Monday, 13 May 2013

Changing Oamaru tastes part of New World Northside refurbishment

When it comes to the finer things in life, it seems Oamaru residents have developed quite a taste for olives, sundried tomatoes and cheese, with increased demand for deli products behind part of a recently completed store revamp for New World Northside.

James Backhouse, New World Northside owner says they've recently doubled their range of speciality cheeses in a new three-tier delicatessen chiller, to satisfy customer's changing tastes.

"With all the cooking shows on TV, Oamaru locals are really keen to try new types of cheeses and olives and that's led to an increasing demand for deli foods," explains Backhouse.

In what might be viewed by some as a worrying trend, there are warning signs that Southerners are becoming similar to Aucklanders - a survey of New World Northside shoppers showed that customers were especially keen to buy a takeaway espresso coffee from their store. Three employees have undergone barista training to run the store's new coffee bar.

Backhouse says, "We're pretty close to all the sports grounds in town so during the winter it'll be a good draw card to warm up if you're standing on the sidelines, plus we're the last stop heading north out of town so it's a good driver reviver if you need it."

There's also been a revamp in store which has seen the widening of the aisle between the produce and bulk foods departments, an area previously known for trolley bottle-neck.

"It was a really tight squeeze coming out of the produce department but we've opened it up and I've had loads of customers telling me how much easier it is to get around," says Backhouse.

The construction work in store was done after the supermarket closed each evening so not to impact on the customers;

 "The store's 12 years old now so it really needed an upgrade and we wanted to make it a bit more modern"

Nearly every section of the store has been given a makeover, including a new ice-bed in the seafood department, an expanded bakery range and the addition of nine gourmet cuts of meat in the butchery for customers needing a bit of inspiration.

But Backhouse says it hasn't all been a case out of 'out with the old, in with the new';

"We had a really clunky old chiller from the late 80s, it was a hand-me down from City Centre in Dunedin, we've replaced it with a flash new stand-up chiller and some of the butchery staff have taken the old one home with plans to make it into a barbecue, so it hasn't gone out to pasture just yet!"

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