Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

06 March 2010

Open 7 Days 17. Waverley Fruit Supply

I wrote and illustrated ‘Open 7 Days’. It was published in 1991. It’s a series of freeze-frames of some historic New Zealand general and convenience stores as they were preserved in the last decade of the 20th century. Bit by bit, on this blog, I re-publish some of the entries from that book.

39 Weraroa Road, Waverley, Taranaki.
Proprietors: Rob and Colleen Hayman

With pinpoint precision, Rob Hayman dates the establishment of his shop as 20 October 1916. It was a Loan and Mercantile stock and station store and continued as such (although later owned by Dalgetys) until 1971, when it was turned into a fruiterers by Parbhu Patel.

Patel - nicknamed ‘Boxer’ - was one of Waverley’s characters. He was particularly famous for a very potent curry powder of his own blending, which is still sold in the Waverley Fruit Supply to gourmets who pop in for it from all points of the compass. ‘Boxer’ Patel lives in Huntly now, having sold the store to Rob and Colleen in 1988.

The match-lined inside walls of the store and the front verandah are original, but the thing that appealed to me most was the colour scheme, which owes nothing to Coca-Cola or Four Square - it came straight out of paint pots of Rob Hayman’s choosing.

Since 1977, when the Haymans moved here from Taihape with the Post and Telegraph Department, Rob has built up a horticulture business growing export melons for Japan and other crops for the local market. This dovetails neatly with his Waverley Fruit Supply, and no doubt accounts for the high quality of the produce.

Creative spelling!
Waverley is a peaceful little town, but there was a particularly nasty battle in the district during the Maori land wars of the 1860s. The town was called Wairoa then, and remains of a redoubt can be seen just along the road from the store.


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By Don Donovan