Greerton Village is one of Tauranga’s treasures, a close retail community which has retained its essential village character within the booming metropolis.
WORDS LIZ FRENCH PHOTOS SHAWN ROLTON
Greerton Village is a melting pot of young and old, conservative and a bit ‘off the wall.’ The village still has local identities who stroll the streets every day, have coffee in the same place and are always ready for a bit of friendly banter with shopkeepers and fellow villagers. It must be warming for newcomers to feel they can become part of a genuine community with a heart and a sense of humour.
Greerton Village is surrounded by very established housing where many of the older generation have lived much of their lives. Blend them with younger families moving in for the comparatively reasonable real estate, and the many people who are filling the burgeoning satellite residential areas like The Lakes and Pyes Pa, and you have a strong source of shoppers, many looking for something a bit different.
Greerton Village is different. “We offer an eclectic range of shopping experiences,” says Sally. “We are proud of our personality, though many of our businesses are very main stream, like our successful local real estate agent and the professionals who have established practices here.”
One of Greerton Village’s greatest appeals is that the shopper can get such a varied retail ‘fix’. The village caters for those looking for the latest in fashion and shoes and shoppers who prefer to discover pre-loved items. Trawling op shops has almost become a national pastime and there’s no better place to fossick than through the nine op shops dotted about the village; many with window displays so sophisticated you could mistake them for fashion outlets. Foodies can choose from a variety of cafes and food stores which will satisfy cravings for caffeine and comfort food or those who favour healthy alternatives and herbal remedies.
Greerton Village enjoys being a close community where people turn out in droves for local events.
CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL Visit Greerton in spring for the Cherry Blossom Festival and you witness nature’s display of a calibre people travel from Japan to see. Then come Christmas and villagers look forward to festive celebrations often centred on the local primary school which is conveniently situated beside the retail precinct. Greerton does of course have its own village green where the new public library has delivered on its promise to be the hub of knowledge for the community offering digital up skilling and a place for community groups to meet.
There’s definitely something about Greerton Village! This UNO. reporter came away feeling she’d made a whole lot of new friends and discovered – as well as wide range of shops and services – that something which is lacking in our fast paced modern lives, a genuine sense of caring community.
GREERTON GUERILLA KNITTERS “Yarn bombing may be more common these days,” says Sally Benning. “But nowhere else do we see an entire village being yarn bombed.” Greerton Village Mainstreet is lucky to have the Greerton Guerilla Knitters who have ‘clicked’ over much more than needles in creating the fibre artworks that don the trees for the winter festival. Earlier this year they attracted the attention of Alia Bland from Piha, aka The Little Bee, who has made name for herself as a creator of crochet and seller of patterns. She collected panels from all over the world, using these to create ‘tree jumpers’ expressing the theme inspired by Austrian artist Hundertwasser(well known in NZ for the Kawkawa toilets!). Her work was enhanced by that of 45 local knitters. The result – warm colourful trees!
ILLUMINART FESTIVAL Another big event on the Greerton calendar is the IlluminART festival, the midwinter light show where the streets are lit up with laser displays; a lantern parade, a glow show, fire dancers, tethered hot air balloons and entertainers.
UNO. was impressed by the friendly nature of Greerton Village.
Visits to businesses were often pleasantly interrupted for customers to be greeted by name and to chat with locals who called in. There was plenty of good natured ribbing and lots of laughter. Isn’t that what village life should be all about?
GREERTON lotto shop (1295 CAMERON ROAD) Belinda Sands and Tom Walch have celebrated over 20 big winners in their 14 years at the Lotto Shop. “2015 was a lucky one,” Belinda says. “Two power ball winners and three first divisions.” Friendly greetings and playful banter suggests most customers feel winners just by buying their tickets from this delightful couple who love being part of the community. Tom grew up in Chadwick Road and Belinda established the Greerton Guerilla Knitters. Belinda also loves greeting cards and has amassed, from over a dozen suppliers, one of the most comprehensive selections in the Bay. Whatever the sentiment or the occasion, whether serious or hilarious, this is the place to stock up for the future or find the card to suit a special person.
ARTISAN manufacturing jewellers (1303 CAMERON ROAD) The talented jewellers at Artisan certainly excel at the delicate art of jewellery making. Andrew Linn and Nathan Steiner are award winning manufacturing jewellers. Their clients span locals whose lives they love enriching, and well known identities who have discovered that this is the place to have wedding and special occasion jewellery manufactured. Andrew and Kay Linn have enjoyed 15 years as Artisan Manufacturing Jewellers in Greerton Village. “We source all our own stones, gold and silver direct,” says Andrew. “3D imaging shows customers exactly what their piece, made on site, will look like.” Artisan also stock watches and dress jewellery; and they are good sports too, sponsoring local squash, golf, paralympians and a triathlete.
