Sunday, 16 December 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

New owners of New World Whitianga settling into life in Mercury Bay

It is approximately 10 weeks after Kerry and Sara Stanley, the new owners of New World Whitianga, have moved to Mercury Bay with their three children - Piper 12, Victor 10 and Marlon 7. It was a busy 10 weeks settling as a family into their new environment and coming to grips with a business undergoing significant renovations. 

“We’re starting to find our feet,” says Sara. “Our children love Mercury Bay Area School and are right into many of the activities in the area that are available for them to become involved in.”

Kerry, a qualified teacher, and Sara both grew up in Auckland. Kerry started, in his words, “pushing trolleys and packing bags” at the Lincoln Road Pak ‘n’ Save in Henderson when he was 16 years old. “It was a part time and holiday job,” says Kerry. “Something I kept on doing through high school and university. Over time I was given more responsibility and when it was time to hand in my resignation after I’ve completed my teaching degree, the owner of the Pak ‘n’ Save talked to me about considering a career in the supermarket industry. What he said made a lot of sense and I decided to start working in the industry fulltime.”

Sara has a degree in fashion and worked as a knitwear designer until the birth of her and Kerry’s first child.

In 2014, after Kerry has worked in different roles in a number of supermarkets in Auckland, he and Sara were offered the opportunity to purchase the Onekawa New World in Napier. “Store ownership is something that many supermarket employees aspire to and the opportunity was too good to pass by,” says Kerry.

Kerry and Sara put their names forward to purchase New World Whitianga after the previous owners, Stacey and Sally Rolton, purchased the Pak ‘n’ Save in Kaitaia. “Kerry’s grandparents owned a property in Tairua and that’s where he spent a lot of time when he was younger,” says Sara. “He has a deep love for the Coromandel, which rubbed off on me. Both our mums are living in Auckland and being in Whitianga, we’re obviously much closer to them than when we were in Napier. We’re excited to be living in Mercury Bay now.”

Kerry believes staff play an important part in providing customers with an enjoyable supermarket experience and isn’t only focused on their wellbeing at work, but also on developing the skills of and opportunities for staff members who show an interest in a successful supermarket career. “I would like to work with MBAS to recruit students who will get the most out of weekend and holiday work with us,” says Kerry. “I also, in due course, would like to see university graduates who may have started out with us while they were at school return to build a career in the supermarket industry.

“Supermarkets provide an environment to learn many transferrable skills and for those who are focused and motivated, ultimate store ownership is certainly a possibility.”

Kerry and Sara are hopeful that most of the renovations that are in the moment in progress at New World Whitianga will be completed before Christmas. “Once everything is done and dusted, we’ll have two more checkouts, a more spacious foyer, a café area where we’ll be serving coffee and cabinet food and more storeroom space,” says Kerry. “The extra storeroom space will provide us with better buying power, which means we’ll be able to offer better deals to our customers.

“We want to thank all our customers for their patience with the renovations. We’re sure the inconvenience will be worth it in the end.”

New World Whitianga started to offer online shopping just over a month ago and it’s working well. “We deliver online shopping in Whitianga or customers can pick up their groceries from lock boxes outside the foyer of our store,” says Kerry. “Please keep in mind that any online alcohol purchases that’s to be picked up will have to be authorised by one of our in-store staff members first.”

Inside the store, customers will also notice some changes. “We want to make grocery shopping as easy as possible for our customers,” says Kerry. “We’ve created more space in the fresh produce area and are working towards having more of the heavy items, like cold drinks, available in the aisles closer to the entrance. That will avoid customers having to put heavy purchases on top of the other item they have in their shopping trolleys.”

Kerry and Sara look forward to meeting more Mercury Bay residents. “We need to get through summer first, but really would like to become involved in the community,” says Sara. “We’re already playing touch rugby on Wednesdays and business house tennis and Kerry has joined the Mercury Bay Golf Club. We both are keen to support some of the local conservation efforts. In general, we would like to help out where we can and enjoy life with our children in what’s clearly a special part of New Zealand.”

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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.