Almighty’s Founder Ben Lenart on What Makes Him Stay in Auckland
Ben Lenart / Almighty
We were thrilled to catch up with Ben and learn about what makes a health-conscious entrepreneur tick in Auckland.
Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt
Photos by: Anna Briggs, Delena Nathuran, and Supplied
Ben Lenart, the director of Almighty, is a Wellingtonian by birth. That minor detail, and the fact that he’s the founder of Milk Crate, a café just off Cuba Street, means he holds the capital city dear. But after being charmed by large cities overseas, he was drawn to the bright lights of Auckland. Not to mention, Auckland seemed like a pretty great spot to launch an international drink company, Almighty.
After reading Ben’s Auckland recommendations, you won’t be surprised to learn he’s an advocate for a balanced lifestyle and wants to inspire others to be, too. Almighty’s drinks are healthy and delicious, and a portion of their sales go towards education programmes to teach kids how to grow and cook healthy food.
What do you do on the weekends in Auckland?
If we are not seeing friends and fam, walks and eating are typically top of the list. We are super lucky, as there are heaps of both in Auckland. We love going to gigs and shows and visiting dealer galleries and public art spaces. I do like getting out for a run, so will usually find a trail in the bush or at a beach.
What is your favourite thing about the city?
Diversity - of people, culture, and the environment. There is such a wide mix of people and cultures in Auckland. Whatever you're into, you will find some like-minded people. I love the different pockets of Auckland that have their own energy and that usually means heaps of good eating. There are so many good outdoor activities to get to as well.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about Auckland?
This is kind of random, but you can walk from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea in four hours along the Coast to Coast path. Start from the waterfront downtown and go through the city, the domain, around a few volcanoes and native bush, and you’ll end up at Manukau Harbour. Good little mission!
How would you describe Auckland to someone who hasn’t visited?
Diverse, sprawling, exciting.
You have friends coming to stay for a long weekend and surprise, they’ve never been to Auckland! Where are you taking them?
We’re going straight to Apéro for dinner and to K Rd after for a few drinks (where on K Rd depends who is visiting..!). If it's a late one we'll pop to New Flavour on Dominion Rd for a late night snack.
We’ll start the next morning with coffee and a pastry at Daily Bread, then to Bestie for brekkie. Afterwards, we would head out to Muriwai or Bethells Beach for a walk or something kind of active. Lunch at Hallertau is a must-do, I reckon. Next we would go to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki, also a must-do. Followed by dinner on Sandringham Rd starting at the Satya Chai Lounge for a drink, then to 7 Siri, an excellent little Sri Lankan spot.
Sunday I'll dial up the indulgence and head to Amano for breakfast, followed by a trip out to Waiheke Island, because it is spectacular. Docking back in at Auckland we'll head to Commercial Bay and likely end up at Gochu for dinner. On our last day we’ll be very lazy and spend time in Grey Lynn / Ponsonby, going to Ozone for coffee, Freida Margolis for a last evening drink, and finally to Lilian for a last supper. The food is all delicious there, but we will definitely get a few servings of the bread - if you know, you know.
Clearly a man who values a healthy work-life balance. Thanks to Ben for sharing his recommendations and a peek into his life.
Ben Lenart's Neat Places
171 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland
Beautiful authentic Korean food and warm hospitality on Ponsonby Road.
280 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland
The epitome of hospitality - phenomenal food and you feel like you're dining at Mo and Les's house.
Hero Sandwich House
66 New North Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland
City spot and also some of the best sandwiches. A few legends who run it, too.
6 Basque Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland
Super cute city spot, delicious food, lovely people.
The Engine Room
115 Queen Street, Northcote Point, Auckland
A neighbourhood bistro at its best - the food, the service, and the atmosphere are spot on.
13 Rose Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
A wonderful public art space with fine arts, architecture, design and craft - always something really great on with an interesting perspective on New Zealand.
Photo by: Rebekah Robinson
25 Judges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland
Beautiful modernist public outdoor pools (summer only).
312 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland
Vintage and modern furniture and interiors store, with really good coffee.
67 Otitori Bay Road, Titirangi, Auckland
A absolute little gem in Titirangi. Go for a walk amongst the Nikau and native bush and pop to French Bay for a look after, too.
1004 Leigh Road, Matakana
Worth a trip to Auckland in itself - amazing spot near Leigh, top notch food, hospitality and beer.
Great little beach for a quick summer swim.
Anawhata Beach, Auckland
Beautiful and remote beach near Piha.
854 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
An absolute favourite and a really special place! Everything is delicious.