New store operators enjoying the buzz

New grocery store proprietors Riley White and Mackenzie Brownlee, of Wānaka. PHOTO: SUPPLIED 
New grocery store proprietors Riley White and Mackenzie Brownlee, of Wānaka. PHOTO: SUPPLIED 
Northlake residents Riley White and Mackenzie Brownlee are in the pink after opening a new On the Spot grocery store in their Wānaka suburb just before Christmas.

The Northlake shop is among 70 pink-branded FoodStuffs South Island stores in standalone locations or beside fuel stations.

Mr White and Ms Brownlee are partners in life and business and first-time store owner operators.

Mr White has more 14 years of grocery store experience at New World supermarkets in Christchurch and most recently as grocery manager at New World Three Parks in Wānaka.

"It’s not easy starting any business, especially during the holidays, but we’ve had great support from our team, suppliers and customers," Mr White said.

"We’re ... receiving great feedback so far. We’re also beginning to recognise some regulars, getting to know one another by name, and having great conversations with our customers. It’s been an amazing experience."

Ms Brownlee is a former real estate agent and is enjoying being in business with her partner.

"Jumping from my old career to this was an easy decision to make. I could see how hard Riley worked and was extremely confident in his abilities.

"We’ve also travelled overseas together for long stints, and it worked well, so we knew we could work together in stressful situations and under pressure," she said.

On The Spot Northlake has a commercial kitchen making food to go, fried chicken and chips (known as Northlake Fried Chicken or NFC), and real fruit ice cream.

The couple moved from Christchurch to Wānaka four years ago and as Northlake locals, jumped at the opportunity to serve their neighbourhood.

"We love being at the hub of Northlake and offering some of that classic kiwi ‘corner store’ experience to locals and visitors," Mr White said.