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)
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!”
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!
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.”
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!
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!