Feeding the world better food

Bird On A Wire is Auckland’s first free range rotisserie restaurant and has been a hit since it opened in Takapuna


“We made a commitment to our people, to the environment, the communities that we operate in, and top quality food from day one,” says co-owner Sophie Gilmour “and those four things still guide every decision we make today.”

“Put simply,” she adds, “we want to feed the world better food. Better taste, better quality, better ethics and better processes. Bird on a Wire is a guilt-free go-to for real food that you didn’t have to cook yourself.”

The Takapuna store has its own personality. “It was built with the fact that the beach is only a stone’s throw away in mind,” says Sophie. “We have a window onto the street, a plant-filled storefront and we serve everything on our menu takeaway, so people can grab some great fresh food and take it with them to the beach, on the boat or to enjoy at home.

“We do deliveries via Uber Eats. It’s proven hugely popular over here!”

Every restaurant has its guaranteed favourites and Bird on a Wire is no exception. “It goes without saying,” says Sophie, “that our corn fed, free range, hot, fresh and delicious rotisserie chicken is the hero product for us, but we always have a massive cabinet brimming with six seasonal salads as well – and we’re arguably just as well known for this.”

Bird on a Wire also serves a range of hugely popular warmed baguettes, burgers and sides. “We absolutely think that sometimes life calls for indulgence, and we’re proud to provide handmade deliciousness that contains no chemicals or nasties. We’re also collaborating with some of New Zealand’s cleverest brewers and vintners over the coming months, so watch this space!”

The menu, Sophie adds, changes all the time. “We change the specials (a burger, a baguette and a seasonal vegetable dish) every three weeks. And we change two of the six cabinet salads every two weeks.”

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, Sophie recommends the Bánh mì baguette. “I LOVE it – we marinade free range chicken thighs in a Vietnamese chilli and turmeric marinade, pickle ribbons of carrot and cucumber and serve it on a Wild Wheat baguette with house-made chicken liver pate, fresh chilli and coriander. Yum.”

Sophie says she’s been working in hospitality since she was legally able to. Her mother ran restaurants when she was young, and her sister Mimi owns Burger Burger. Her first job was waitressing at Cibo in the school holidays, followed by stints at other top restaurants in the holidays while she was studying law at Otago University. “I even moonlighted as a waitress when I was a junior lawyer at Kensington Swan straight out of university.”

Sophie and three others started Bird On A Wire in 2012 as four “naïve and enthusiastic” friends. When it gathered enough momentum, in mid-2014, she “hung up her law gown for an apron” and has never looked back. “I love that the business is ours, and we get to make decisions about its direction. I love that we can utilise it as a vessel for all the things that we care about as a team. I love being my own boss, and the flexibility that brings. These things are of course best enjoyed when you don’t feel like you’re drowning in stress or responsibility, which happens more often than any business owner wishes!”

Sophie admits that hospitality is a tough gig with low margins, and it depends entirely on people and perishable product. “Challenges abound!” she says. “But we’re really proud of what we’ve created, and we love being part of the Takapuna community. We’d like to thank each and every one of our customers that has shown us support in the nearly three years we’ve been here. Here’s to many more!”

Bird on A Wire, Fortieth & Hurstmere, 40 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna

09 486 4536 birdonawaire.co.nz

Open from 8am, 7 days.

By: Christine Young 
Issue 83 Dec 2017 / Jan 2018