Jackson's Rēwena Bread shop opens in Whanganui

By Jessica Tyson

People in Whanganui are in for a treat, with the opening of a new shop selling delicious rēwena bread.

It’s owned by George Jackson, of Te Ātihanuinui-a-Pāpārangi, who started making the bread for his whānau in 2013.

but demand has since grown so much he decided to open a shop.

“When I was making it for my family a couple of people heard and asked for one. They were prepared to pay money for it so I was like, 'okay' and then it just hasn’t stopped,” he says.

The shop, located in Duncan Street in Whanganui East, Jackson's Rēwena Bread sells the bread baked on-site. The bread is a traditional Māori potato bread, similar to sourdough.

“We were brought up with that bread and it was so yummy and when something you remember that was that nice is gone and disappears, when you taste it again it brings back all these memories. Basically, the bread was yum and I want to share it with everyone," Jackson says.

Jackson says the feedback from the community since opening in January has been really positive.

“The other thing is my kids will probably forget that bread and it will be a legend but, if I keep the bread going, they will know it but at the moment it’s dying.”

Jackson says he has a dream to supply his bread to supermarkets and build branches in other towns around the country.

“So then New Zealand is brought up with Māori bread just as people brought up with Vogel’s, or the budget bread,” he says.

“I do this for any people really, not just our people, any people that want to work, and create more employment really … Just be inspired that Māori can do anything. Look at this. It started with me making it for my family. Now I’m here. I wouldn’t have thought I was a baker,” he says.