To the Coromandel Peninsula locals, the Anchor trucks going from town to town are not an unfamiliar sight. In Coghill Street, Whitianga, you will sometimes see 3 Anchor trucks parked briefly at the Anchor depot. They are always on the move.
This is where Susan and Campbell Angus work and organise the Anchor Franchise business they purchased, which brought them to Whitianga mid 2021.
Their refrigerator trucks are not limited to just carrying milk and dairy products. There is much more to transport and deliver. They are organising across the Coromandel Peninsula, the daily needs of our local cafes, restaurants, holiday camps, dairies and grocery stores. They stock an ever expanding large range of culinary supplies, the Anchor trucks deliver it all.
Susan manages the financial and administration side of things and Campbell oversees the operations. They both work together on sourcing new products and sales. They have owned various businesses over the years and Anchor Milk Coromandel is their newest challenge.
Campbell and Susan bought the Anchor franchise during the second lockdown, “The Peninsula was particularly disadvantaged more than the Cities with COVID restrictions. It was hard for all businesses - particularly local hospitality and we could feel the stress they were under. The cafes and restaurants had to rely on local customers and when COVID restrictions were finally lifted it was a great relief.”
The Anchor brand is a loved and established NZ owned brand. “Traditionally, dairy products was the order of the day, but as with every other business in NZ, With spiralling prices and stock shortages, change was essential. Luckily, milk is a stable commodity, which is the backbone of the business, we knew we had to expand our business model not only in product range but also be the most efficient distributor of chilled products but nothing can be taken for granted.’” says Campbell.
The nature of every business has changed since COVID. You can't put all your eggs in one basket” says Campbell. So Anchor Milk Coromandel diversified into other products , such as eggs, bacon, canola oil, organic juices, a new range of fresh juices, bottled water, ham and a large range of drinks. We get approached every week with a new product to stock, but a few have been put on hold for next year as we prepare for the busy Xmas period”.
When choosing a product, Campbell and Susan are clear that the primary criterion must be a healthy & quality product with a heavy preference on NZ made products made & NZ owned companies. “That’s not so easy to do because some businesses look New Zealand-made, but they are not. Our Anchor team now deliver over 235 different product lines.”
With transport links deteriorating and getting expensive they have even started a chilled transport service to & from Auckland.
Due to the rising cost of living dominating the economy, they have tried their best to keep their prices as competitive as possible. Throughout our conversation, Sue and Campbell kept coming back to the importance of community to them and not only focusing on their own business but looking out for others. “We want a sustainable business that employs local people. We employ locally. We live local. We are all in this together”.
“What has been frustrating for us has not been the hard work the team Anchor puts in, but that some of the products we sell are commodities that are very restricted in price. I don’t understand why people buy from Hamilton or further field, when we are the same price and we are quite often cheaper, and they do not buy from us. It’s disappointing,” says Campbell. “Our staff spend their money locally, we service trucks locally, the other operators - not so much. With a new online website up and running, new product lines are being launched weekly, 2023 is going to an exciting year for the business”.
Fonterra started the Anchor franchise system in 1992. Campbell and Susan are part of a long line of local people who owned the Anchor franchise. "In the past the Humphris, the Abrahamson families & others have all owned this business, and they all did a great job. Now we are given stewardship of it, we want to continue on with the hard work of our predecessors and continue to grow the business, and we believe we can,” says Susan.
Caption : Campbell and Sue Angus