Anna Ripper says the store’s closure will leave a gap.

Almost in defiance of the times, Waiheke Organic Food is closing after 20 years of offering a haven to the health-conscious on Tahi Road.

Anna Ripper, Leila Lees and Carol Shortis opened the island’s first organics shop in 1998, selling pesticide-free fruit and vegetables and dry goods in bulk.

“We started as a co-op and our goal was to provide organics on the island,” Anna says. “We have done that for all these years.” • Richard Jones

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