Welcome! This week, St. Pierre’s opened our 5th new shop in 2021 – and this one is very special!
Why? It will host our first-ever sushi drive thru – and more!
The new shop is in Onehunga, a vibrant, historic suburb in southern central Auckland. We have a prominent location on Neilson St, the main road onto the motorway toward the airport and Manukau, just before the on ramp.
It’s the ideal spot to grab a healthy or hearty meal heading home or to work. The shop is also close to the historic Onehunga main street and train station, so we anticipate plenty of walk-up traffic too.
The drive thru – opening January 6, with the eat-in opening Tuesday 21 December – is hugely significant. It’s definitely the first sushi drive thru in NZ – and maybe even the world! The new concept makes it a focal point for our future growth. The broader Onehunga area is also growing fast, and with no Bento Bowl shop nearby, we’re hoping for big things.
The shop also features plenty of design flourishes. The open, spacious interior and spaced-out tables encourage customers to relax, take their time looking through the menu, and appreciate the beautiful food displays to the fullest. There is plenty of funky art on the walls and table tops, bringing a modern Japanese edge.
The one downer was COVID restrictions meaning we couldn’t do our famous sushi giveaway, with Nick firing up the crowd like he did at Ponsonby. Instead, we offered a wide range of free samples – including super crunchy katsu chicken and mochi desserts – to everyone visiting. Even without the giveaway, the shop was packed. Word had clearly got around!
Many people – including the Fire Service – came in for their first-day sushi fix !
The shop has a fantastic team of around 20 staff, split across sushi and Bento Bowl. The drive thru operation will work across both departments, bringing a unique dynamic to the shop. Speaking of dynamic, the shop has two energetic young managers: Rico in sushi, and TJ in Bento Bowl. They’ve both been looking forward to the new challenge of the bigger, drive thru shop, and it’s TJ’s first time as a manager. Talk about ambition!
Backing the staff are our great support team, including our People Development Manager Yasuko and Bento Bowl department manager Keiko. Area manager Johnny had also been closely involved with the Onehunga opening, and he commented that
“This shop project was a real challenge. It is the first shop opening I am fully in charge of, before I had only helped. There are so many aspects to opening a shop, from big items to fine details, and I have learned so much. But in the end it has gone smoothly, and I’m really grateful to our strong, motivated team here for making a smooth opening possible.”
Finally, Director Perry Katsoulis commented that
“Onehunga is off to a fantastic start! It has been a big project, but it has gone so well. We like to take on ambitious challenges here, but the power of teamwork has carried us through. Customers are enjoying the bright store atmosphere and choice of sushi or hot Bento meals. We’ve had some real local characters in the shop and reacting positively already. We can’t wait to open the drive thru – that’s our next big challenge!
The Onehunga shop will be a real landmark in the Onehunga community – day or night! – as well as a focal shop for the St. Pierre’s Group. Hope to see you there soon!