Nestled on a farm just 5 minutes from Queenstown airport, Country Lane Retail Village hosts a vibrant community of local businesses. With lush gardens, boutique shops, farm animals and food trucks, it’s become a hub for artists, craftspeople and events.
Originally, Country Lane was a working sheep farm. Tineke Enright and her brother, Bruce Grant are fourth-generation guardians of the Frankton property. After their parents retired, whilst they both still had a strong love for the land and rather than pursuing farming, they decided on a different approach – they began transforming the old farm buildings to protect and enhance the farm’s heritage.
Their first store to open, The Barn, was originally constructed by their grandfather in the 1950s and revamped in 2009 to house Tineke's children's clothing label, Pretty Kiwi. Notably, they didn't use any new materials – except for the roof.
Tineke explains, “We love to upcycle and give unused items a new purpose.”
Tineke and Bruce prioritised preserving the original sheep yards, an integral part of their farming heritage. They transformed the yards into a functional space that’s family-friendly and welcoming. Visitors can meet horses, sheep, goats and rabbits and kids can enjoy playing in a sandpit that was once a water trough or on an old tractor.
Tables are cleverly crafted from old farm trailers, bike stands have been repurposed and planters are made from old fish shop fryers, it all adds to Country Lane’s rustic charm.
In 2020, Tineke and Bruce rescued six cabins destined for landfill. They lovingly restored the original cabins which are now home to several unique local businesses, many of which are start-up and sole-trader businesses, including Coco’s Cabin which sells pre-loved clothing and Bright Ink, a secondhand bookstore. More recent additions include a church rescued from Waipahi, near Gore which will soon become Sunday’s, Queenstown’s newest wood-fired pizza eatery.
Soon, they plan to open a visual arts hub with a community gallery and workshop space, repurposing the former Queenstown Arts Centre building.
Along with a commitment to using recycled materials, Country Lane has bold plans to continue its regenerative journey: solar panels, rainwater harvesting, SUCFree incentives and an on-site vegetable garden are all in the works.
Annika Grant, Bruce’s wife and Operations Manager at Country Lane says, “A lot of consideration goes into selecting new tenants. We seek businesses that share our values and have the same high sustainability goals. We are fortunate to have a deep pool of talented entrepreneurs in Queenstown interested in joining us here.”
Their efforts have been recognised widely in the community. Country Lane was awarded the People’s Choice Award and was a finalist in the Best Emerging Business, and Excellence in Sustainable and Regenerative Practice categories at the 2023 Queenstown Business Awards recently.
Whether you’re sipping coffee, shopping for a one-of-a-kind gift, or attending a craft workshop at Country Lane, you’re reminded of the farming history behind this local community business. It’s all part of Tineke and Bruce’s vision to become Queenstown’s most loved place to shop, taste, experience, play or relax.
Learn more about Country Lane on their website here.