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Why I love the central city – Jed Joyce, Founder of Rollickin' Gelato

Rollickin' Gelato is a Christchurch phenomenon. While still at high school, Jed Joyce started the business from a mobile cart, and it’s gone from strength to strength. Now with two locations, New Regent Street and the Arts Centre, it is a firm favourite of both young and old. Jed talked to us about why he loves Christchurch’s central city.

How long have you worked in the central city?

We’ve been going for six years. I started Rollickin' when I was 15 from a mobile cart in the city.

What’s on at Rollickin' Gelato over the winter months?

We’ve brought back our hot mug cakes, they come in three flavours – hot chocolate cake with a saucy raspberry centre, hot cinnamon cake with apple and a gooey caramel centre or hot lemon cake with a zesty lemon curd centre – all topped with your favourite scoop of gelato, cream and chocolate drizzle.

What’s your go-to lunch spot?

Foundation at Tūranga, the central library, has an excellent menu. I get their daily soup – it always hits the mark on a cold wintery day.

If you had one day to spend in the central city what would you do?

I’d spend it with Frank, Rollickin’s life-sized Orangutan, we’d go to Casa Publica for the guacamole and a Stella.

What’s your best kept central city secret?

I love exploring the Arts Centre buildings. The collection of heritage ‘castle-like’ buildings are amazing just to stroll in, around and out of.

Zen at the Arts Centre is a great spot for lunch and Indigo & Provisions is one of my favourite shops in the city.

What sets Christchurch’s central city apart from other places in the city?

We have some really good hospitality and business operators in Christchurch and the new buildings are changing the environment all the time. Something new is always popping up wherever you look, which makes it exciting.

Favourite central city spot in winter?

The Isaac Theatre Royal – it’s a cool building and they are always showcasing great entertainment, whether it’s a singer, comedian or theatre performance. Whenever I can go, I go!

We often get performers from the theatre in here at Rollickin'. Lorde has been in and Catherine Tate, the English comedian, actress and writer, spent the morning drinking coffee on our couches when she visited.

Sum the central city up in one word

Surprising. Lots of people we talk to underestimate Christchurch and how far we’ve come. They’re always surprised by what they find and discover.

What would you say to someone who thinks the central city is boring?

Rubbish! There’s plenty of parking, plus there are scooters and buses. You’re really missing out! Come in, catch the tram and get the latest run down on our great city.

Finish this sentence, ‘I love Christchurch’s central city because.....’

It’s fast changing and there’s never the ‘same old same old’ kind of day.

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