Tuesday, 25 June 2019


Blackjack Surf and Phase one of the Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade

The completion of Stage One of the Whitianga Town Centre upgrade means the project is almost half-way to being finished.

On 7th July the fences will begin to come down along Albert Street, between Blacksmith Lane and Monk St, which means vehicle traffic will be able to come through.

It's a great milestone for Phillipa Turner, owner of Blackjack Surf store, stockest of the latest surf, street and skate Brands.

Phillipa and her late husband Graham Turner bought what was called 'Backdoor Surf' just off Monk Street in 1977 before relocating to 35 Albert Street and changing the business name and brand to Blackjack Surf.

"Graham was a longtime keen surfer, which is how we got into the business," says Phillipa.

Phillipa moved to Kuaotunu close to 25 years ago, which is where Graham lived most of his life.  Before the couple got into the surf, street and skate business, Phillipa was a practice nurse on the Coromandel.  They then opened a gift shop for four years, before changing retail industries.

"Had you asked me 30 years ago, I would not have seen myself in this business, but am very happy now and love working with my team here in store," says Phillipa.

With two full-time staff and three part-time staff, some of whom come from the local Mercury Bay Area School, they have a busy little team and generally pick up another two-to-three team members for the summer period.

"Winter time brings the usual downturn in traffic through the store, which is to be expected," explains Phillipa "With the works and upgrade to the town centre, my view is that it's some, 'short term pain for long term gain'."

"The workers have been really friendly and I often find myself out the front watching the progress," says Phillipa.  "I'm all for pedestrian-friendly areas and more alfresco dining; it's going to be good."



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.