EMBELLISH BOUTIQUE (215 CHADWICK ROAD) Embellish is the word. While Wendy at Embellish is not out to change you completely, you can be sure that your wardrobe and your life will be embellished after a visit to her Greerton Village boutique. This is not some just-too-trendy store where the assistants look down their fashionable noses at you but a friendly boutique where you will find Wendy with a tape measure around her neck (she does alterations too) leaving you to browse or gently guiding you to that something you realise is just what you need. Summer at Embellish is right on trend without going too ‘over the top’, wearable fashion that will have you feeling like just you only better. Sometimes all it takes is a scarf.
BLOMQUISTS BAKERY (1287 CAMERON ROAD) The stream of people popping into Blomquists Bakery for fresh sandwiches, wraps, savouries, pastries, petit fours and breads (and Excelso coffee from the trained barista) suggests it needs little introduction around Greerton Village. This busy bakery is the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger business operated by Sue and David Blomquist, bakers for 28 years, who supply fresh delicousness daily to over 40 outlets. With Christmas looming fast Sue reminds customers to order their Christmas hampers and catering well in advance. Blomquists can supply Christmas goodies with a genuine festive look, and if it’s a special cake you want you are talking to the biennial Bakery of the Year most awarded bakery in Tauranga for Sue’s lusciously creatively decorated confections.
2 SHOES (146 CHADWICK ROAD) Pam Dean, wha has lived and worked around Greerton Village for the last 20 years, combined her love of the community with her love of shoes when she opened 2 Shoes six years ago. “I appreciate how our many sole traders support each other and revel in the camaraderie that sets this village apart as a place to live and work,” she says. Between laughing with visiting locals Pam sells an eclectic range of footwear from sensible shoes and boots to high heeled flights of fancy. The store is always evolving and with summer shoppers will discover a wide range of sandals and lighter shoes to take them to work, and through the party and holiday season. 2 Shoes also stocks hosiery and accessories.
MD’s LEATHERWORKS (142 CHADWICK ROAD) If you want a bag, head to Greerton Village. Marilyn at MD’s Leatherworks must have the best selection of quality leather bags in the Bay of Plenty. Timelessly classic or colourfully frivolous, bags for business, travel and everyday use, shoulder bags, handbags and wallets; bags for all sexes, bags for computers or powder compacts…bagging just one bag might be the hardest part. MD’s Leatherworks also stock a range of NZ made belts and other interesting leather goods and vests. MD’s Leatherworks has been a popular fixture in Greerton Village for many years, the last three in this bright inviting store. Marilyn loves the village vibe where so many retailers own and run their own businesses and support each other.
MANUTUKE HERBS (147 CHADWICK ROAD) You can’t do better than a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t feel better with remedies recommended by Manutuke Herbs. If the homeopathic and herbal remedy they suggest does not work they will tweak it till it does or give you a full refund. Manutuke Herbs was established in Greerton Village with the specific intention of becoming a trusted contributor to the community. Homeopathic and herbal medicine qualifications and 20 years experience has equipped Manutuke Herbs to treat humans and animals and to instill faith that they will enhance your health or refer you to someone who can, often within the community. Locals love them, people come from afar to see them because they walk the talk, and earn every glowing accolade.
CROCKFORD REAL ESTATE In a real estate market populated by national brands, Crockford Real Estate is still a family owned and operated business. The company Leigh Crockford established over 40 years ago in Greerton is still in Greerton Village, looking after both long standing loyal and new clientele. Crockford Real Estate has moved with the market and now not only serves Greerton but the greater Tauranga area including Pyes Pa and the Lakes, plus new subdivisions that are mushrooming on the fringes. “We have a team of experienced agents, mostly locals themselves, all sharing a real allegiance to and knowledge of Greerton and the Tauranga area,” says Dane Crockford. Crockford’s is the company to talk to you if you are thinking of buying or selling locally.
LOX SALON & SPA (1275 CAMERON ROAD) Lox has been pampering women in its beautiful spa and salon for over two decades. Janine Tait and Dianne Kilmister established Lox Salon & Spa 23 years ago and now clients come from all over the Bay of Plenty and Waikato and Auckland regions especially for the superior treatments provided. “Lox has proven a very successful business and we have been blessed with a long standing loyal team,” says Janine. “This means that our clients always enjoy treatments by experienced therapists and senior hair stylists. Lox therapists are regularly complimented on the beautiful facial treatments they give. Other beauty therapists who come to Lox for facials often say that Lox’s is one of the best facials they have ever had.” High praise from the professionals!
VISIT GREERTON VILLAGE
Whether you want a wide choice of new products or prefer to discover retro gems Greerton Village is the place to go.
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