Napier Onekawa new store opening!

You might have heard that our new Napier Onekawa shop is open for business!
We’ve opened several new stores this year – but this one is quite different!

Onekawa opened on Thursday 23 September, delayed due to the COVID lockdown. In fact, COVID has meant that Onekawa marked many firsts for St. Pierre’s:

  • The first shop opened under COVID restrictions (in this case, Level 2)
  • The first shop ever opened without any of the company directors present!
  • The first time in a long time we didn’t do our famous sushi giveaway (as the COVID situation did not allow long queues)
Francisco and his team – all ready to go!

Store manager Francisco Tabaloc certainly had his work cut out. But he explains that

“Everyone pulled together wonderfully. We’re very fortunate that many of my staff transferred from Hastings and Napier Carlyle, so we had an experienced team in place. And Hiromi came from Hastings, Takashi from Carlyle and Yohanes from Rotorua to help with opening day. Having those three experienced managers here made a big difference!”

The brand-new shop, ready to welcome people in!

Even still, the opening was a huge job. Congratulations to Francisco and his team for a successful start! They really did have it tough. As well as none of the directors, there were no area managers present either, as they couldn’t travel out of Level 3 in Auckland (apparently there were some phone calls to AM Lili though!). Being able to open smoothly and deliver customer satisfaction from day one is testament to the talent and commitment of the St. Pierre’s family across our – now three! – Hawke’s Bay shops!

The team about to open the doors on day one!

Even among these three shops, Onekawa is quite different. Carlyle and Hastings are in more ‘downtown’ locations, whereas Onekawa is an industrial area. Apart from factories and warehouses, there is a big hardware store next door, a balanced catchment to drive business on both weekdays and weekends. We reckon that sushi will be a popular alternative to the pie shops and bakeries nearby. Onekawa also focuses on sushi, without the Bento Bowl offering, and trading is so far, so good. Francisco commented that

“Even though we did a soft launch without a big sushi giveaway, business has been very steady since opening day. The St. Pierre’s brand is clearly well established in the Hawke’s Bay thanks to the efforts of everyone at Carlyle and Hastings. I’m very happy and proud to be the manager of this new shop, and it’s more encouragement to me as I work toward becoming a store partner.”

Always plenty of stock for customers to choose from!

There’s certainly plenty to be proud of at Onekawa! Apart from the dedicated team, the interior blends the classic St. Pierre’s design elements like the yellow hut logo and some cool touches like angled wooden panelling about the POS, a funky geometric wooden design on the far wall, and big, retro red lightshades. All of these visual aspects draw customers in, and underline the passion and innovation in our food!

The attractive shop interior

So, if you’re staying in Napier for a few days, or just passing through, be sure to stop by and see Francisco and his team. And here’s to more interesting milestones across the St. Pierre’s Group!

All smiles at the shop’s success so far 🙂

Johnny (Auckland Area Manager)

Welcome our new series about St. Pierre’s area managers!

Today we’re back in Auckland, talking to Johnny, one of our area managers. Our AMs play an important role, linking head office and shops, supporting stores with new initiatives and bonuses, and feeding ideas and opinions back from shops to head office – so things go better for everyone! Johnny spends a lot of time visiting stores, and his broad experiences mean he always has something to add.

Born in Vietnam, Johnny successfully graduated with a Bachelor in Manufacturing Mechanical Engineering. After moving to New Zealand, he completed a NZ Diploma in Business level 6, during which time he also worked at The Coffee Club Westfield Manukau, and in the menswear department in Farmers Manukau. His next job was at St Pierre’s Elliot St, and Johnny recalls with a laugh that

All of a sudden, six years have passed and I am area manager for CBD and West Auckland! I started as part-time then full-time staff at Elliot St., then I moved to the K Road store as assistant manager in April 2018. In October 2018, I got promoted to K Road store manager.

Our K Road shop

In early 2021 I was offered a new challenge as area manager, which I’ve been doing since February. Yes, there’s been changes for sure. Firstly, this is a new experience and a big challenge for me as I am responsible for a much bigger team, but it is also a great opportunity to work with amazing people in different stores as well as our head office team. There is so much creatively and energy at St. Pierre’s, I love it! And secondly, I need to get my driver license sooner, that would make my job a lot easier, he smiles ☺

With new stores opening, and then the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been a hectic first 8 months in the job. But Johnny has clear aims in mind, which he sticks to: My goals at the moment are to help all new managers in my area run their stores effectively. I want to help all the stores that I look after so they can achieve their Bonus Targets after we move back to level 1 in Auckland.

We reckon one of the reasons Johnny enjoys his work so much is that he’s a real foodie! He loves to discover and create new tastes, commenting that I love all Asian food such as Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese food –  and of course Vietnamese food! The taste of home is very important to me too!

Vietnamese food – a delight for the eye!

Johnny embodies the spirit of the helping hand. His broad experiences mean he can contribute to your shop’s operations in unexpected ways – so next time he’s in your store, be sure to take on board his suggestions, and share your ideas with him! St. Pierre’s has a strong culture of being “people first”, supporting each other as we set challenging goals. Here’s to everyone across the St. Pierre’s Group working together and aiming high!

Big Milestones today!

Hey everyone! Tonight, Tuesday 21 September, marks two big milestones in the fight against COVID-19.

NZ outside Auckland has been at Alert Level 2 for two weeks, meaning that customers can come into our shops and we can provide higher levels of service (while still maintaining social distancing).

We’d like to thank everyone at shops outside Auckland for their huge effort in adapting successfully to the rules, keeping everyone safe while still providing the sushi and Bento Bowl flavours our customers love!

Great work in Level 3 everyone!

And of course, at midnight tonight, Auckland moves from Alert Level 4 to 3. Level 3 is still a lockdown situation, so – among other restrictions – customers are not able to enter our shops, but we are now able to reopen our Auckland stores. 22 shops will be reopening tomorrow. If you work in Auckland, you’ll have heard from head office directly and from your manager about the reopening plan.

The first couple of days will be busy, as there will be lots of ingredients to prepare – and chances are, there will be lots of customers desperate for their St. Pierre’s fix! But our team outside Auckland has done a fantastic job with reopening, so now it’s our turn in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Customers will be keen for their favourite flavour!

We’d also like to thank you all for other efforts you’ve made recently! During the lockdown period, we launched three more online training courses, and you have all responded magnificently! 88.6% of all front-line staff have now finished the five training courses available to everyone – fantastic! (Another 2.3% have done all but the COVID Level 3 course.) The online training is designed to help you work more effectively and efficiently, so thank you everyone for engaging in it!

If you’re still getting emails from me asking you to finish your training, then the system hasn’t registered that you’ve finished yet. Please log back into your TalentLMS account, and finish it off, to help your work moving forward go better 😊

We’re also working on more training courses, this time for people looking to become shift supervisors (3IC), assistant managers (2IC) and shop managers (1IC). If you’re in these positions or have asked to, look out for more training soon. And if you’re thinking of taking up the challenge of a manager role – talk to your store manager! They’d love to hear you’re keen, and so do we in head office!

In the mean time, thanks again everyone! Stay safe, and see you in store soon!