Monday, April 22, 2024

Building strong relationships with the community

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It’s easy to see that owner-operators of FreshChoice Half Moon Bay supermarket Chris Harris and Juliet Monaghan are a hands-on team.

Before you even meet them, you will spot them spending time in the aisle talking to the staff, connecting with the customers and even stepping in to handle the till at the check-out, the minute customers queue up.

It doesn’t take long to know that their passion, eye for detail and customer service has filtered down to the staff and everyone associated with FreshChoice Half Moon Bay.

But they are modest and give all the credit to the hard working staff saying they have a strong connectivity with the local community saying they know many people from the neighbourhood.

“We cater to a very large diversity of needs and all the work we do here is centred to the customer’s needs. We employ locals, have local suppliers and support local needs,” says Chris who after spending 30 years in supermarkets and running his own retail consultancy took on the opportunity to own and operate the full service supermarket with competitive pricing.

“By focusing on local aspirations we build loyalty and a strong sense of ownership,” he says.

Absolute foodies, owner-operators Chris and Juliet along with the team at FreshChoice are very responsive to customer requests and are keen to take customer service to another level.

Constantly looking for artisan and gourmet food at supermarket prices, they actively researched the recent Auckland Food Show and came back with an exciting selection of new and healthy products such as the Harney and Sons Premium Teas which offer some of the world’s finest tea — at affordable prices.

The list of new and exciting suppliers making their way into FreshChoice include Banjo Kombucha, a range of delicious craft brewed kombucha using real fruit, healthy cultures and the finest organic herbal ingredients.

Embracing the latest contemporary food trends, the list also includes House of Dumplings, Nut loaf, Farm Fresh Meats, Waiheke Sausages, Alter Ego Chocolates, Kako boxed chocolates, Organic from Switzerland and many more.  In addition we have candy-free checkouts, offer paper checkout bags or bio-degradable options.

“Our customers who live in the area are very knowledgeable and health conscious and after talking to them we make some authentic choices which are current, like bringing in Yum Muesli or special Italian handmade cheese – ViaVio – from Nelson so that customers don’t have to travel to get it.

“We have an extensive range and are very responsive to customer requests. Also, we have a distinct advantage of being part of Progressive and can leverage their volume and be very competitive in the market place,” he rightly points out.

The supermarket that boasts of a  beautiful backdrop of the Half Moon Bay Marina also offers a Gourmet aisle ‘For the Love of Food’ that stocks a very wide range of gluten free, artisan and gourmet food which is a standout and easy to pick.  Fresh Choice is in the process of adding another 19 ranges of gourmet type lines.

Making the FreshChoice experience even more special is Cafe Delishimo that creates wholesome home-baked daily hot meals, in addition to quiches, frittatas and pies and sweet and savoury food–on-the-run. There is an instant sense of goodness with very little processed ingredients being used in the preparation.  They are experts at All Press coffees.

A qualified chef oversees the food that is known for home goodness as it offers a lot of convenience giving customers the reassurance that the most delicious and tender roasts or sandwiches and wraps with scrumptious fillings can be eaten right away.

“The cafe is a part of our business and typically people who come to the supermarket like to pick up some fresh food on their way back home,” says Chris.

“We also do special cuts for people and are getting into head to tail marketing which is about good farm practices, selling organic meat and working with people who look after their animals.”

A great believer in building relationships and giving back to the community, every month FreshChoice contributes $500 to the local community groups, school and charity that needs financial support.  They also actively support the Pakuranga College work experience program.

For eight months of the year, the five-year-old supermarket gives away $500 and for the other four months it is $1000.

Applicants can apply by completing an application form available at the checkout or printing the FreshChoice Community Fund Application form. Once completed drop it in the box next to the notice board.

1 Ara Tai Road
Half Moon Bay
Ph: 09-5380086
Open daily from 6am-10pm

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