We held a vote to find the most legendary dairy in the country and these are the results.
Thank you all so much for getting involved in Legendairy 2021. Over the course of the competition we had an amazing 27,422 votes in total showing support for dairies across the entire country. The messages of support you wrote alongside your votes really showed just how much these dairies and the people who run them mean to you.
Te Anau Dairy will receive a media package worth $24,000 to help them get the word out about their new Legendairy status - all thanks to those who voted for them.
We got in touch with our Legendairy winners as well as the runner-ups, so you can read a bit more about them below.
Te Anau Dairy, Southland
"The people are the nicest people out, know you by name and ask you about your day. Ice cream also just taste that much better here!!"
"They remember every customers name and story and will always ask you how you are, what you have been up to lately and an update on that one thing that happened 20 years ago. The nicest people that you will ever meet."
"The most amazing ice creams since I can ever remember for our summer holiday!"
First off, congratulations on winning Legendairy 2021. If you don’t mind, we just wanted to ask a few questions about you and that Legendairy dairy of yours. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourselves?
Thanks! We’re Amanda Gao & Andy Liu, a husband & wife team from Te Anau. We opened Te Anau Dairy in 2010, so we’ve been running it for just over 11 years now. We have three kids, two born since starting, and our oldest son who has been helping us since we've taken over the business . We've been very grateful for his help during the difficult times.
Amazing. Is it just you two who run the store?
It’s mostly run by us, but sometimes we’ll employ younger local students and holiday seasonal staff to help over the busy periods.
What does it mean for you to win Legendairy 2021?
Lots of people within the community came and told me about the promotion and said they wanted us to win. We didn’t know about it until some of our customers mentioned they had voted for us. We appreciate everyone who voted to help us win. So we want to do something for the community in return.
Sounds like your love for the community might’ve had something to do with you winning! What’s one of your best memories since opening the store?
One Christmas it was a really hot summer’s day, so we decided to open up for the community and ended up selling all the Tip Top scoops and novelty ice creams we had in stock. It was a great day with lots of happy customers enjoying ice cream.
That sounds like a particularly Kiwi Christmas! It sounds like you really love your job and the community.
Definitely. We really enjoy working in a small business with our family around us. We have two children who have grown up in the store. The community is always asking about my kids or comment on how they’re growing up. We love the people here. Every year (before COVID) we were visited by an Australian family who would come to Te Anau and always make a special stop to visit us. They would take pictures with the family. I hope they’re doing well.
Besides this one, what achievement are you most proud of since opening the store?
In just our second year of operating we won the 36th Annual Fiordland Tourism Awards for excellence in retail which was selected by the community. This came as a big shock since it was only our second year of being open.
After hearing your previous answers that doesn’t seem shocking at all. The community clearly loves you. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We try to do our best every time and to be open 7 days a week. We try to focus on the community and offer everything they need when the big stores close. We love living in Te Anau and working with the community. The people here are so friendly and supportive.
Thanks so much Andy and Amanda for your time, and congratulations again!
Rob Roy Dairy, Dunedin
"They're world famous in Dunedin, for their giant ice creams. I literally would drive one side of town to the other to get one, and now I'm out of town it's a must do pit stop when I'm in Dunedin. Also, their real fruit ice cream is on point too."
"Staff are always super friendly and they have an awesome range of ice creams! Open early and late which is choice for students!!!"
"Despite being a Dunedin icon, Rob Roy has remained humble and true to its roots. It doesn’t try to be fancy and just gives the people what they want – a delicious, affordable ice cream with consistently good service. I will miss them greatly when I leave."
Well congratulations on winning first runner-up for Legendairy 2021. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been running Rob Roy Dairy?
Sure, my name’s Liz Watson and I’ve been the current owner for 14 years. The store’s been open for 50 years though.
50 years is impressive. Who helps with running the store?
We’ve got three full timers and six part timers.
What does winning runner-up for Legendairy 2021 mean for you?
It means showing that even though Dunedin may be down south (closer to the polar ice caps then some) we can still make a decent ice cream and are well known thanks to the support of our customers.
What’s your best memory since opening the store?
Our first ever Santa’s parade. This was before our expansion and we had only had the dairy for 2 months. My family and I were packed tightly behind the counter (no personal bubble then at all) while we had a full to the brim store of parents, desperately trying to buy their kids an ice cream before Santa made his debut. It was really a trial by fire that day.
Sounds like it, I’m sure you got a few Legendairy votes out of it at least! You did get a lot of votes by the way, it sounds like the community cares about you a lot. What’s something you love about the job?
The people. There's nothing like having not only kids coming in to buy an ice cream looking truly elated when their parents finally let them get an extra topping, but the adults who get to walk down memory lane as they choose their favourites.
Last question. What achievement are you most proud of since opening Rob Roy Dairy?
10 years ago we expanded the store to have a dedicated ice cream parlour (made the Santa parades a little less squashed)
Good thinking! I’ll have to stop by and check it out next time in Dunedin. Thanks so much for your time Liz.
Kaukapakapa Store, Auckland
"Michael the owner is amazing he constantly goes out of his way for his customers even doing deliveries for the older people in our community when we were in lockdown so they could stay home."
"Michael is a local legend. Always happy to see you and nothing is a problem for him and his staff. Also rolls his ice creams with lots of love so it tastes even better."
"Always fantastic service. They always go out of their way to help the community and make sure they have everything one would need from a local dairy."
Congratulations on winning 3rd place for Legendairy 2021! Can you introduce yourselves and tell us how long you’ve run the store?
There’s three of us: Michael, Tina and Willie, and we’ve been running the store for 14 years. The store itself has been open over 100 years though.
Wow! That’s a lot of history. Is there anyone else who works at the store?
Just us three.
What would you say has been your best memory since opening the store?
Michael being Santa Claus.
No elaboration, love it. So what does it mean for you to win second runner-up for Legendairy 2021?
Hey it would’ve been awesome to win, but not necessary as we already have a great community that supports us in everything we do.
That’s a great attitude. What do you love most about your job?
Seeing the locals every day.
Nice. And what would you say has been your proudest achievement since opening the store?
Donating and helping out with school activities and local developments like the local playground.
Awesome stuff. Thanks so much for your time.