Marc Hershman, founder of Love Street Food NZ, began his food journey as a 16-year-old with work experience in the Grosvenor House hotel restaurant in London. However, the dream to be a chef was put aside for Hershman to continue his education.
Around 20 years later, Hershman decided to start a Mediterreanena food truck. In 2016, Hershman also started Green Bay Street Food, one of Auckland’s first zero-waste street food events. Love Street Food came about a few years later, borne of the desire to showcase NZ’s top street food and food truck talent in a better way.
After a trip to Melbourne, Hershman began working with a developer to create Street Feast, a new food hall opening in Titirangi.
“I have travelled widely and eaten my way through some of the best street food halls in Melbourne and Japan,” said Hershman, “I love the quality of food and unique dining experiences that they can offer customers.
“Food halls can bring communities together,” he continued, “and when done well, can be a place that everyone wants to go.”
Incorporating a new model, Street Feast has only seven independent operators. This is because Hershman believes people are moving away from large chains in search of something unique, but still fast and affordable.
Hershman said he chose street food in particular because street food always comes with a story, a glimpse into different cultures and flavour profiles.
“I love that it allows both talented chefs and passionate home cooks to showcase their skills. It’s a relaxed way of dining, perfect for all ages and it’s generally budget-friendly.”
With a vision to create a global street food feast, Hershman began curating the line-up to deliver on this and present offerings that were new and fresh for the area. Many of the operators came from the Love Street Food network and wider connections.
“The one requirement was to find the best at what they do, and I am so excited by the team that we have assembled,” said Hershman.
Whilst Covid certainly threw the industry a curveball, it didn’t directly impact Hershman’s decision to open a food hall. Instead, it helped him focus his energy on ensuring that there were measures in place that would provide security for tenants in case of future lockdowns.
“We have a digital ordering system in place within the next month. This will allow for pick-ups (takeaways) and deliveries in due course. Ordering can also be made via QR code to allow for contactless payment.”
Hershman worked closely with the designers to create something boutique and synonymous with the aesthetic of Titirangi Village.
The Rise, the building where the new food hall is located, was designed with sustainability as its main feature. It is an energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive design and build, with a green wall and solar power. Finishing’s were designed by a local artist to reflect the ecological heritage of the Waitakere Ranges community as well.
Hershman noted, “The overall design of The Rise is intended to reflect the unique feel of the village, the importance of nature while delivering a modern, fresh feel for the community.”
“Street will only use commercial packaging that we will send away weekly for commercial composting,” he added.
Across the world, food halls have exploded in popularity. New Zealand is just starting to see this growth and is, in many ways, playing catch up.
“When a food hall is done correctly, it acts as a heavy traffic driver to a development and provides a success that no other retail offering could provide. It needs to be a curated experience where locals can enjoy top-notch street food meals in an environment befitting great food and social get-togethers,” said Hershman.
Bringing to life the vision of an elevated food hall experience, Hershman hopes guests will love the modern, quality design and open, visual kitchen style as well as the range of quality food.