Deanna Yang is Chief Cookie Officer of Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar. She studied to become a journalist but when she was 8 years old she wrote on her childhood bucket list that she wanted to open a cookie shop, and she's done that twice over in Christchurch - with a kitchen in Stranges Lane and a stall at Riverside Market. We caught up with Deanna (over milk and cookies):
I’m Deanna, Chief Cookie Officer of Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar. I studied to become a journalist but when I was 8 years old I wrote on my childhood bucket list that I wanted to open a cookie shop. At 21 years old, instead of pursuing my degree, I quit my jobs (I was working 3 different jobs to save enough to start Moustache) and opened up the doors of our first store in Auckland City.
Growing up in a solo-mother family with very little, I remember how happy a simple cookie dunked in cold milk made me. Inspired by my childhood, Moustache is for the young and the young at heart. For the child in all of us who takes joy in the simple things.
Moustache is a little milk & cookie bar which sells exactly that...milk and cookies!
We started in Auckland CBD but after our landlord jacked our rent up by 40% we converted a 1978 Bedford Bus into a Milk & Cookie Bus which allowed us to travel all over New Zealand selling milk and cookies. We started in Kaitaia - the northernmost town in NZ and have adventured from Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson and finally for the first time since opening in 2012, Moustache Milk & Cookie Bus came to Christchurch in March of this year.
We fell in love with the city and we never let. While the bus will now be travelling to Dunedin next, I decided to build a permanent stall in Riverside Market with our main kitchen being at Stranges Lane. This store is a concept store Moustache Milk & Cookie Dessert Bar which opens until 10:30pm at night selling milk, cookies and cookie-inspired desserts.
Where will you be eating and drinking this December in the CDB?
Sichuan Kitchen and Earl
What will you be ordering?
Sichuan Kitchen - dumplings in spicy sauce. Simple and homely.
Earl - Fiordland Octopus
Where's your go to for getting Christmas presents in the CBD?
I like practical gifts. So I'm buying rolls of salami from Cured (our neighbours at Riverside Markets) because who doesn't need salami?!
Where would you shop for a Christmas outfit in the CBD?
Ruby - the designer there is also called Deanna! It’s such an uncommon name that I like supporting other Deannas out there creating stuff, ha ha!
What's your favourite spot to spend time with friends and family in the CBD?
The Botanic Gardens
What is your favourite Christmas film?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Favourite part of the Christmas meal?
Spending time with my mother who raised me to be the woman I am today.
What's the worst Christmas present you've ever received?
Coming from a Chinese heritage, we never grew up gifting Christmas presents. We use the time to focus on family and reflection. Therefore, I don't really get any bad gifts!!!
What events are you looking forward to over the Christmas break?
After building two permanent stores in Christchurch over the past two months and working non-stop, I am very happy to say my plan is to have no plans.
How do you get around in the CBD?
I am new to Christchurch so I don't have a car. I love how flat it is here compared to Auckland so I just walk and longboard everywhere!
What would your Christmas wish be for the Central City?
For that inner-city sparkle to be ignited and to see the hustle and bustle of the city community!