Store ‘more than a liquor shop’

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - NA¯ BETHANY ROLSTON

Te Awa­mutu’s new­est liquor store aims to be “more than a just a bot­tle shop”.

Owner Sam Prasad wants Mer­chant Liquor to be an ex­pe­ri­ence.

Sam bought his first liquor store at age 18 in 2005. Since then he’s helped set up six liquor stores in Hamil­ton and part-owned one in Raglan.

The op­por­tu­nity to take over Te Awa­mutu’s Liquor Land came up, and it was a no-brainer for Sam to pur­chase and re­brand the store as Mer­chants Liquor. Sam, who stud­ied busi­ness at the Univer­sity of Waikato, has big plans for the shop.

He says Mer­chants aims to be a “des­ti­na­tion” for peo­ple to visit.

Pop­u­lar food truck The Chicken Cou­ple is cur­rently parked out­side the store, and there are plans for a sec­ond food truck to join.

“Hav­ing whole­some on­site food helps con­trib­ute to re­spon­si­ble drink­ing,” Sam says.

“It gives peo­ple the chance to have a bite to eat be­fore start­ing drink­ing.”

By the end of the year Sam wants to es­tab­lish so­cial clubs for wine, craft beer and whiskey en­thu­si­asts. The liquor store will be a venue for tast­ing and pur­chase events and a chance for com­pa­nies to show­case their prod­ucts.

Sam also wants the store to “go green”. He’s look­ing at in­stalling so­lar pan­els on the roof and us­ing hemp-based bags in­stead of plas­tic.

Mer­chants also aims to be com­mu­nity-ori­ented and cater gen­er­ously for 21st birth­day par­ties, wed­dings and other cel­e­bra­tions.

“I un­der­stand that be­ing a part of a small town is all about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity. We want to help clubs and busi­nesses with spon­sor­ships and sub­si­dies. Just come in to have a chat and we’ll see what we can do.”

Mer­chants has em­ployed a staff of three, and Sam is proud to pay above min­i­mum wage. “Our staff are friendly, lo­cal peo­ple who are known and re­spected in the com­mu­nity.”

Mer­chants Liquor is at 49 Vaile St. Con­tact 870 5151.

■ Lady who stopped her car to let me know my back­pack was open.

■ Te Awa­mutu Pri­mary’s new sign and logo hand painted by Blair Shaw.

■ The kind, thought­ful man who gave a bunch of daf­fodils to each per­son re­ceiv­ing meals on wheels.

NOT

■ The young­sters that hurled rocks at my house.

■ Peo­ple com­plain­ing about slip­pery blos­soms. Move around them.

■ Peo­ple that repet­i­tively smash other peo­ple’s mail­boxes.

■ Some­body en­ter­ing my prop­erty and steal­ing or­anges off my lit­tle tree.

■ The per­son who over­filled our re­cy­cling bin with their own re­cy­cling. Our bin wasn’t col­lected be­cause it was too full.

Whakaahua / Sup­plied

From left, Jeana Sayson, Chara Reti, Syd­ney Har­ris, Sam Orasad, Dal­ton Har­g­reaves and Tony Xia.

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