One and a half tonnes of apple crumble, That’s the amount of crumble that Lucas Parkinson of Ode Conscious Dining sold to the Wānaka community during his post-lockdown ‘Save Ode’ fundraiser. After a public call for support went viral, Ode was inundated with crumble orders from Wānaka locals keen to help keep the beloved restaurant afloat.
That’s just one of the many stories that embody the spirit of community for which Wānaka is renowned, and that Lake Wānaka Tourism (LWT) and Ignite Wānaka had hoped to foster with their LoveWānaka, Supporting Local campaign. Now, these stories are highlighted in a mini- series that premiered on Monday, June 22.
Covering eight unique stories of businesses who adapted their operations at a critical time, these short-form videos show the power of community. From sold out promotions to Koha activities, with one business even becoming a tour operator turned grocery-deliverer for the vulnerable.
“When the initial campaign kicked off in Alert Level 3, our main goal was to rally the community around businesses that were able to open. Encourage people to order take-out, shop online or buy gift certificates, to support local,” LWT Media and Campaign Manager Gizelle Regan said.
“When we moved into Alert Level 2, we continued to drive that message as more businesses were able to return to operation. We’ve started seeing ‘LoveWānaka’ pop up everywhere. On car bumpers, in shop windows, in the New Worlds.
“LoveWānaka now has a life that extends far beyond the Alert Levels, and LWT and Ignite Wānaka would like to thank the Wānaka community for their incredible support of local business. It’s been really incredible seeing the community get behind this campaign,” said Regan
Jessie Byrne, Digital Marketing Executive at LWT, said the initial phase of the LoveWānaka, Supporting Local campaign was “a massive success and went beyond expectation.”
“We had over 160 businesses upload offers, and tracked tens of thousands of visits to the campaign landing page, from a town with a population of only 8,900. It was encouraging to get so many messages of support through our social media channels,” she said.
Plans to continue to spread the word of LoveWānaka are underway, including merchandise and community events. Stickers and posters are available to all members of the community and can be picked up at the Wānaka i-SITE on Ardmore Street.
The LoveWānaka, Supporting Local Stories can be watched in a playlist on the LoveWānaka NZ Youtube page.
Read Edition 980 of the Wānaka Sun here.