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!

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!

Karaka store opening!

Welcome! Recently, St. Pierre’s opened a new shop in a fascinating location. Read on to find out more!

We’re now open in Karaka, a fast-growing area in South Auckland. Karaka is famous for its horse studs, but now it’s home to a growing residential and business community. Our location is on the main road between Papakura – an established suburb – the Southern Motorway and Pukekohe, so also benefits from lots of through traffic. Happily, the shop has been busy from day one!

New shop trial partner Crystal Liang reflected positively on the opening, saying that

“I’m so happy to be the first Karaka trial partner. I’ve been with St. Pierre’s for more than ten years, working all over South Auckland, including Te Irirangi, Pakuranga, Manukau, Botany, and now Karaka. The shop has been a big success so far. Customers have been very excited to see us and happy we’re open in their community. It sounds like they’ve been waiting for a long time – we have a lot of fans here! Popular products so far have been out classic teriyaki chicken, especially chicken on rice, even more so than other shops. We have whole families including students and adults coming in, so we sell a lot of double decker items.

I really appreciate the opportunity to be a trial partner. It has been an adjustment – I have to think more about the whole shop and how to solve problems. I have to think more broadly, not just on the narrow task at hand. Luckily lots of experienced staff have come from other shops to Karaka. They have really helped in training our new staff, who are all fast learners, so as a team we’re definitely improving a little every day. I’m also grateful for the support of our area manager Yovina and all the head office staff. It has been a real team effort to have the shop running smoothly so far.”

Packs and packs of sushi ready for the giveaway! What an effort to get to this point!

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

“The store has been so busy, the opening has exceeded our expectations. It was a wonderful customer response on opening day and so far, sales have maintained a very strong level. It’s very encouraging.

South Auckland has long been a popular market for St. Pierre’s, and we really appreciate the support of the local community. We’re pleased to be offering quick, fresh, healthier choices to the Karaka, Papakura and Pukekohe area. We have a great location, right on the main road so it’s convenient for motorway and Pukekohe through traffic as well. And of course, Karaka is fast-growing suburb in its own right, there’s a real housing boom happening. We’re very happy to be here.”

The crowd was building for the sushi giveaway!
Even after opening, the crowd just kept growing!

Design Manager Alina Nicholls spoke highly of the new shop, commenting that

“I’m very pleased with the new shop. The interior design creates a cosy space with modern high-grade finishes, creating an inviting, family-friendly space. It creates a balanced impression which appeals to a broad customer base. At the same time, it takes the interior feel in a different direction compared to recent sushi-only shops Papamoa and Onekawa. Karaka is more mature yet still playful to attract families, who are strong supporters of St. Pierre’s. And of course, Karaka features the I SUSHI neon sign – a trademark of our modern design concept.

Finally, I want to give credit to Datum Projects, who did the fitout. Everything went smoothly, and I’m very happy with the result.”

Our trademark I ♡ SUSHI neon sign!

Finally, General Manager of Property Oliver Shaw was pleased at the opening, noting that

“We have high hopes for the Karaka shop. This new development is growing into a real food hub, and we’re pleased to be joining other major chains and independent outlets. It’s a high visibility location with great accessibility on a key regional arterial route servicing Pukekohe, Karaka itself and Papakura, all of which are significant residential and industrial centres.

Finally, there will be lots of foot traffic from the five schools nearby and developing residential catchment. We believe it will be a good location from the start and grow significantly over time.”

We believe that the Karaka shop is already a landmark in this growing area. The new shop is another big milestone for the company, so if you’re visiting Karaka or just passing through, do stop by and see Crystal and her team – see you there soon!