Charisma : Beryl Clark 

Orewa Optics : Petra Hewitt

100% Your Electric Store : Eddie Law

Liquorland : Bryan Russell 

Go Dutch : Marloes De Laat

Life Pharmacy : Antony Wentworth 





Beryl Clark from Charisma



Charisma Fashions, on the corner of Tamariki and Main Road in the centre of Orewa’s beachfront retail, is well known and recognized for its attention grabbing window displays. Charisma’s retail assistants have even seen motorists make a U turn just to get a second look! Destination Orewa Beach had the opportunity to talk to the mastermind behind the well-known women’s fashion store, Beryl Clark, and hear her thoughts about present day business ownership in Orewa and how she hopes to see the town develop in the future.


Beryl started the Charisma store back in the early nineteen-eighties when her youngest children had started high school and after she’d spent only a year employed in retail. The tiny store was located where the barber on the Hibiscus Coast Highway is now and it wasn’t too long before the business had outgrown it. Charisma relocated to accommodate its growing success but had to move again, to their current location ten years ago. The steady growth and success of Beryl’s business can be attributed to her dedication to quality garments and the friendly fashion expertise of her staff.


The store has a large database of regular customers who have shopped at Charisma for many years. Beryl says that, “some of them have been with been with me all the way. Some of the customers used to come in as teenagers and now they shop in the store as women.” Beryl marvels that occasionally customers have remembered her and the store from its small beginnings; “I remember you from the little shop down the road!” they say. This history of quality customer service is part of what adds to the success of the boutique store. The staff often know customers by name and can assist them in their fashion and styling choices. As the garments are above mass-produced, chain store quality, customers can expect to be dressed stylishly in an outfit unique to their fashion preferences.


As well as being known for its eye catching window displays, Charisma has also established another well-known community event; their annual fashion parade to raise money for Hospice. This fun event along with other contributions to local raffles and galas connects the fashion retail outlet to the local community. The unique, personal connection businesses in Orewa are able to establish with their local community is a treasured quality of the town. Beryl isn’t concerned about competitive, big brand stores in the malls and in the city, because nothing can compare to Orewa’s small town business and community relationship. Beryl and her staff’s personal connection with customers, and the high quality of Charisma’s garments, keep people coming back. Of all the changes and developments that have happened over the last few years in the area, her clientele have remained loyal and ever expanding.


When asked about Orewa’s changes and what she would ideally desire for the town’s future, Beryl explained that what she loves about Orewa is its unique, boutique charm. The surrounding areas of Orewa are rapidly developing but if Orewa could develop in a way that maximizes its boutique style, then she thinks the town will be onto a winning ticket. Already Beryl has noticed an upward trend of the town and beachfront being busy with out-of-town visitors in the weekends. People love the new restaurants and cafes that have been appearing along the beachfront and many are making the trip to Orewa to visit the beach, the cafes and wander the shops. Contrasting to a “razzle” of the new and developing Silverdale retail area, Beryl hopes Orewa will retain its unique, specialist shop and boutique feel.


Having never considered moving from the area, Beryl is looking forward to Orewa’s future development and what it will mean for her business. From tiny shop to well known fashion establishment, Beryl knows progress and development personally and is confidently hopeful for Orewa’s future.






Petra Hewitt from Orewa Optics


PetraLiving and working on the Hibiscus Coast is a rewarding lifestyle choice that local residents cherish across the generations. Destination Orewa Beach had the opportunity to speak to Dispensing Optician and owner of Orewa Optics, Petra Hewitt about her love for the area and her family’s history of ownership in the local business.


