By Charlotte Squire
The newlyweds sit down outside the weather beaten shop. Their shoulders visibly drop as they gaze at a horizon of hills, feeling the sun on their faces. They make eye contact with a nearby elderly couple who are doing the same, and before long the four have become life long friends over tea and scones.
This is a common occurrence at the Langford Store says owner Sukhita Langford, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She and husband Will Hutchison left jobs in the Wellington film industry to take over shop in 2008, after Sukhita’s second cousin Lorna Langford asked her to.
Lorna had inherited the shop from her Grandfather in 1947. This year the Langford Store will have served the Bainham community as a post office and store for 90 years.
At this historic destination you will find an ever expanding vintage collection, an art gallery, a café, a post office complete with second hand books, a collection of home made Kiwiana bucket hats that Sukhita herself makes and much more.
Not too many things have changed since Lorna ran the shop, including its country pace. Sukhita and Will have lovingly preserved it, while adding the odd modern touch such as a coffee machine and art.
“People can have an experience here. You can hunt for treasure, the whole place is a treasure. You can buy a $300 piece of art or a $25 fine bone china trio,” said Sukhita.
Tea is served in vintage china tea sets, complete with Grandmother style tea-cosies.
“I sold some old champagne glasses the other day and I got to thinking about the china cups and how many discussions would have been had over them since they first came to New Zealand with the settlers, how many cups of tea, and who drank out of them. Everyone says ‘Oh that’s the best cup of tea!’ It tastes so much better in the china.”
“I love the old stuff because it was made with love and intention and not mass produced. I can drop one of these tea-cups and it won’t break.
“People want this. They want to feel connected. They do here. They don’t feel like they’re being pumped through a factory, which I love.”
The Langford Store is open from nine to five seven days a week through the summer. Check out their site for winter hours.