Spotlight on: Oxford & Eyrewell Forest


On the western edge of our wonderful district resides a lovely bunch of producers, many within a stone’s throw from one another, working away each day to produce the very best eggs, nuts, honey, cheese and preserves.

There’s a theme among our Oxford and Eyrewell Forest producers: passion and determination. Each of these clever business owners has figured out what to do as they’re doing it, and in the process, turned into an absolute master of their craft. That’s how we roll here in North Canterbury.

Let’s explore the producers who live in the abundant and productive areas of Oxford and Eyrewell Forest…

Benzie Free Range Eggs

As busy as the bees they keep on their 12ha property in Eyrewell Forest, Will Crozier and Natalie Field are the proud owners of Benzie Free Range Eggs.  They purchased the company in 2021 and added the stock to their existing business – Oxford Free Range Eggs.

With 3,500 chickens now in their care, two egg businesses and 1100 beehives making export-grade honey, these former city-slickers are buzzing with the busy-ness of their successful rural businesses.

The Beekeeper’s Honey

Husband and wife team Chris and Susan Gill manage over 3,000 hives to produce a range of quality honey products for export and domestic retail.

Their brand – The Beekeeper’s Honey – includes thyme, beechwood, clover and manuka honey as well as honey comb, blackcurrant & honey spread, blackcurrant & honey concentrate and honey flavoured fudge. Susan has also developed a popular manuka bodycare range. Pop into their farm shop at 763 Poyntz Road to view the full range and say hi.

Canterbury Nuts

Rounding out our Poyntz Road trio are Jen and Matt Harris of Canterbury Nuts. These clever cookies took on a whole new focus when they moved to their dream lifestyle block a few years back.

With over 3,000 hazelnut trees on site, the couple had to learn every in and out of growing, harvesting, processing, marketing and selling delicious, healthy hazelnuts. And they’ve somehow managed to make it look easy, turning out a gorgeous range of roasted hazelnuts, chocolate covered hazelnuts and hazelnut butters.

Little Farm Goat Dairy

Whilst Andrea Gauland’s cheese making life may have started with “trial, error, fortuitous circumstances and a dash of insanity”, she has clearly perfected the art of perfect, delicious goat’s cheese.

Andrea and husband Mike own Little Farm Goat Dairy near Oxford, where they breed and milk Toggenburg goats. Andrea’s range of goat’s cheese has something of a cult following amongst the market-goers lucky enough to snap up her goods each weekend.

Abbey’s Homemade

When Abbey Bridgman put some of her excess homemade preserves on Facebook, her passion for making delicious jams, relishes and sauces quickly bloomed into a successful little business. People just couldn’t get enough of her delicious range, all cooked lovingly at home from home-grown or locally sourced fruit and vegetables.

And it’s this simple, rustic formula that has seen Abbey’s Homemade Preserves grow further still, finding their way onto shelves in supermarkets and boutique food retailers up and down the country, from Abbey’s kitchen in Oxford.

Eggs, cheese, honey, nuts and home-made preserves; the very best homegrown foods that the western reaches of North Canterbury has to offer.

Find out more about our Oxford and Eyrewell producers, and explore our whole region on the Business Directory page.