Nelson Richmond store opening!

Welcome! Last week, St. Pierre’s opened our latest new shop – and this one’s really special! Read on to find out more!

The staff were all ready to go!
And then a quick pep talk from Director Nick… over sushi of course 🙂

We’re now open in Richmond, a vibrant suburb of Nelson. At the sunny top of the South Island, Nelson is a famous holiday destination and a growing city in its own right. Our location is by a major supermarket, on a busy road, near several schools and a major sports complex, so we expect there will be plenty of demand for our healthy, satisfying meals. Luckily the Richmond team will be serving both sushi and Bento Bowl products, so there’s plenty of variety to keep the locals happy!

New shop partner Satomi Munakata was busy but had a huge smile on her face, saying that

“I’m thrilled to become the founding Nelson shop partner. I’ve been with St. Pierre’s for around 23 years now and was fortunate to be the partner at Takanini. However, this challenge is on another level again! There’s so much more to running a dual-format sushi and Bento Bowl shop, but luckily other partners, head office staff and my new team here have been really helpful.
That, and I’m so happy to have moved to Nelson. I lived in Auckland for 25 years, and I’ve always loved visiting the South Island. The lifestyle here in Nelson is so relaxed, no one is too rushed but there’s still lots to do, I love it here. All in all, it’s a fantastic start.”

Satomi handing out free sushi to the huge crowd!

Satomi meeting the customer base –
lots of hungry tradies and students on day one!

Ever alert and ready to take the initiative – a partner is the ultimate sushi pro!

The Richmond team ready to go. Hamilton partners Lei Shi (on left, with mask)
and Jack (second from left, front row) plus experienced manager
Yoshiaki from Christchurch (third from left, back row) came to lend a hand.
Satomi (second from left, back row) had plenty of support!

Director Nick Katsoulis was thrilled at the successful opening, commenting that

“This is our first store in the upper South Island, so it’s very important for the company. Nelson locals have been asking us to open for years. We’re very glad to finally be here and so grateful for the support. It was a phenomenal customer response on the first day, it was our best standalone shop opening day ever in terms of sales volume!
Following Papamoa and Napier Onekawa, it’s yet another successful provincial shop opening. So many of NZ’s regional centres are very vibrant, and we’re keen to be part of growth of regional NZ moving forward.”

A grand St. Pierre’s tradition – Nick firing up the crowd before the sushi giveaway!
A fly by of the big crowd ready for Nick’s speech (and free sushi!)


Finally, General Manager of Property Oliver Shaw was pleased and relieved at how the smoothly opening had gone, noting that

“We’re very happy with the new shop, it’s really a brilliant location. It’s in the new Countdown complex which opened June 2021, on a busy roundabout, and near plenty of other major drawcards. It’s by a major sports complex with heaps of people coming and going for netball, hockey, cricket and swimming, plus near three schools. Richmond is a growing area, with lot of new subdivisions and young families moving in. All of this ties in with the St. Pierre’s brand values of healthy, affordable food and our core customer base.
The shop design represents our current design language – it’s bright, modern and inviting. Everyone is and will feel welcome. We’re very happy indeed with the Richmond shop.”

The attractive interior and modern, welcoming exterior of the Richmond shop

We believe that the Richmond shop will soon be a landmark in this growing but relaxed area. It really is a special milestone for the company. If you’re visiting Nelson or just passing through, do stop by and see Satomi and her team – see you there soon!

Busy busy all day – lots of students especially!

The sushi (and fun hats) giveaway that helped draw the big crowd!

The weather was simply stunning for opening day!
It’s easy to see why Nelson is such as popular holiday and lifestyle destination 🙂

7 Steps to Partnership launch!

Welcome! This month, St. Pierre’s opened our 7 Steps to Partnership pilot programme to more shops, and staff engagement has been great!

