Cyclone Gabrielle update

I’m just writing to share an update about how our people have fared in the terrible weather over the last few weeks, particularly Cyclone Gabrielle.

In short, all of our people are OK. This is more important than anything else. Shop operations are returning to normal in most places, but with the damage to many homes, it will take a long time for the communities to recover. Still, we will keep doing what we can as a company and as individual community members to help the people around us.

Five of our shops were affected by the cyclone. Grange Warkworth and Silverdale – in the north of Auckland – suffered heavy flooding, power cuts and internet outages during the worst of the rain. Staff had difficulty getting home the day the cyclone hit, but were all OK. The damage was ultimately minimal, and the shops were able to reopen after just one day closed.

As you will know, the storm damage in Hawke’s Bay was severe, particularly in and around Napier. Taradale, where several of our staff live, was evacuated, with some of our st¯f spending the night at an evacuation centre. However, everyone was fine and their houses undamaged. Once the rain eased, the Hawke’s Bay St. Pierre’s team swung into action. The power was on at the Hastings shop, but the two Napier shops (Carlyle Street and Onekawa) were without power for some time.

This meant the ingredients would soon be wasted. With no phone reception, it was difficult for managers to check on their staff, but Takashi and Francisco did the best they could to distribute food and check on their teams. Hastings manager Hiromi – who lives in Napier – also got some ingredients from Napier and took them back to the Hastings fridge. After cleaning on Friday, Hastings shop reopened on Saturday, but with deliveries disrupted, regular operation was not possible, so the decision was made to make sushi and distribute it to people in need.

Hiromi and his team made a total of about 170 rolls on Sunday, taking 40 rolls to a local evacuation centre, 30 to a food hub in Hastings, and 100 to Pakowhai Road, one of the most devastated areas. A few days earlier, people had been rescued by helicopter off house rooves there, but by Sunday the cleanup and salvage work was underway. Simply wanting to provide some encouragement, Hiromi stopped by every house and handed out one pack of sushi per person. It was just a token gesture, but well appreciated by the locals working to rebuild their lifestyles.

In terms of support from head office, our team has been working hard to resume deliveries so that the shops can reopen. All three Hawke’s Bay were up and running by Friday 24th February and ready to serve their communities again. All staff wages lost due to the shop closures are being covered by head office, and we are working to provide whatever other support we can to our staff and their broader community.

In short, it has been a terrible few weeks for many people around NZ, but the way that people have pulled together and supported each other has been heartening to see. Few parts of NZ have been spared by this disaster, so please keep helping the people around you however you can, which we will continue to do also.

Please stay strong for each other.


Hiromi and team keeping positive despite the terrible events while making sushi on Sunday

Merry Christmas from the Directors!

To our St Pierre’s family, 

I would like to thank you all for the amazing job and your dedication and commitment to our Company this year.

A recent (?) Katsoulis family photo

What a year! It’s been a year full of challenges, and I think you have met them all very successfully and with strength and courage! 

Like nearly all New Zealand companies in a Covid era we faced short staffing and people shortages like we have never seen  in our 38 years in business, with toughest in Queenstown and Central Auckland.

With the borders closed to immigration, it’s been nearly impossible to hire staff and also for many of you to go home and visit your loved ones in China and other places where restrictions on travel have been in place.

However I believe these challenges have made us a more flexible and stronger company with a greater will to be more experimental and find ways to fill our needs. 

Whether it meant employ more part-time people, students, or other, we met the challenge and have reached the end of the year with the strongest sales we have had in the history of the company. The strong high sales have led to record bonuses and dividends achieved ! 


Our amazing people Area Managers, Managers, support people, store Managers, Partners and store teams have pulled together to keep our stores open and trading for business and keep our customers happy, when many of our competitors and other stores had to stay closed often for days or weeks on end.

Congratulations again! 

At the same time several new stores were opened in Nelson, Karaka, Papamoa, and Ashburton as well as a new Head Office for the Company, which will serve our needs for many years to come… 

Our famous sushi giveaway on Ashburton opening day!

Truly an amazing achievement!

We re started our Awards Evenings again nationwide after a 2 year absence, and had 3 very successful mini conferences all live and which were attended by hundreds of you ! 

 Well done! It was so much fun to get together again! 

I understand that there have been many very stressful times for many of you, and I would like to appreciate you very much for all the effort and hard work that you have put into your work this year.

We have also been so fortunate also that the demand for our food has been strong, enabling us to have stronger sales than ever, proving that St. Pierres has a very important place in the NZ food market. 

However nothing could be achieved without your hard work effort and commitment.

Whether you are  a part-time worker full-time store worker, manager, assistant manager, partner, or work in our head office support team you are all truly appreciated!

We really appreciate your continued hard work, enthusiasm , and motivation.

You truly are the best!

Profit sharing 

Over the holiday break will be working on our profit sharing program and very early in the New Year will be announcing the dates for a profit during meetings. I look forward to seeing you all there! This time it will be a live venue as we have always had in the past and should be fun! 

Finally I would like to wish you and your families all the very best for Christmas, and let’s work together to make 2023 another excellent year ! 

Many thanks again and warm regards to all of you! 


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.