Someday Somewhere

I have huge respect for people who are prepared to put everything on the line to follow their dreams, and I come across a number of these people when I’m writing this column. One such person is Kimberley Eagle who recently took over Jaks Island in Bridge St, opposite the courthouse, and rebranded it as Someday Somewhere.

Someday Somewhere cafe owner Kimberley Eagle at the premises formerly known as Jaks Island cafe in Nelson

I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the name reflects the desire Kimberley had to open her own foodie place someday, somewhere and it’s an assumption you are correct to make.

Someday Somewhere is a few doors along the road from my office and it didn’t take both me and our staff long to find this little gem of a café that serves delicious food and great coffee from 8am until 2pm five days a week.

Kimberley makes everything in-house, including the focaccia bread she uses for her fantastic, and generously sized, sandwiches.

Having sampled her food reasonably regularly and observing this very determined woman doing everything; from making bread, sweet treats, coffee and even serving each person who comes in, I wanted to know what motivates her to work so hard in a very competitive hospitality market.

The focaccia recipe Eagle uses in her sandwiches was a gift from a former colleague in Australia

“I’m not from Nelson, I grew up at Mangawhai north of Auckland before I headed overseas for about 10 years where I worked in a number of places to learn as much as I could about the industry.”

The first café she worked in was in Mangawhai when she was just 14 years old. This early love of food and first part-time job led her to London and then Australia where she worked in the five star resort realm, managing resort restaurants all over Australia. From the Qualia Resort in the Whitsunday Islands; to Uluṟu; to an Eco resort close to Broome, Western Australia and to Tasmania, Kimberley absorbed as much knowledge from a range of chefs as she could.

“In Australia working in the places I worked meant I was able to work alongside people who were passionate about the industry, it wasn’t just a part-time job to pay their way through university, they were making a career of it. Working in fine dining restaurants at premium resorts attracted like-minded people.”

Kimberley was able to work alongside great chefs like Frank Comorra from Movida (one of our favourite restaurants in Melbourne), Shannon Bennet from Vue du Mond in Melbourne and Matt Moran. “I learned a huge amount from these chefs, often when they visited as guest chefs for the showcase Great Barrier Feast degustation dinners we hosted at the Qualia Resort.  It was a privilege to work alongside these hugely talented chefs.”

After ten years overseas she felt a pull to come back to New Zealand so returned prior to covid and managed the Mt Beautiful Wines tasting room and restaurant north of Waipara until it was closed during Covid.

Kimberley took a break from the hospitality sector when the entire industry went into turmoil during and after covid. She moved to Nelson in 2021 and worked for law firm Glasgow Harley in an admin role where she learned another set of skills that would help her in this venture.

She told me because the love for food is in her blood she was drawn back to the hospitality sector when the opportunity arose to go to Tasmania and the Piermont Retreat on the east coast between Hobart and Launceston. “It was an awesome experience and while I was there, we were nominated as an Australian Gourmet Traveller Destination Restaurant finalist, that’s a big deal in Australia, and Calvin King is an exceptional chef.”

Then it was back to Nelson where she saw Jaks was for sale, “I remember driving past the building and thought what a fantastic building, I saw there was a café and thought it was the sort of place I would like to have a business. When I noticed it was for sale I just had to take on the challenge. I just love the building and location. I almost feel like I’m in the city, there’s a buzzy vibe with the other tenants in the building and customers who come in.”

When it comes to the food, I can assure you it is very good. Kimberley told me she wanted to do something where things just aren’t the same every day, “I know I need to have the staples, but I like to change things up a bit, I want people to be excited about what I have to offer, something new each time they come.”

One of the things that has made her famous among those in the know is the focaccia bread she makes fresh each day. “Calvin from Piermont gave me the focaccia recipe as his gift to me when I left because I couldn’t stop eating it when I worked with him. Now I need his green olive tapenade recipe to use in my sandwiches too.”

The sandwiches are very generous and come in flavours like a Reuben (she makes her own pastrami so it only appears occasionally); Porchetta, classic egg salad, rare roast beef with horseradish cream and sometimes an Italian Deli style with mortadella among others.

She makes all her sauces and dressings, her own pickles for most things and her own fresh mayonnaise. “There’s nothing better than homemade mayo.”

The cafe’s name reflects the desire Eagle always had; to open her own foodie place someday, somewhere

As we move into summer we can look forward to sandwiches with fresher summer ingredients to go alongside the slices, cookies, wedges of Spanish Basque cheese cake (there’s no base so gets its flavour from the baked and burnt outside), Key Lime pies (single serve size individual pies) and classic cheese scones.

There’s always gluten free options, “the savoury gluten free bacon and egg muffin with a whole egg inside is so popular I can’t take it off the menu.” She says she has lots of ideas and recipes for other products, but she just needs time to make them.

Kimberley says it’s very early days, “I’ve only been open two months but going really well, I sell out of food a lot of the time and have a lot of repeat customers. People ask about buying the bread, but at the moment I don’t have time to make it for sale. I’m just one person with help from my big brother to do the dishes on the odd Friday, but I will be doing more when I am able to employ someone to help me.”

If you haven’t discovered Someday Somewhere yet it is time you did. My top tip is to buy your sandwich mid-morning because if you wait until lunchtime you may miss out!

Published in the Nelson Mail 15.11.2023