Wellington's Eva Street - 3 inspiring artisan businesses down one little lane...

Painting of the new Eva Street laneway sign 

Down a narrow, street art covered lane in inner-city Wellington are three small artisan brands doing big things - Six Barrel Soda Co., Fix & Fogg and Wellington Chocolate Factory


First stop, No. 1 Eva Street, a cafe/soda shoppe and the HQ of Six Barrel Soda Co., NZ's loved boutique soda brand (needs no introduction, I'm sure).  Six Barrel's founders - mates Joseph Slater and Mike Stewart - make their soda syrups from right here, concocting all-natural mixers for eateries and at home. You can visit and watch the soda being made, try a tasting board of any 3 sodas for $5, and buy from their library of soda syrups and their ready-to-drink range. They're steadily growing, having recently started supplying eateries in Australia and further afield internationally. But don't think it's not all continual hard slog, because it is. They both still ride the bus to work, and their growth hasn't come without challenges - like having to contend with a copycat business in Australia (with virtually identical branding - shame on you). You wouldn't guess any of this to speak to them, they're super generous, positive people who give as much support as they tell us they receive in Wellington. 


At No. 5 Eva Street is the nut buttery of Fix & Fogg. I've told you this story before, but it's worth repeating. Fix & Fogg's Roman Jewell had a successful, secure career as a legal professional - yip you read that right - when he left to make peanut butter. That is... small batch butter, with a obsessive focus on providence of ingredients. Roman and his wife Andrea started selling their peanut butters at Welly weekend markets, which grew to selling through a few delis and cafes, which grew to selling right around the country. Along with super crunchy, smooth and chocolate peanut butter, their latest flavour is Smoke and Fire (crunchy peanut butter with organic NZ-grown cayenne chillies, manuka smoke from Central Otago and Spanish smoked paprika. I've heard it's insanely good.)


The third neighbour on Eva Street is Wellington Chocolate Factory. Visit to see them crafting their organic, ethically-traded, bean-to-bar chocolate, using techniques that date back to the 18th century. This is real deal chocolate making, the way it's supposed to be. Each of their flavours comes wrapped in packaging designed by NZ illustrators - there's 9 so far, some of which focus solely on the single origin of the cacao bean. Wellington Chocolate Factory founders Gabe Davidson and Rochelle Harrison want you to experience the nuances of the beans that beget the choc, the way a wine lover might appreciate a grape growing province. 

There's so much more I could tell you about each of these businesses. Like how Fix & Fogg donate jars of peanut butter every month to Auckland and Wellington City Missions and Ronald McDonald Houses, or how Gabe and Rochelle have just returned from a life-changing journey to Bougainville by sailboat, to work with the war-ravaged country's leading cacao farmer. They're all doing good by doing good

Wicked inspiration for 2016 - create something you're passionate about, make it the best it can be whilst not compromising what's important to you, work hard to be successful, and then share your success. 

Huge thanks to Wellington photographers Tim and Nadine Kelly
who shot this story for Fancy

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