Emigrating from Austria, Hewitt moved with her family to Orewa at the beginning of 1987. Her father was a Dispensing Optician and by the end of 1987 he had opened Orewa Optics where the business is still located on Bakehouse Lane today. Hewitt describes her journey into becoming a Dispensing Optician herself as the job “being in the blood” because not only her father but also her grandfather occupied the profession. She knew from a young age that she wanted to follow in her family’s footsteps but her father encouraged her to broaden her horizons and try a variety of different vocations first. But after returning from her worldwide travels as young woman in 1993, her father conceded that she should try out a position within the family business and she has happily been working at Orewa Optics ever since. Married to a local man Hewitt explains they wouldn’t choose to live or work anywhere else. “To me Orewa has always been the place to live,” she explains, “Orewa’s our beach and Orewa’s our town.”


Having bought Orewa Optics from her father seven years ago, the business now employs six full-time staff and one part-timer. The busy practice has witnessed a lot of changes in the demographics in the area over the years. While still caring for the optical well-being of the aging generation that have chosen to retire to the Hibiscus Coast, Hewitt has also noticed a large increase in younger families to the district. Hewitt’s business partner and Behavioural Optometrist Grant Dabb often sees children referred to him from the local schools as he specializes in understanding visual processing and its effects on visual performances. Dabb’s presence in the business has of course encouraged a larger presence of youth within their cliental base but Hewitt believes the youthful influx within their business is a trend that is reflected in the local community.


Hewitt believes Orewa is just starting to realize its potential as a thriving holiday destination and getaway location for young families looking for a more laid back lifestyle. More and more restaurants and bars are opening and encouraging a social nightlife and youthful buzz around town and along the beachfront. These new establishments are complementary to the already well recognized, natural attraction of Orewa’s main beach. Hewitt’s hope for Orewa’s future is that the community will build on the successes of these attractions and build resort styled holiday accommodation for people who want to getaway from the big city and relax. The appeal of the vast and beautiful surf beach in conjunction with a developing restaurant scene and boutique shopping experience should be more than enough to attract developers.


Owning a business in Orewa has so many advantages. Hewitt explains that as the town has no large malls, local businesses and retail outlets can afford to have a more laid back approach to their work/life balance. Shorter hours of business ensure that there is time for business owners to indulge in the area’s natural attractions such as walks along the beach and along the Millennium Walkway, safe swimming and surfing in the water, and socializing with friends.


Having outlined these positive aspects of the area, what remains at the heart of Hewitt’s love for Orewa however, is the community itself. Being a business owner in a small town means that relationships are at the heart of the success of a business. As Hewitt has been working at Orewa Optics for over twenty years strong connections with the community have been formed and she has become, as she describes it, “part of the furniture” within the business. Regular customers have built up a relationship of trust and her friendly face is often recognized when she’s out and about in the town. She understands that some people don’t like to live and work in the same area but for her living and working within the Hibiscus district is rewarding on both accounts.


Despite all the holidays they’ve had at different places around New Zealand, Hewitt explains the joy she feels upon returning home, “When we’re driving over the hill from Hatfields beach and you look down to the waves coming in at Orewa, you wonder why you ever went away in the first place!” It’s obvious the way her face lights up when she talks about her hometown, Hewitt is happy to be living and working in such a gorgeous location. “A lot of people have lived in this area for a long, long time.” People don’t often move away from the Hibiscus District she points out, and if they do, like Hewitt, they generally come back. Luckily for Hewitt, back in 1987, her parents made an excellent choice in setting up a family business in Orewa. It seems that the family legacy in the area is set to continue for a few more years yet. 






Eddie Law from 100% Your Electric Store

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Bryan RussellBryan Russell from Liquorland Orewa:

For Bryan's video click here...

Genuine “Coastie” Bryan Russell, the owner and operator of Liquorland Orewa, talks to Destination Orewa Beach about his business and why the beach is a major “draw card” for the Orewa community.

