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Wait over for second supermarket in Cromwell

FreshChoice Cromwell owner operators Ross and Sue Clark inside their new cafe, Heartland Junction.

FreshChoice Cromwell owner operators Ross and Sue Clark inside their new cafe, Heartland Junction.

A Cromwell couple’s four-year journey to open a supermarket “with a twist” is over.

After a month of turning customers away because the store-build was not complete, Ross and Sue Clark officially open the doors to FreshChoice Cromwell at 9.30am today.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan will officially open the new business located next to the Cromwell highway.

FreshChoice Cromwell will be officially opened on Wednesday, February 14 by Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan.

FreshChoice Cromwell will be officially opened on Wednesday, February 14 by Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan.

“The opening of a second supermarket in Cromwell is a solid sign of the growth and strength of the town and of Central Otago as a whole. Major investments like this bring more jobs to the town which are always welcome. I wish Sue and Ross all the best for the future,” Cadogan said before the opening.

Ross Clark said the pair had owned a supermarket in Milton before spotting the “rock star site” their new supermarket was built on.

“This has been a four year plan for us. Four years ago we started looking and seeing if we could find land. We have always holidayed in Central Otago and held an attraction for us . . .This is the hub of Central Otago now with all the industrial set up at McNulty Road – it’s a great set up there and a great feeder for Queenstown and Wanaka.”

FreshChoice Cromwell owner operators Ross and Sue Clark inside their new supermarket that opens on Wednesday.

FreshChoice Cromwell owner operators Ross and Sue Clark inside their new supermarket that opens on Wednesday.

Sue Clark said being owner operators they were able to put their “twist” on the business. 

“That is exactly what we have done here. We have incorporated a lot of local products within the store. We’re passionate about sourcing as many local products as possible. We’ve met with many local growers and producers to hear their stories and to taste their artisan creations. It’s been quite a privilege to be able to do this, and we’re proud to be able to share their creations with locals.

“We have fantastic wines, we have a local section. We have been to the wineries, spoken to the people and talked about their story and incorporated their story into our story which is really special to us. If someone is just passing through the supermarket they are going to get a bit of the flavour of Cromwell.”

Another special feature of the supermarket was their Heartland Junction cafe which would serve a range of hand-crafted wholesome food and barista made coffee. The cafe was designed as a separate space away from the bustle of the supermarket.

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“Heartland is the brand of coffee we are going to be serving and the Junction comes from Cromwell. It used to be known as the Junction back in the day so we decided to incorporate the two.” 

The business had employed 55 people, which included every local who had applied for a job and whose credentials had checked out, she said.

“Our deli is run by a fully qualified chef so if anyone would like to ask for a meal at night they can have it ready for you to pick up. Chefs can put platters together for entertaining – it’s no bother, it’s just a matter of talking to them and giving them planning time to do that.”

While fresh was a focus, customers could also expect to find competitive prices on a range of gluten free and speciality goods, hand-picked gourmet foods, international food and a selection of everyday groceries. Competitive prices were complimented by fuel savings and “come-back coupons” to reward loyal shoppers.

FreshChoice Cromwell would also launch a Click & Collect service from mid-March, which allowed customers to order their groceries online and pick-up in-store at a time convenient for them.

“Grocery is a really exciting industry to be in and we love it with a passion . . . We’ve built the store with the environment and technology in mind, using eco-friendly refrigeration, heat recycling, energy efficient lighting and electronic ticketing,” Sue Clark said.

“We have had really positive feedback, in fact we have been turning people away for the past month. It’s time to let them in.” 

 – Stuff

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