Just inside the entrance to Riverside Market, Aha Wildlife Bakery serves up its Kiwiana baked goods with a warm welcome. The busy corner site opened in September 2019 and has a lot packed into a small shop.
The founder of the business was once a veterinarian in Thailand and now volunteers at a wildlife hospital here in New Zealand. She enjoyed travelling around the country to see the unique wildlife, like the penguins and dolphins. A keen advocate for native species, she wanted to promote awareness of the value of these animals. She came up with the idea for the bakery, as a way to combine her love of baking and native wildlife.
The Aha Wildlife Bakery concept was born. Baked goods are shaped with love into the form of animals and carefully decorated. It started with the butter kiwi, a lightly salted fluffy pretzel bun shaped like a kiwi with a creamy butter inside. The product range has grown into a diverse offering of sweet and savoury treats.
On the chilly weekend we visited, we came in from Cashel Mall to the enticing smell of fresh baking. The cabinet was filled with sandwiches, filled bagels and delicious biscuits, like the chocolate-covered penguin cookie. You can also order toasties, pizzas or the adorable waffle penguins, served with blueberries.
We tried a jam whale and a gingerbread cookie. The gingerbread cookies were crispy and iced with colourful icing. They were a hit with the children. The jam whale, a sugared doughnut in the shape of a whale with a teaspoon of jam inside, was light and sweet.
Aha Wildlife Bakery is a photogenic spot with its wall paintings of the local fauna decorating the shop. The unique wildlife-inspired bakery designs, all created here in New Zealand and made fresh onsite, are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. Vegan sandwiches are available too.
Address: Riverside Market, Christchurch
Phone: (020) 41292001