no. 9 Milly’s of Ponsonby
A Ponsonby icon, Milly’s is known by many as the Auckland meeting place for people who love to cook. We sit down with Liz Oldfield, the woman behind Milly’s, as she shares the values that influence the brand’s longevity, her nostalgic scent memory, and all about the fun they had on their Christmas team event with us.
What values do you believe attribute to Milly’s popularity and longevity?
One of our core values is ‘buy once and buy well’. We truly believe that investing in quality cookware and kitchen kit from manufacturers who really care about their products and how they are produced will repay you with years of enjoyable cooking – plus buying once and using it forever (and even handing it down to the next generation) is really good for our planet.
Why do you think it’s important to have a physical place where people can come together over shared interests?
Our customers (and our team) love to talk about food, about recipes and what they’re cooking, about what’s new in ingredients and techniques. We pour over the new books together, and I like to think that we all inspire each other to cook ‘outside our comfort zone’ and to become better cooks. We also have our online community on Facebook, “Milly’s Food Lovers”, which allows us to bring that sense of community to our out of town customers.
Can you share one of your favourite scent memories with us?
I think cooking and aromas are inextricably linked. The deep citrusy/caramelly scent of marmalade cooking always reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen (she was an outstanding marmalade maker).
If Milly’s were a fragrance, what would it smell like, and what feelings would it evoke?
Hmmm, good question. Baking, I think. Apples and lemon, caramel and vanilla. I’d like to think we’d invoke feelings of comfort, of home and of welcome.
We were lucky enough to host a social club activity for you recently. Why did you choose this experience for your end of year celebration?
As cooks, we love flavour and we love scent (and personally, perfume is one of my most favourite things in the world!), so this seemed like the perfect combination of both in an activity that was very inclusive for all our team (retail crew, admin and warehouse).
What did you, or the team, find most enjoyable about the event?
I loved that everyone started from the same place. It was a genuinely friendly and buzzy night with lots of the team sitting with others that they don’t work with, so I loved it from a team-building perspective too. Everyone got to know a bit more about each other.
What perfume blend did you create? And what do you think it says about your personality or approach to life?
I love woodsy, unisex fragrances. Nothing too sweet or floral. And mine was perfect.
How did you and your team keep your spirits up over lockdown? Any wellbeing rituals you could share?
We genuinely try to check in with each other as often as possible, just to see how everyone is travelling. Our team has mostly been working together for many years, so we’re more than just colleagues. Lots of our rituals revolve around food, most often baking, so that’s what we do. We bake for each other and make sure we celebrate each other’s life occasions with gusto!