Store ‘more than a liquor shop’
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.
■ 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.
From left, Jeana Sayson, Chara Reti, Sydney Harris, Sam Orasad, Dalton Hargreaves and Tony Xia.