An iconic Christchurch food vendor is on the move again.

Dimitri’s Greek Food, which is famous for its souvlakis, is making way for a farmers’ market that’s promising to draw thousands to the area.

Nick Merentitis and his family have been serving hundreds of customers every day in the middle of Christchurch’s Re:Start container mall.

In 14 days’ time, the little blue and white caravan that attracts visitors from all over will be packed up and moved on.

“It will be very sad,” says Mr Merentitis, “but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

The business is just one of a handful of food trucks left in the brightly coloured shipping container shopping precinct that opened up in the wake of the quakes, giving the then-broken city a heartbeat.

In its place will be an $80m Riverside farmers’ market precinct. Construction will begin next week.

“A farmers market in the central CBD in some of the most expensive land in town is not something you normally do,” says Property developer Richard Peebles.

“But all around the world this healthy food option and locally produced food is a trend.”

While Mr Merentitis will have to find somewhere else to park the caravan, he’s secured space for his world-famous souvlakis inside the farmers’ market at the end of the year.

It will be his fifth location in seven years because of the quakes.

“It will be very good, I think,” he says.

“For us, the local customers, for Christchurch I think.”

It’s another step forward in the regeneration of a city that’s transforming and taking shape.


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