If you are from Beachlands you will no doubt have visited Coastal Treasures, a not-for-profit opportunity shop located on Third View avenue.
The shop, and its associated trust, were founded and is run by Ani Stace, who along with an army of forty-five volunteersand trustees get the charitable organisation humming.
Ani is also known to locals from her tenure as owner of popular local café Rosa, which she ran up until last year.
A few years ago, Ani, and other like-minded people, were inspired to set up a up new trust named Takutai, from whichsocial services could be accessed by those locals most in need.
In addition to Coastal Treasures (which sells clothing, jewellery, bric-a brac, and runs a book exchange), the trust operates the Takutai food bank where families who are struggling to meet basic living requirements can be providedfree of charge with food parcels (enough supply for 3 days) to lighten the load for those in the Pohutakawa Coast area.
They even sponsor the Pohutakawa Coast Times’ ‘good egg’ award which recognises those who give back to their community and instil civic pride.
A school uniform bank is also available, where donated pre-loved, local school uniforms can be provided at low or no cost.
Ani says Takutai is an “all-inclusive, no questions asked” environment where anyone can “ask and get help as we employ a self-assessment model” to needs inquiries.
Ani admits to being overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, in particular when it comes to clothing donations. Ani explains some weeks they can “have up to one metric tonne of clothing” dropped off to the trust.
A community garden is also flourishing in an area adjacent to the shop. Fresh vegetables are harvested and used in meals.
Given her love and dedication to Beachlands, people are often surprised when they learn Ani is actually a transplanted local, being originally from Te Aroha in the Waikato.
Looking to “escape the rat race of Auckland”, Ani, her Italian husband, and their children have recently sold their property and are moving down to Tauranga at the end of March.
Ani says having an effective ascension strategy to “continue to grow and expand the shop” is paramount for the future ahead, particularly in these uncertain times.
Her legacy will no doubt be the continued success of the shop and the altruistic activities of the trust which will continue to be managed by existing staff and trustees.