Gilchrist's Store business for sale

The building, thought to be New Zealand’s oldest continuous general store business, was built in...
The building, thought to be New Zealand’s oldest continuous general store business, was built in 1899. Photo: ODT files
Central Otago’s historic Gilchrist's Store business in Oturehua is for sale.

The building, thought to be New Zealand’s oldest continuous general store business, was built in 1899 and taken on by Thomas Gilchrist in 1902, Craig Bates of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, who is marketing the store, said.

Run by Mr Gilchrist's descendants for three generations, the original store and Gilchrist family homestead went into community ownership in 1996 after Herb and Bruce Gilchrist, the grandsons of Thomas Gilchrist, retired.

The business was at present operated by John and Helen Hellier, who were "ready to move on'', Mr Bates said.

The store, used by Oturehua residents and  visitors, including those on the Otago Central Rail Trail, sells general grocery products and Central Otago craft items.

As well, the business also comprises a bed and breakfast, a New Zealand Post depot and two rural delivery runs serving 150 rural families.

Between the 1920s and the 1940s the business also incorporated a bakery and employed up to 12 local people.

Now, three people work at the business and "a handful" of casual employees.

The store features memorabilia such as the original telephone exchange and tinned coffee and food from the late 1800s.

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