Iwi – Ngāti Rangiwewehi
After 7 years of living in Victoria, Australia, with me looking after our two young boys and my husband working in the hospitality industry, we decided to come back to NZ to my hometown of Rotorua. During our time in Australia we had discussed the opportunity of buying our own business, as the long hours of his work meant that he would miss seeing the boys growing up.
Once back at home in Rotorua, we looked at a number of franchises that interested us. As we were very familiar with Bakers Delight during our time in Australia, we decided to put our money where our mouth was and signed up for the training programme which lasted 3 months. It was very intensive considering that we not only had not owned our own business before but were not bakers!
We had found an ideal site in the Rotorua Central Mall for our new shop but as it was twice the space we needed. We had to find another tenant before the mall would let us sub-divide it (thanks EB Games).
The first two years were very busy with long hours (so much for the dream) as we built the business up both in the shop and our various local wholesale business. Business started to increase and our reputation grew within the local area. The GFC did affect our business for a few years as tourist numbers decreased in town, who were an important part of our client base.
Now nearly thirteen years later we are still here and are going from strength to strength. The assistance that we have had from Poutama has been incredible and has allowed us to keep us looking fresh, modern and relevant in the changing retail market. A great example of this is that Poutama assisted us with our renovated new look, which was the first for New Zealand and now Bakers Delight NZ are using our template as their preferred bakery specification.
We are proudly a Maori owned business and out of our 8 staff – 6 are Maori, with all our frontline shop staff being Maori. We believe that this has contributed to our diverse and loyal customer base with Maori customers comprising over a third of our regulars.
Customers tastes and wants are always changing and we recognise that we need to keep adapting and being innovative which is not always easy within a franchise system. We noticed a gap in the lunchtime market and developed a savoury product which is a thin pocket of dough filled with a variety of savoury ingredients. These proved to be a major success for us and after testing and trialling in Melbourne these are now an official item for NZ and soon to be rolled out throughout Australia.
Finally, we are very much aware of Rotorua’s vulnerable families and are very pleased to have donated over $3 million dollars in product to various organisations and not for profit groups over the last 13 years. These include The Salvation Army, various church foodbanks, Community Kai, Maori Women’s Welfare League, RSA, Women’s Refuge and numerous sporting groups, schools and kohanga’s.