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.