Having lived in Orewa since his early childhood, Bryan Russell is proud to identify himself as a “real Coastie”. Bryan has owned and operated Liquorland Orewa for eight years, having been in the liquor industry for around thirty years. His long history in the liquor industry and the extensive time he has spent in the Orewa area has given Bryan and his staff an edge in providing personal and friendly customer service, as well as top quality products. Regular customers know they can expect a good yarn or two when they pop into the store. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the shop reflects the “laid back” nature of the wider, local community. Bryan explains that his regular customers are “people you grew up with, went to school with, [and] we’re all getting older” together. The shared histories and local friendships provide a colourful and pleasant place for staff to work and customers to shop. And as Liquorland Orewa is the only liquor store in Orewa to offer Flybuys, this added incentive to shop at his store is one that locals are keen not to miss.

However, it’s not just locals who pop into Bryan’s store to stock up on specialist drinks. During the busier summer months, plenty of visitors to Orewa’s stunning beach are in search of beverages for barbeques and festive parties. As Bryan puts it, Orewa beach is the “draw card” that encourages visitors and locals alike to “stick around and socialize.” During the summer months Orewa’s charm is at its height as the beach is easily accessible for families and is safe to swim, surf or fish at while the expansive grass area provides plenty of space for picnics and sporting activities. The local shopping area comfortably supports the increase in population during this season and Bryan finds his business booming. Christmas gift packs from Liquorland are a popular product during the festive period.

Owning and operating a business is a busy seven-day a week job that can be “pretty full on” as Bryan explains. Thankfully he only lives five minutes down the road, making the work/lifestyle balance easier for him to maintain. When he’s not working at the store you might find Bryan surfcasting off the beach or catching up with friends for a beer down at the local surf club. This relaxed lifestyle is not one that Bryan is keen to give up anytime soon. With his roots firmly down as a true “Coastie”, not only did he attend the local schools in the area but he has brought up his children in the same tradition. His daughter is in her final year at Orewa College and his son works for another local business in the town.

When asked if he’d ever thought about moving elsewhere Bryan explained he had no reason to consider it. “Orewa seems like it’s going forward now.” With all the new cafes and bars a real social buzz is starting to brew in the little town. With the new motorway development, easy access to the city has meant that diversity within the community has grown as more families have moved into the area. Orewa has everything Bryan Russell could hope for; for his business and his lifestyle, both now and into the foreseeable future. Thanks to the stunning beach that still attracts visitors and continues to charm locals, Orewa township and local business such as Liquorland Orewa continue to flourish. 






Go Dutch Marloes photoGo Dutch Deli and Café : Marloes de Laat


Sitting at tables in the sunny courtyard outside the Go Dutch Deli and Café, Marloes de Laat talks to Destination Orewa Beach about her unique, boutique store in a unique, boutique township.


Like many Orewa businesses, the Go Dutch Deli has an established history having opened nearly twenty years ago in 1995, then under the name of the Windmill Store. At that time de Laat was working for the importer of the Dutch goods store franchise and subsequently became manager of two of the Windmill stores. Then, in 2007, de Laat decided to take the plunge and bought two of the Windmill Stores to become sole owner and importer of the specialist Dutch food deli. She further established her own brand of the niche store by renaming the shop in 2012 to Go Dutch Deli and Café.  With all this history behind her it’s not surprising then to hear de Laat boast fondly of the wonderful charm the shop has for her customers and the subsequent success of her unique business.


As you might imagine, the majority of Go Dutch’s customers are of Dutch decent and are regular visitors of the establishment and have been for many years. Popular amongst the range of goods are a large selection Dutch cheeses from the chiller and of course the great variety of Dutch licorice that line the walls. As de Laat explains “people like to have their products from home” especially as the holiday season of Christmas and Sinterklaas approaches. Sales of chocolate alphabet letters for family members’ initials as part of the Dutch holiday tradition usually peaks at around two thousand sold. Statistics like that prove how popular and important such a specialist store for the Dutch community is.


