Ashburton store opening!

Welcome! On 19 October, St. Pierre’s opened another new shop – and this one’s really special! Read on!

We’re now open in Ashburton, a bustling town in South Canterbury, about one hour south of Christchurch. But Ashburton is more than just a satellite town, it’s an important rural and industrial centre in its own right. Our location is just off the main street, by a major supermarket and mass retailer plus near several parks, so we expect there will be plenty of demand for our healthy, satisfying meals from workers, shoppers and families. Luckily the team will be serving both sushi and Bento Bowl products, so there’s plenty to keep the locals happy!

New shop partner Yoshiaki Taniguchi was busy but had a huge smile on his face, saying that

“I’m thrilled to become the founding Ashburton partner. I’ve been with St. Pierre’s for about three years now, it has been quite a journey from Invercargill to Christchurch and now to Ashburton. Blenheim Road was a great shop, but opening a new shop which also has Bento Bowl is on another level again! Running a dual-format sushi and Bento Bowl shop really is complex.

I’m so grateful for the support of so many people, it was a genuine team effort. First are Nan and Art, the Invercargill team who worked with me closely and taught me lots about how good the partnership programme is. Nelson partner Satomi and area manager Akiko gave me lots of training and advice for my new shop while also working flat out opening the Nelson shop! Liren supported me so well during the transition period, and I’m happy she is now doing great as the Blenheim Road manager.

My boss, area manager Kazuyo helped our new team in many ways before and after opening, working long days every single day until we settled into a routine. Finally, thanks to the staff who have moved from Christchurch to Ashburton. Ashburton is a nice place to live, energetic for its size and with a great community feel. I’m very happy to be here, and hope they are too.”

Wrapping off for the big unveiling!!!

Director Costa Katsoulis was very happy at the successful opening, commenting that

“The store has been so busy the first few days, the opening has really exceeded our expectations. We’re so appreciative of the support from the Ashburton community, and keen to repay them with our core values of great service and healthy nutrition.

We have a prime location, right by the KMart door for high visibility. With the Countdown nearby, we anticipate strong business in the evenings and nighttime as well as our staple lunch market. Ashburton is booming, it’s a prosperous town with high employment. With lots of people working and really busy, we think there will be demand for people to eat out a lot. There is also not much sushi competition in Ashburton right now, so we believe we’re filling a need.

After Papamoa, Napier Onekawa and Nelson Richmond, it’s another provincial shop success story. So many of New Zealand’s regional centres are very bustling and vibrant, and we’re keen to be part of regional NZ’s growth into the future.”

Director Nick Katsoulis gives his traditional – but always energetic – speech to fire up the crowd!

Design Manager Alina Nicholls was proud of the new shop, commenting that

“The new shop really catches the eye and invites people in. It has a contemporary design with modern high-grade finishes throughout, setting a high standard for the customer experiences. The interior design features a Bento Bowl neon sign, a trademark of the modern St. Pierre’s design concept. It includes a long communal table with our distinctive roof, evoking the logo. Our hope is that this statement table will help to bring people together over food.

This is the third shop I’ve worked with current architect team on after Richmond and Karaka, and I have to compliment the project manager Tricroft. They’re a local Ashburton company and have been great to work with.”

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 on a prime site near the key anchors of Countdown and Kmart, a new and well-designed retail complex. It’s an exciting location because this is the first Kmart in the Ashburton region, but is also growing into a food hub, with more restaurants and takeaway outlets opening over the next few months. Notably, there are many complementary food and dining options near us such as Coupland’s Bakery. More broadly, Ashburton is rapidly growing beyond a rural service town into a regional hub and economic centre, and we’re really happy to become part of the Ashburton success story.”

We believe that the Ashburton shop will soon be a landmark in this vibrant, growing town. Our first shop in Mid Canterbury is a milestone for the company, so if you’re visiting Ashburton or just passing through, do stop by and see Yoshi and his team – see you there soon!

One more look at the shop the night before opening!

2022 Auckland awards party!

We’re back! After two years off due to COVID-19, the famous St. Pierre’s awards parties are back in action!!! They’re one of the highlights of our year, and we’re so glad we can bring the St. Pierre’s family back together.

Nick warming up the crowd!

Awards parties are about celebrating all shop staff, and in particular recognising the high achievers over the last year. A wide range of travel voucher prizes were awarded, including for part time and full time crew of the year, best service, culminating with a $3,500 prize for Manager of the Year, Tal at Auckland Airport!

Nick announcing Michelle from Whangārei as Partner of the Year winner
Maximum excitement from Hana’s team in Rotorua after she won the Specialty Manager of the Year award

All shop staff are invited, and came from as far away as Whangārei, Tauranga, Rotorua and New Plymouth to the Auckland bash. On Monday 7 November, 320 people packed out the Imperial Palace restaurant for an evening of good food, catching up with old friends – and fun!

The Imperial Palace was humming!

They’re great fun because our awards parties are not too serious – fancy dress costumes are encouraged, and some staff go to great lengths! This year’s theme – Back to the Future – saw all sorts of amazing outfits, from cavemen to Men in Black and everything else imaginable. Enjoy the photo parade!

What an amazing array of costumes!

And the good news is, there’s more to come! The Wellington awards party (for lower North Island shops) will be on Wednesday 16th and the Christchurch party (for all South Island shops) on Wednesday 23nd November. See you all there!!!

St. Pierre’s at Japan Day!

Welcome! On Sunday 6 November, the Japan Day festival was held in Auckland – and what a big day it was!

After being cancelled the last two years due to COVID-19, the 20th Japan Day was finally held this year. The post-COVID restriction restart saw a new venue, the Trusts Arena in West Auckland – and the community turned out in force! The venue was humming from open to close, and was particularly packed around lunchtime.

St. Pierre’s was proud to be a Gold Partner of the event, with a big team there on the day selling fresh temaki cones, cream mochi made in Japan and a wide range of popular Japanese drinks, including ramune lemonade.

The team ready to roll!

The mochi was really popular – we sold over 1,000 pieces, selling out far quicker than we had anticipated. Thanks everyone!

Sushi master Koji-san at work!

The crowd just kept on coming for the temaki cones! We were stunned by the response, and sold out 700 cones soon after lunch. If you’d like to try them, they’re available fresh every day at K10 sushi train.

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

“Thanks so much to all our staff who helped on the day – you were all brilliant! Some of our office staff helped as well, and everyone had a great time in the very festive atmosphere of Japan Day. Even though our shops are short of staff, we felt it was really important to be here to support the Japanese community as it was the first Japan Day in three years.”

Nick showcasing the St. Pierre’s stand

Our stand also featured a recruitment table, showcasing the benefits of working at St. Pierre’s. We had a strong response from event guests, and look forward to welcoming many new team members soon!

The recruitment table was busy all day!

Fans of the anime Glitter Force enjoyed a great cosplay day out

Lots to see and do!
The taiko drummers firing up the crowd!

After a COVID-19 driven interruption, it’s great that events are happening again in Auckland and around NZ. This summer, we’re again supporting the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon series – check out a location near you!