Ex-All Black negotiates New World purchase
Foodstuffs has confirmed that ex-All Black Robin Brooke has been authorised to negotiate the purchase of the New World Warkworth from the existing owner-operator John Smith.
These negotiations are ongoing and until concluded Foodstuffs is unable to confirm when the new ownership, if agreed, will take effect. Mr Brooke has operated Gate Pa New World in Tauranga for the past four years.
Grocer sets new direction
The owner of New World Warkworth, in Percy Street, has put the store on the market.
After 20 years at the helm – 10 years at the present location and 10 years at the original store – John Smith (pictured) says it’s time for a new challenge and he is currently negotiating the possible purchase of a Pak’n Save in West Auckland.
He expects the sale of the Warkworth supermarket, which is part of the Foodstuffs grocery cooperative, to proceed within the “next few months”.
The Smith name has been associated with the grocery business in Warkworth for more than half a century. John’s father Erroll ran the IGA, located in Queen Street (on the site of the present ASB), before opening the Four Square in Neville Street. Father and son ran a New World supermarket in Hamilton, in partnership for five years, before John moved back to Warkworth to run the original New World supermarket, where Winscombe Mall now stands. He opened the current supermarket in 1999.
The store is the town’s largest employer, with about 200 on the payroll, a number which swells to 250 during the summer. John has made a special place on staff for young people with special needs, who he says have “well and truly” deserved their jobs.
His store has been a major of sponsor of numerous community projects, events and organisations including the Kowhai Festival, Warkworth Hospice and the Warkworth RSA. John has also been an avid supporter of local sports clubs such as the Warkworth Bowling Club, Warkworth Golf Club, and Rodney Netball.
Eight years ago, New World Warkworth was the first Foodstuffs supermarket to introduce a Food Safety Programme, which has since been implemented nationwide.
“I started looking at other stores about three years ago, but it was a matter of being patient until the right opportunity came along,” John says. “The Warkworth community has been good to me and I want to be part of that strong community spirit with my new venture.”