The Wharf at Waterfall Bay
The inspiring and entertaining story of a determined young woman alone, who overcame the isolation of her family farm to build a flourishing business.
When Lisa Harper returned to her family's farm at the head of remote Mahau Sound, in the Marlborough Sounds, after years overseas working as a scientist, she showed all the pluck and entrepreneurial streak of the earlier generations of women in her family.
The isolation wasn't going to deter her from starting a new business. After all, her grandmother and mother were made of stern stuff, coping with running stock, keeping an orchard, securing a commercial fishing quota, making cheese, operating a guest house, home-schooling children and only getting to ‘town' on a treacherous road every six weeks.
Eight years later Lisa was an award winning traditional cheesemaker and a Nuffield Fellowship winner when she had to make a major decision to wrench herself from Mahau Sound Bay to secure her future.
The Wharf at Waterfall Bay is a story of enterprise and determination, of a young woman determined to fulfill her dream
Lisa Harper graduated from Lincoln University with a PhD and worked for two years in biosecurity in the United Kingdom and Europe. She returned to her family's farm, Sherrington, at the head of Mahau Sound, in 2003 and set about turning the family's longtime interest in cheesemaking into a business. Her Sherrington Grange cheeses, which speak of the local terroir with their use of local ingredients such as salt from Lake Ellesmere, sauvignon blanc, brandy from the Prenzel distillery and chestnut leaves (in which the cheeses are wrapped) are now served by leading restaurants. Lisa won the Rural Women New Zealand 'Enterprising Rural Women' award in 2011 and went on to be awarded a Nuffield Fellowship to study overseas in 2012.