If you feel like troughing down a good hearty Southland feed then the Pig Station is the place to go.
Described by owner Lynn Booth as a “no frill grill,” located in the old Invercargill Railway Station, it all started with the idea of selling simple bacon butties and expanded from there.
“Everyone loves bacon,” she said, and this gave her a wonderful theme to work with – pigs and trains. Over the time since opening, a handful of people have questioned the name of the shop.
Lynn said, it was really a no brainer, “we sell predominately bacon and pork-based food and we are at the Railway station….so we had to be called The Pig Station.”
Lynn now sells a range of burgers all with their own unique names.
There’s the ‘Gorge Road Gorger’ and the ‘Riverside Ripsnorter’ – being a born and bred Southlander, She wanted to use Southland references using some of the smaller out of the way areas.
Many of these have memories from her own family history, and she’s thinking this may encourage people visiting the area to look into the local history.
The most popular seller was the ‘Athol All Day Breakfast’ and of course the traditional bacon and egg Buttie –‘ Oreti Original’, the ‘Pig’s Barrel’ consisting of chips, cheese, bacon and gravy was popular as well.
“It’s definitely messy looking…but we’re not into flash gourmet cooking. Just basic hearty food.” she said.
‘Pork Trax’ was another interesting combination of criss cross chips, slow cooked pulled pork, homemade bbq sauce, cheese, spring onions and dressing.
A lot of thought has gone into the business before it started at the end of 2019.
Taking inspiration from other pork/bacon-type cafes around New Zealand including in Dunedin, Christchurch and the North Island, Lynn also researched others in places such as New York, Manchester and Edinburgh.
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Following a long journey of family ill health and a tragic accident, the cafe gave Lynn a chance for a fresh start.
But then Covid-19 hit and just recently Lynn herself was diagnosed with breast cancer – returning from surgery to find the shop had been broken into. This was a worry for her as she left for treatment in Dunedin. Security has been beefed up since then.
She has tried to not let anything slow her down and with something this good, you can only but keep on trucking on.
“We have ideas for future growth as we can further down the track.”