London Transit double decker ‘Chocolate Bus’ which they hire out for functions, has a dessert bar at The Tannery in Woolston and they host ‘Chocolate Weddings’ for all those loved-up chocolate aficionados out there. All this closes the authenticity gap for Oonagh, who believes that when you can combine your passions with your business you can change the world. And yes, this attitude can seem a little trite and clichéd but, in relating to Oonagh, it’s obvious that it’s not mere rhetoric – there’s a heartfelt and deep connection between their inspiration and their work which overflows into their homes, their cafe, and their community.
She Chocolates is now also overflowing into the Pacific Islands. Traditionally, She Chocolates have sourced their main ingredient, from the Callebaut Belgian Chocolate Factory. Oonagh is currently developing her own ‘source to bar’ products with cacao beans from Samoa (Sunshine farms in TuiNai village) . This new connection is inspiring new products, such as She Chocolate Covered Cacao Beans. Coated with a 58% chocolate, these roasted beans punch a double chocolate dose of smooth and crunchy cacao that is a true chocaholic superfood experience. Oonagh’s relationship with the source community and product is yet another step in her journey from County Wicklow (in Ireland) to chocolate in the South Pacific, all from the heart. The multi dimensional approach Oonagh, B, Suzanne and Declan create their chocolates with reflect many of the values our Raeward Fresh communities do: living life to the fullest, being community minded, and celebrating the best of foods with our best of friends. We’re blessed to have the work of Oonagh’s hands in our stores.
Misc Notes on the other samplings I did. • The Hot Chocolate Original Swirlers, a package of three chunky blocks of hot chocolate on a stick, were a whimsical answer to my question; “where oh where in NZ can I get a fantastic hot chocolate”?. I melted the full cream milk in my milk frother and swirled the chocolate cube on a stick until my hot chocolate was ready. Of course, I did take a few licks of the cube along the way, the wonderful coconut sugar blending wonderfully with the dark chocolate. The result was a creamy hot choc that was smooth and rich. Perfect, especially because the coconut sugar happens to have healthy amounts of magnesium and zinc. I couldn’t be happier. • The six Fresh Truffles were fabulous. Especially the burnt caramel and the lime cream, and the rose water turkish delight’ish truffles. I ate all six within minutes. I have been around the world and She has nailed it. I could compare these truffles with any in Paris or NYC. Well done crew! • The Mayan (70%) Raspberry bar was dark, thick and sprinkled with dried raspberries which was perfect as they melted at the same time the chocolate did on the palette. I was impressed with the tempering and that lovely sweet / fruity sourness that speaks of a cacao kept in tact through the chocolate making process. This bar will last a while as a simple bite is enough to hold you in paradise for long enough.