Self-taught business owners, John and Daisy Pattan, are back in town bringing a new flavour to the GAS Te Hana petrol station.
The couple previously owned the Wellsford Super Mart for four years and decided to move back to the area after running a takeaway business in Karaka called El Paso.
With the takeaway shop being such a success, they have incorporated a fish and chip shop into the petrol station and hope that drivers will order ahead so they can grab a meal on the go.
“El Paso attracted customers such as Colin Meads, Christine Fletcher and Matthew Cameron. Matthew always joked he couldn’t order too much fish because he had to keep his weight down as a jockey,” John says.
“We are hoping that our track record in hospitality and relationship building with the community will make this business a real success.”
Having never owned a petrol station before they are learning the ropes, but are used to taking on the unknown.
“Our first business, Spar Express, was a general store in Brisbane where we taught ourselves how to operate a store for five years and went from there,” Daisy says.
In 2007, Spar Express received a Multicultural Community Award for Outstanding Business of the Year.
The Pattans are from Fiji and coincidently, were born on the same day. John originally worked as a printer before the couple emigrated to New Zealand with two daughters in 1987.
“I would print everything from business cards to government documents and law books,” John says.
They shifted to St Lukes where Daisy became involved in the embroidery industry, working on big uniform contracts for teams such as the All Blacks and Warriors.
Their renovated station at Te Hana offers 91 octane, 95 octane and diesel fuel for motor vehicles and trucks up to four metres in height.
“A large portion of our custom comes from through traffic, but we do get locals who remember us from Wellsford. We hope to meet more of them in future.”