A couple who have owned a wide range of businesses and done everything from milking cows to running a five star motel are the new owners of Warkworth’s Farm and Lifestyle Centre in Morrison Drive.
David and Heather Cox previously owned the upmarket Lodge Bordeaux in Whangarei before taking some time off to travel and take stock. After several months in the US, driving a Mustang convertible along Route 66, and a stint as hotel managers in Rotorua, they decided a change was in order.
“I saw this advertised in the paper and thought it might be an interesting thing to do,” Heather says. “We took the business over on Monday February 29, so we will only have an anniversary every four years!”
The couple aren’t fazed at their switch from pampering guests to handling farm and outdoor supplies.
“Before we had children we worked on a dairy farm, milking cows and we’ve had contact with farmers and lifestylers all through our lives. We also have a family business in Auckland, importing and distributing felt for light industrial businesses and craft,” she says.
“And in the past, David was originally a machinery fitter and turner, and I was a hospital lab technician, so we are both used to turning our hands to pretty much anything.”
They have no immediate plans for change at the Farm and Lifestyle Centre, “just more of the same friendly, informed, personal service from our very knowledgeable staff that customers have always experienced”. One thing they would like to do is expand more into the Mangawhai area, where they live near the Heads. To this end, they are happy to continue the tradition of free deliveries whenever possible.
“We’re not planning great changes, but keeping up the customer focus is our number one priority,” David says.