New owner sought for drinks business

Wests owner Alf Loretan with a selection of the company's thirst quenchers. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Wests owner Alf Loretan with a selection of the company's thirst quenchers. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The owners of Dunedin drinks institution Wests NZ are looking for someone to put more fizz into the biz.

The popular drinks manufacturer, which has been serving thirsty Otago customers since 1876, is on the market.

As one of the oldest beverage manufacturers in Dunedin, Wests shares a similar history to another southern landmark, Speight's Brewery.

Alf Loretan (61), who owns the business with wife Kaye, said it was time to sell, and spend more time with their grandchildren.

The Loretans have owned and run the St Kilda business, which employs eight staff, for the past 13 years.

"It's quite a different business today than it was then, certainly more efficient, and the investment in our own bottling system had also been a positive change.

"We never really thought of it as work. In fact, it's been a lot of fun - but it does take a certain amount of energy."

He said the couple had been considering selling the business for the past three years, timing that coincided with the company losing its alcohol licence.

"Losing the licence wasn't a major issue, as it focused our efforts on the factory, but it was slightly sad to see the shop, which catered for an older clientele, go quiet," he said.

The business manufactures a range of beverages, including its popular Pineapple and Pear, Chocolade and Protein Cream milkshake.

Mr Loretan said the range of soda and milkshake syrups had also remained popular.

Both the business and the 870sq m Bay View Rd building were on the market. Mr Loretan said they would be sold together, though they would consider selling the business separately, without the building.

"We're not 100% sure what we'll do, but we'll get past this sale process first," he said.

The property, registered with Bayleys Real Estate, is valued at $450,000 on qv.co.nz.

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