Mylene and Greg Auphin at their new deli Rustic Cuisine. Photo: Charles Anderson.

French connection back in action

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When Mylene and Greg Auphin shut up their Hardy St restaurant last year they thought they would never again open another hospitality venue.

The French couple, who ran the popular La Gourmandise for seven years, had always intended to start a business making high quality foods in jars. But to do that they needed a space.

So, when they walked past their new premises on Rutherford St, opposite Nelson College for Girls, they saw that it had previously been a takeaway.

It had the space, and being able to use the special sterilising cooker for their jarred food business was still a way off.

So, they started cooking again for customers off the street. Rustic Cuisine was born.

“Some of our old customers have come back,” says Mylene. “It’s nice to see them again. People are starting to know about it.”

They serve everything from their popular crepes and galettes to pastries and the first incarnations of their jarred food, which has to be refrigerated until they are totally up and running.

The meals range from coq au vin and chorizo and beans to rice pudding. They use reusable glass jars that can be brought back in for refill

“We are seeing what people think about the concept of having nice food in a jar,” says Greg. “We can see what is working and what isn’t working.”

They hope to start locally and stock grocery stores and supermarkets before taking it national.

But right now, they are just thankful they aren’t running a 24/7 operation. They are still open three evenings a week. However, with two young children, Mylene says its important to spend time together.

“It’s nice to have a family life.”