We’ve built an automated system, where staff fill in a self-evaluation form with simple yes/no questions. The department manager then gets a notification email, reviews the self-evaluation forms, and answers yes or no to the same questions. Once the manager answers yes to all, you’re approved for a promotion and pay rise!

But what’s the point of this? Firstly, we aim to make you all aware of what you know. Self-evaluation means you rate your own learning. Taking a moment to think about what you know helps you be more confident in your skills, and realise what you have learned. The shops are always busy, so it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come.

Next, awareness of your own growth builds confidence! We want all of you to be confident in your work and confident that you can take on challenges of leadership roles! The programme is called the “7 Steps” because there are many opportunities for everyone to grow within the company. We want everyone to see a career path here, and walk that path!

Finally, that’s because we’re a growing company. Our current shops are expanding, and we’re opening new shops all the time. We want to bring in talented people, and help you all grow as far as you want to. We often talk about St. Pierre’s being a People First Partnership, creating opportunities for others to achieve their dreams. If you dream big, we want to be the place for you to achieve big!

If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at this week’s Staff Memo on your shop tablet, which has details of which shops have started the 7 Steps and how many staff have engaged. We’ve also got informative articles here and here, and details of the new Trainer roles here.

Tony (Bombay)

Welcome to our latest St. Pierre’s partner feature.

Today we’re in Bombay, south of Auckland, visiting Tony, whose passion for food and community has taken him half way around the world!

“Growing up in China, my parents ran a fast-food shop. I was inspired by how they always created nutritious, interesting dishes for their family and community. I really love Asian food – especially Chinese and Japanese – and came to New Zealand ten years ago to broaden my culinary horizons by studying cooking here.”

Tony interned at St. Pierre’s Lunn Avenue while still in school, transferred to Elliot Street as assistant manager for two years, and by his third year was back at Lunn Ave as sushi department manager. After six years, on 3 June 2021 Tony became the partner for the new Bombay shop.

Tony in a rare quiet moment on opening day!

“When I was an intern, I understood quickly that St Pierre’s treats its staff well, offering benefits small companies don’t. That’s why I decided to aim to be a partner early on, making St. Pierre’s where I develop my career. I value staff benefits and a company’s growth potential, and St Pierre’s is a model example of those. Above all, the culture here is warm and welcoming, and full of opportunities.

The journey really has exceeded my expectations. Becoming a partner has significantly increased my income, which gives me confidence I can look after a growing family. My next goal is to run the best partnership shop in NZ – I have tough competition, so it will be a challenge!”

The Bombay shop is in a motorway service centre, on the border of the Auckland and Waikato regions. The huge traffic volumes on State Highway 1 mean many customers are travellers taking a break – but not all.

“A lot of our customers are passing through, but there is a small, tight-knit Bombay community. I’ve been contacting local schools and working to provide them our freshly-made sushi. I’m sure we’ll form a strong relationship.”

Tony with his team on opening day

  “Food is about aroha. Creating food which people love is about looking after people, both the people eating it and the people making it. I often get my staff drinks from the Coffee Club and the dairy next door, and when we’ve had a great sales day, I buy them KFC after work or for lunch. Also, on special occasions like New Year, I organize small team gatherings in local restaurants.”

Tony enjoying a peaceful moment at Tāpapakanga Regional Park, Firth of Thames

“I have an international team – my staff are from different countries and cultures. It’s a wonderful team that represents the diversity of New Zealand. Many of my staff are of Māori descent, and I am glad they treat me as whānau. Through meaningful daily interactions with the team and customers, I have realized we share a lot of cultural values. I feel a real connection to NZ and the Bombay locals, and now view NZ as my home.”

Tony is proud of his achievements and the lifestyle he has built. At St. Pierre’s, we’re proud to have amazing people like Tony on our team! We have a strong culture of being “people first”, supporting each other as we set challenging goals. Tony’s philosophy about food and community have taken him far, and we’re sure he will continue to reach new heights! Here’s to everyone across the St. Pierre’s Group aiming high!