Dumplings and donuts for Maria Place pop-up

Published on November 19, 2021

People and food stalls at outside area in Maria Place, Whanganui.

The pop-up space on Maria Place is being reinvigorated for summer with two mobile food businesses setting up onsite – Mini Boss Donuts and Kaykay’s Dumplings.

Husband and wife team Basem and Kayla Andijani run Kaykay’s Dumplings. They say Kayla had been making dumplings at home and they decided to research what else was out there by travelling around the North Island sampling dumplings.

“The outcome was we concluded our dumplings were the best!” Kayla Andijani says. She describes her dumplings as “handmade and filled with love” and says pork, chicken and vegan dumplings will be on offer.

Her vision for the Maria Place pop-up area is for it to be a family friendly place filled with fun.

Zahid Mohammed, who owns Mini Boss Donuts, says his chocolate and caramel donuts are enjoyed by young and old and he’s proud to support local people into jobs through his business.

“We’re grateful the council is helping get this space set up for us and the community. It’s a great support during COVID-19, because a lot of the events we’d usually operate at are cancelled,” Zahid Mohammed says.

Whanganui District Council’s Town Centre Regeneration project manager, Ellen Young, says she wants to thank the section owners for allowing the Town Centre Regeneration team to activate this space for another summer, because it’s another way to bring life and vibrancy to Whanganui.

“We want to draw people into the central city to spend time in multiple places around town. When we provide these sort of destinations, research shows people stay in town longer and visit the surrounding businesses as well.”

She says the two murals onsite, one designed by Jodi Clark and painted by Dan Mills and the other designed and painted by Claire Foxton, make the area an attractive and colourful destination.

“This pop-up space is special because it has the largest pool table in the southern hemisphere. You play it by using croquet mallets to hit miniature soccer balls into the pockets – it’s a lot of fun and a great drawcard for the kids for the upcoming summer holidays,” Ellen Young says.

The two businesses are organising an opening event, which will include live music, for Friday, 26 November.