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The layout of Waiheke Fruit & Veg (110 Oceanview Rd., Oneroa) is only slightly more conducive to traffic than its exterior, which necessitates parking just about anywhere other than near the store. I do a slightly dangerous U-turn to snag one of the few spaces within a half-mile of the place, a brief re-emergence of driving aggression learned and perfected back home. Inside, it appears that a pair of convenience stores have been welded together and their contents half-replaced by things foodies might actually be interested in, though with the same shelving on which any roadside gas station might feature stacks of chips, soda and beer. But aside from a specialist butcher shop just up the street, the deli attached to the nearby wine shop, and some artisan purveyors of olive oil, lavender and – of course – wine, there’s not a lot of choice on this island for those interested in something better than the supermarket basics, and thus this store becomes a necessary paradise of sorts. There’s even a decent selection of Asian ingredients, a fact I vow to remember should we ever return. (2/05)


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