Flip Grater credits a renewed Christchurch with the success of her life as a mum, a musician, an author, and a vegan butcher.
“In Christchurch 22 years ago, I used to take my own soy milk with me to cafes because nobody knew what it was,” Grater says.
“Now there are so many options, and we wanted to be part of that. It’s an amazing time to be a vegan.”
She’s a fifth-generation butcher, although she differs greatly from the rest. Her meats are plant-based, proving hugely popular with customers of her delicatessen Grater Goods.
Based in Sydenham on the outskirts of the city centre, they sell plant-based meats made from a range of beans, wheat proteins and natural products. They also make and sell dairy-free cheeses and lunch-time sandwiches, with plans to open as a wine bar.
Grater says it is time people explored more ethical eating habits, for their health and the health of the natural environment.
“The earth can’t currently sustain the way we’ve been eating, so we’re trying provide alternatives to meat and animal products in the form and way people are used to,” she says.
“If I can get blokey guys to want to eat plant-based food, then that’s a win, and that’s actually going to change the world.”
She says the new Christchurch readily accepts new ideas and regularly challenges the status quo.
“Christchurch was always a conservative place, but now it’s actually a new city with new places to explore, new pockets of life,” Grater says.
“There are lots pf physical place to explore, but there’s also a lot of innovation and a lot of new life in Christchurch right now. It has this amazing lifestyle that you can’t compare with anywhere else in the world.”
Grater spent much of her adult life touring the world as a musician and met her eventual husband in Paris. They moved back to Christchurch to be close to the hills, the water, and a bustling urban centre.
“Growing up in Christchurch I felt very safe and there was a point in my life where that felt boring, so going to Europe felt very important.”
“Paris was scary and fun and wonderful, and I love Paris, but it was a stressful place to live. It’s been really lovely to come back and have the ease of being here. With all the challenges of parenthood, it’s nice to not be challenged by the stress of a big city at the same time.”