COMPLETELY NEW to Auckland and only the second to open in the North Island is the FreshChoice which started trading in Glen Eden for the first time on 13 October. Fresh Choice is one of the two franchise banners owned in this country by Progressive Enterprises through its Wholesale Distributors subsidiary. The only other in the North Island is in Te Awamutu in what was the last 3Guys discount market to survive the chain that Albert Gubay developed.
The other 10 FreshChoice stores are all in the South Island. Some years ago, when PEL belonged to Foodland Associates, then managing director Ted van Arkel said it was their intention to grow the number of both the FreshChoice and Supervalue markets, but in recent years the reverse has been the case. Last year PEL bought several FreshChoice stores to convert them to Countdown. This Auckland opening is the first increase in numbers since Te Awamutu opened. The West Auckland opening was also something of special event as Glen Eden has not had its own supermarket since 2000.
A full-service market, it is close to the Glen Eden train station in West Coast Road and will open every day from 7am to 10pm. Owner/operators are the Ranchhod family, who live locally and are dedicated to supporting the community. “We are employing 40 local people and providing full training to ensure consistently high service as well as opportunities for growth and career development,” says Pranil Ranchhod. The new market will also be setting up a community fund to contribute towards good causes in the local area. Covering 1200sq m FreshChoice Glen Eden offers the freshest food available and, as the name suggests, there will be plenty of choice as range and variety are fundamental to the brand.
“Getting the range right is extremely important to us,” says Pranil Ranchhod. “We will be listening closely and responding to our customers about what they want.” Butchery products are cut and packed fresh each day with more than 12m of chiller space giving a wide variety for customers. Qualified butchery staff will also be on hand to provide specialty cuts as required. In the produce section, the Ranchhods are looking to support local suppliers wherever possible and plan to include a range of organics, too.
The bakery is offering the award-winning Wild Wheat artisan breads as well as a wide range of freshly-baked goods. The Glen Eden store has a total of 19,700 sku’s. PEL has plans to open three more FreshChoice markets in Auckland’s Half Moon Bay, in Leamington and in Greymouth. The Supervalue group is much larger with 11 of the 41 stores nationwide in Auckland and a further nine in the North Island.