Sweet & Savage

A photo of Rachel Savage with her children.

Rachel Savage

Let’s be honest, there’s no denying that Rachel Savage clearly has a bit of a thing for food.

A quick scroll through her blog or Instagram will have you plotting how you can befriend her (lemon, fennel and ginger tart anyone?) – and her cool and quirky aesthetic ensures that her food seems to always look as good as it tastes.

Rachel’s life took a 180 a few years back, when she and her husband decided to ditch big city life, and move to the Banks Peninsula; a stretch of beautiful coastline an hour and a half outside of Christchurch. With loads of local produce around (and soon, a few hungry mouths to feed), Rachel started spending more and more time in the kitchen, dreaming up things to make. When her friends cottoned on to her creations, they started to pester her for recipes – and shortly after that, Sweet&Savage was born.

It was a vision that centred around one of her favourite things to make: doughnuts. Hot, fresh and forever the pick of her friends and family – Rachel knew that if her food dream ever became a reality, doughnuts would be the way to go.

Nothing eventuated until about a year ago, when Rachel stumbled across an airstream caravan for sale on the side of the road in Burkes Pass. Although it definitely felt like a radical purchase, Rachel knew that it was the perfect opportunity to turn Sweet&Savage into something more tangible. The silver caravan – which has since been converted into a mobile kitchen – was in original condition, and it was important to Rachel that it maintained its authenticity. Rather than cutting a big service hole in the side, Rachel and her team now work outside one of the existing window, and in total, the renovation took about a year to complete.

It’s been a consuming but rewarding process for Rachel, and now she can be found selling her doughnuts most Saturdays, on the ocean side of Jubilee Park in Akaroa. Featuring flavours like white chocolate, lime and coconut or strawberry, mint and cream, it’s no wonder that Sweet&Savage is keeping her pretty busy these days. And with a few local events and festivals in the line up, it shouldn’t be hard to locate your next caffeine and sugar fix.

It’s a simple formula; but for Rachel that’s all part of the great appeal. Living in a remote place has taught her to work with what’s on offer, and to be a bit resourceful when she has to. Simple is best, she reckons, and where doughnuts and coffee are concerned, we’d have to agree wholeheartedly…!