NZ grocer Chantal Organics celebrates 45 years

Hawke’s Bay-based grocer Chantal Organics is celebrating its 45th anniversary. The business is known for supplying Kiwis with sustainable and organic products.

Chantal Organics began as a co-operative established by couple Maureen Ward and Peter Alexander for families who wanted to source organic and natural whole foods unavailable in supermarkets.

At that time, organic food was not very popular, and no one could have predicted that demand for this “fringe food” would turn into a global market worth over $215,000 million.

As demand grew in 1983, the founders partnered with friends to set up a business and opened the Chantal shop in Napier. They continued to run the business for 33 years before handing over the reins to their daughter, Tess Alexander-Ward, and partner, Tim Stevens.

In 2016, the retail store was separated from Chantal Organics – the wholesale division – which was acquired by the Peter Kraus Group, CEO of Ecostore.

Fast forward to today, the business now employs 40 people in New Zealand, with offices in Napier and Auckland. It operates retail and wholesale with packaged and bulk foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Chantal Organics CEO Pablo Kraus said the journey has not been without challenges, from the more recent concerns like the pandemic and the effects of climate change. 

“Changing weather patterns, including events such as Cyclone Gabrielle, which hit Hawke’s Bay particularly hard, have meant the business has had to put strategies in place to maintain a sustainable and consistent supply and create food security for its ingredients, including sourcing from a variety of geographical regions,” recalled Kraus.

He added that 45 years is a major milestone, and the company wants to continue to be part of the organics movement in the country.

“We are so thankful to our wonderful team, who work so hard and help keep the business true to its roots, and our loyal customers over the past 45 years for supporting the organic mission in Aotearoa,” concluded Karus.

We are honoured to be here supporting the health and well-being of New Zealanders.”

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