Snells Beach couple Darren (Hutch) Hutchinson and Joanna Boag have swapped the corporate life of Auckland for the challenge of running their own business.
They are the new owners of Snells Beach Fruit & Veg, located beside the Warehouse at the Snells Beach Shopping Centre.
Fans of the TV series Our Place will recognise Hutch, who co-hosted the show. He was the national operations manager for Hire a Hubby at the time, which also meant coordinating the annual Make It Happen promotion run by More FM, and he worked closely with the Make a Wish Foundation and Sweet Louise.
But his early working life was based in farming, firstly in Montana in the US where he was involved in wheat and barley cropping and then, for 20 years, as the manager of a dairy farm in the Wairarapa.
“In Montana, I lived next door to a Blackfoot Indian Reservation. That was pretty cool and they taught me life ethics,” he says.
Jo grew-up in Mahurangi, travelled overseas for two years and then returned to NZ to work in the cash industry, mainly in accounting and office management, in Auckland. She says she loves being back home.
The couple have completely redecorated the shop and describe themselves as “the people’s wholesaler”.
“We’re here to sell what people want,” Jo says. “A lot of people have particular tastes and we’re happy to go that extra mile to source the product they want, whether it’s fresh curry leaves or a particular brand.”
The shop also carries a range of meat from the Warkworth Butchery, Nutra foods spices and nuts, fresh herbs, and plants and flowers.