Thursday May 5, 2016
Local fruit sellers retire after 21 years By Kelly Hennessy COOK STRAIT NEWS INTERN
After 21 years of serving the Miramar community, Kim Chin and his family have sold Miramar Fruit Supply. The Chins first bought the store in 1994, with Kim’s wife Kay running the shop while Kim worked an extra job at the airport to support the fledgling business. Soon they were doing well enough for Kim to focus all of his attention on the fruit supply. In the past two decades, Miramar Fruit Supply has become a family business of the highest order, with two of Kim and Kay’s four daughters working with them. Their eldest Vanessa joined her parents five years after they took over, coming in to help with the flowers sold at the shop. Their second daughter Bronwyn works with her parents as well, while the family’s two youngest girls are still in school.
Kim believes the family atmosphere is what brought in and kept many of his customers. “I think the family aspect, the nice atmosphere, that’s what kept the business going.” These loyal customers were key in sustaining the thriving local business, especially in the midst of changes to the local scene. “It is a hard industry-with all the supermarkets and veggie markets popping up, it’s hard to survive.” The proliferation of other sellers was not the only change Miramar has undergone. Kim, who was born and raised in the town, says he’s gotten much busier with the influx of film studios and cafes in the area. “It used to be much quieterit’s a lot busier now, which is a good thing, and I get to sell to all the cafes, which is great,” Kim laughed. Leaving the business after two decades will be a hard adjustment for Kim, as he learns how to enjoy some downtime.
Newcomers events There are two Wellington Newcomers Network events happing in the Month of May. On Wednesday, May 11 a coffee catch up event will take place at Clarkes Cafe in the Wellington Central Library from 5pm. Another coffee and conversation catch up will take place at the Wellington Central Library on Thursday, May 26 from 2.30pm.
Drop in to community centre The Kilbirnie Lyall Bay Community Centre holds a drop in every day from 10am to 2pm. Everyone is welcome to pop in for a cup of coffee and a chat. For more information, contact the Kilbirnie Lyall Bay Community Centre on 387 7867.
Kim Chin with his family- (from left) Vanessa with her son Hayden, wife Kay, and daughters Bronwyn and Natalie
“I enjoy meeting people. I’ll miss the people the most.” Fortunately, Kim will have some time to adjust, as he’s agreed to work part-time for a while to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners, Susie and Harry Sukhalal. “It’s hard to give up, after having been here all this time, and after putting so much work, I want to make sure the place is still successful.”
While Kim will work a few hours each day, he will have much more time for golf and his family. Kay will get a much-deserved break, Vanessa will get to enjoy being a full-time mum, and Bronwyn will be traveling to the United States for a few months. The Chin’s final day at Miramar Fruit Supply was Saturday, April 30.
Playing in the centre of the city The Wellington Playcentre Association is celebrating turning 75-years-old with a special event at Civic Square this Monday. On Monday the association will host a ‘Big Play’ pop-up session in Civic Square. Preschoolers and their parents and caregivers are invited to come along and experience the
fun of playcentre in a centralcity setting, complete with activities such as carpentry, messy play, junk construction, playdough, blocks, music and clay. The first playcentre in Wellington was established in April 1941 in Karori after mothers commiserated with each other
over how difficult it was to raise their children with their husbands away at war. By 1943, there were 18 Playcentres in Wellington, Palmerston North and Christchurch. Today, there are 19 between Wellington and Otaki alone, with over 450 spread across New Zealand.
Playcentres run as volunteer parent cooperatives, with a philosophy that emphasises learning through play for babies to school-age children. The ‘Big Play’ pop-up session will take place on Monday, May 9 at Civic Square from 9.30am to midday.
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Fairtrade ‘coffee break’ Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown and councillors Justin Lester and Iona Pannett will hold a ‘Fairtrade Coffee Break’ on Thursday, May 12 from 9am to midday. A coffee and tea stall will be set up at council reception, promoting fairtrade products. The Mayor and councillors will also be serving a fairtrade morning tea during the Governance and Finance committee meeting break. Wellington City Council buildings are located at 101 Wakefield St.
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Published on May 4, 2016