Business Bios

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The Groper

rsz the groper logo 2

Kirsten and Craig Bishop opened The Groper in September 2010.  After bringing Subway to Stratford and Hawera in 2003 and running those until 2007, they decided to create a new food business where they saw a gap in the market, for exceptionally fresh fish.  After six months' trading, offering fresh fish and seafood, they were encouraged by numerous requests from their customers to offer fresh fish & chips. The first batch of fresh fish & chips were cooked in May 2011. A few months later the Groper was voted Taranaki’s Best Chip Shop in the New Zealand Best Chip Shop Awards. They also received a Highly Commended Award and were in the top five shops in Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu and Wellington.

"To follow was recognition from our customers nominating us for the local  Romeo Business Awards of which we were finalists in three categories and then runner-up in the Best Service Business-Retail award. 2012 also saw The Groper as a finalist in several categories. Exceptional quality products, determination, hard work and a customer-focused attitude is a recipe we follow," said Kirsten.

Kirsten and Craig agree that Straford's location on a busy highway, close to Mt Taranaki and tourist tracks is certainly a drawcard for establishing a business here.

"The friendly, loyal community ensure we really enjoy what we do on a daily basis. It is so great to see those friendly faces on a regular basis and getting to know our customers well is lovely."

Sandford’s 4 Square

Neil and Amy Sandford took up the opportunity  to get into the Foodstuffs world and go into partnership with Neil’s parents in 2011.  Neil was born and raised in Stratford and the couple always wanted to get into, business.  Amy says, "When the opportunity arose there was no doubt that we wanted to stay in Stratford, close to all our family and friends."

"We love that everyone knows everyone in Stratford. It's a safe place to work and raise a family," says Neil, "We love looking out the window and seeing the Mountain every day on our back door step. The best part about setting up business in Stratford has been the friendly locals and all the support we have had from the community and other businesses."