After a decade of stacking shelves and bagging groceries Dela Bernard and her husband crossed the aisle to run their own business.
The pair arrived from Sri Lanka more than 10 years ago and started working at the New World supermarket in Mission Bay, quickly working their way up to managerial positions.
But the couple dreamt of having their own store.
Then, two years ago they found the perfect property in Grey Lynn – the established Richmond Road Superette.
‘‘It’s awesome, it just feels free. I can make my own decisions and nobody tells me what to do,’’ Mrs Bernard says. ‘‘And it’s a nice neighbourhood with nice people.’’
The shelves are so bursting with every convenience product a customer could want the shop really could be called a mini-supermarket.
However, Mrs Bernard’s real source of pride is her cheerful reputation.
Customers might come in for a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk, but they always leave with a smile.
‘‘I think it is the most important to be a friendly person for the customers.
‘‘If I’m friendly with you, you will come back,’’ the mother-of-two says.
Spend five minutes in her shop and you will witness a stream of loyal shoppers who stop to chat about the weather or the latest sporting match as they grab their goods.
‘‘I have a lot of customers who will park across the road,’’ she says.
‘‘But they don’t go to the shop across the road.’’
The family live in a threebedroom house attached to the shop, which Mrs Bernard reckons is a real benefit.
‘‘It’s easy, very, very easy working from home. I hardly ever have to go out for anything and my two kids get to be close to me,’’ she says.
‘‘They love it but my kids understand they can’t ask me all the time for lollies, once a week on Fridays and that’s it.’ AUT University has launched New Zealand’s first universitybased media channel dedicated to showcasing material created by students, staff and university affiliates. AUTV is dedicated to showcasing ‘‘the best of what we do,’’ the university says, and is ‘‘on air’’ seven days a week, screening on three large video walls in the Sir Paul Reeves Building on AUT’s city campus. Visit the website autv.aut.ac.nz to view the content of the channel.
Welcoming smile: Dela Bernard and her husband AJ are proud to have a shop that rivals the nearby supermarket with its expansive selection.