Friendly faces be­hind Aotea’s first dairy


‘‘It’s not about the money. We want to be here for the com­mu­nity. We’re the per­fect stop for that one thing. ’’

Laxmi Pa­tel loves her job and the com­mu­nity she works in.

The As­cot Park woman, her hus­band, Kaushik, and son, Prashant, are the team be­hind Aotea’s first dairy, which opened last Novem­ber.

‘‘If you open a busi­ness, you have to be there to serve your com­mu­nity and that’s what we’re here to do,’’ she said.

Though busi­ness was steady at first, she said it had picked up over the last month.

Pa­tel said her whole fam­ily had helped with the set-up of the store prior to the open­ing.

‘‘I was so pleased with the wel­come we got. We had been look­ing for some­where like this.

‘‘Peo­ple come and say thank you for open­ing here. Be­fore us, peo­ple would have to go all the way into Porirua if they wanted some­thing. If you want one thing, that’s a long way to travel and some­times you come away with 10 things.’’

The dairy, si­t­u­ated in Aotea Dr, is not the first busi­ness the fam­ily has run.

Pa­tel said she had run her own busi­ness for about 21 years and been in retail for 25 years. A cafe in Welling­ton also keeps the fam­ily busy.

As­cot Park is also due to get a Count­down su­per­mar­ket this year.

Though that prospect could be wor­ry­ing for a new dairy owner, Pa­tel said they were here to stay.

‘‘We knew there was a Count­down com­ing be­fore we signed the lease. We just have to think pos­i­tive.’’

The Pa­tels’ dairy is open seven days a week, and stocks ev­ery­thing your cor­ner dairy should.

In terms of sales, Pa­tel said the best days were def­i­nitely the week­ends, but af­ter­noons were also busy.

‘‘It’s not about the money. We want to be here for the com­mu­nity. We’re the per­fect stop for that one thing.’’

Pa­tel moved to New Zealand from In­dia in 1989.


Prashant and Laxmi Pa­tel out­side Aotea’s only dairy.

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