This month we interviewed our lovely Innocent Packaging customer, Toastie. With their well established social media presence, I'm sure you have already heard of Toastie.
Based in Picton and now Ohakune, they are taking over the sandwich scene by creating delicious toasties you need to try. Walking into their store, you will be greeted with their iconic “ALWAYS BLOW ON THE TOASTIE” neon light.
If you’re travelling around Aotearoa this summer, make sure to give them a visit!
We were lucky enough to chat with General Manager, Taylor Hamilton to learn about their delicious toasties, the power of social media and more.
Hey Tay, thanks for chatting with us! Firstly, can you please tell our readers about Toastie and how it started?
Bit of an introduction - my name is Taylor Hamilton, and I am the general manager of Toastie. I was working for the owners (Emma and Brendan Faith) at one of their other businesses back in Kapiti, when we all came up with the idea for Toastie. Picton was a favourite holiday destination for us all, so we had a bit of a "why not" moment, and took the leap across the strait.
If you could describe your sandwich shop in three words what would they be?
Simple, indulgent and *cool emoji with the sunglasses on*
I visited Toastie when I drove through Picton and loved it! Best Toastie I've ever had. How do you come up with each flavour?
We really believe in doing one thing, and absolutely nailing that one thing. For us, that's toasties. Our ingredients are simple, and on paper, they might not sound like anything too special, but we do it right. So we never like to over-complicate the flavours, it's all about picking good, classic sammies, and then elevating them.
This leads me to my second question… What is your current favourite toastie combination?
I have a go-to toastie for each store.. When I'm in Picton it's kimchi, baconnaise and jalapenos, but when I'm in Ohakune it's cheese and carrot lol! Might not sound too exciting but we use The Urban Monk's pickled carrots with this amazing ginger tang to them.
Your toasties have become so recognisable on social media! Was social media something you wanted to focus on when coming up with the band aesthetic for Toastie?
100%. When designing the store and creating the brand, it was so important to us that we had social media at the forefront of our decision making. It's not enough to just hope that people put your product on their Instagram stories.. You have to give them a reason to. For us, that's the physical store, including the 'Hello Gorgeous' on the floor and the neon sign (which has become so recognisable and Picton-iconic). But it's also the physical product. The four cheeses create this insane cheese-pull that people just want to share with others.
I can't go past not mentioning your delicious doughnuts... Who is behind these delicious looking creations and what is your most popular flavour?
The doughs almost receive as much hype as the toasties - it's insane! Every day we have our classic custard creams, but on the weekends we jazz it up with special flavours. Anything Whittakers always flies out the door, particularly their 100s & 1000s, and Hokey Pokey. In fact, I'm working on getting myself on the Whittakers PR list (if you're reading this Whittakers, my DMs are always open hahahah).
Toastie Picton must have one of the best views in New Zealand! Being based in beautiful Picton, what are your favourite things about the place and its local community?
There are definitely days when you're standing behind the coffee machine and you have to pinch yourself that this is your office! No two days ever look the same in Marlborough, and it feels like the Sounds are always putting on a show. Some of our staff even run across the road for a quick dip before/after work, which is pretty damn special.
We’re stoked that you use Innocent Packaging! What made you decide to use compostable packaging?
As a takeaway shop, we are very conscious of how much packaging we use and how much waste there is the potential of producing. For this reason, it's really important to us that we use compostable packaging to minimise this. Innocent Packaging provides amazing packaging solutions for businesses that want both beautiful branded packaging, but also are mindful of the wider impacts packaging can have.
You recently opened your second Toastie (congrats!) in Ohakune. How did this come about? How have you found opening your second sandwich shop?
Relatively soon after we opened Picton, we realised that we were on to something pretty damn special. We quickly started joking about having another location, which our social media audience was also very quick to suggest. What we love most about having two stores is that they are so similar, yet so different. The branding is all the same, and the toastie recipes are all the same, but the stores have two very different personalities and it's been very fun watching them both grow.
Lastly, For our readings planning a trip to visit you, where can they find your stores?
Toastie Picton - 10 London Quay, Picton (open 6.30am - 4pm, 7 days)
Toastie Ohakune - 49 Clyde Street, Ohakune (open 7am - 4pm, 7 days)