However, it’s not just the Dutch community that frequents the store as de Laat points out. Because of the deli’s wonderful location in the Orewa township she claims curious locals passing by often pop in. “They like to have a noisy you know, trying out certain [Dutch] products such as biscuits and cheese.” With the busy bustle of the courtyard and the tables out in the sun it is easy to see why de Laat is so happy to have committed to business ownership in Orewa. The boutique store’s location is easily accessible to locals and is well known by longstanding, regular Dutch customers. When Destination Orewa Beach asked de Laat if she has ever considered relocating the store she replied, “No, Orewa is ideal. People know we’re here and most customers don’t mind driving a little bit further to get the product.” Go Dutch Deli provides the Dutch community with the perfect excuse to visit the beautiful beach of Orewa while they stock up on their favourite food items. The beach and unique, boutique shops attract visitors to the area with de Laat stating of Orewa’s business attraction, “It’s the whole package really.”


During the school holidays the store gets busier as many Dutch families travel together to visit the store, using this time to reconnect with their cultural heritage and share in familiar Dutch products. Just as Destination Orewa Beach was finishing de Laat’s interview, a family with grandparents and grandchildren arrived and started to pull the tables together in the sunny courtyard ready for such cherished participation. 

With location as part of the charm and attraction for her niche business, de Laat concludes that, “Not everyone likes going to the malls. Some people like the little shops.” And evidently people don’t mind the extra travel to experience excellent service and great, well known Dutch food products in such a quaint and unique shopping area such as found in Orewa. 






AntonyLife Pharmacy :  ANTONY WENTWORTH

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It is a well-discussed and documented fact that Orewa has changed considerably over the last two decades. New motorways, shopping complexes and housing developments have seen the population of the area rapidly increase. The description of a quiet, sleepy holiday town is perhaps a romantic memory of the past, but long time Orewa resident and owner of Orewa’s Life Pharmacy Anthony Wentworth explains that there is plenty to be enthusiastic about for the area’s future.


Family life in Orewa:
Having been part of the Pharmacy team under Des Adams for over twenty years, Wentworth’s confidence in local growth and his love for the area encouraged him to buy the pharmacy and become sole owner of the business just over four years ago. Family life and business management balance is just easier to find in a town like Orewa. As Wentworth asserts, “It’s a stunning place to live. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else at this stage. Everything is here that we need.”

 Wentworth explains that the beach is a “stunning asset” that will always be here no matter the development of the area. The beach’s big, wide-open spaces make it possible to accommodate countless beach goers even in the busiest peak season with plenty of green areas to throw a ball or picnic with the family. The waves still proving popular with local surfers and other water sports enthusiasts.

 Choosing to settle in Orewa many years ago, Wentworth is married to Ally who is also a qualified pharmacist. Their children are now fourteen, twelve and seven. Having lived in Orewa for over twenty years Wentworth says Orewa is a great place to bring up a family, “We’re close enough to town but far enough away” from the bustle of the city. As a family they have really connected to the area such as joining local sports clubs and securing solid friendships with those that live locally too. Finding the right work/family life balance can be a challenge when you own and manage a business that operates seven days a week. In Wentworth’s experience life in Orewa provides the community networks and recreational spaces need for family life to flourish alongside a successful business.


ShopCommunity business:
With over sixty-five years in business, Orewa’s Life Pharmacy has a rich history of relationship with the local community, sponsoring over forty local organizations and clubs each year. In the twenty years that Anthony Wentworth has been part of the business he has seen the local community’s rapid growth and development but despite this dynamic change, the community spirit remains strong and vibrant. Something Wentworth is keen to show his continued support for.

The pharmacy’s established strong community spirit is what Wentworth sees as the cornerstone of the business’s success. He describes a “two-way relationship” with his customers where the support is mutual between the business and the community. Unlike city mall pharmacies that may see a lot of transient faces pass through its doors, Orewa Life Pharmacy takes pride in the family atmosphere it upholds and the familiarity of its customers. As Wentworth explains, “we hold our hat on being a community based business where people know us and can get [health] advice from us.” When customers enter the pharmacy they can be confident that staff members, who may have seen them over the many years they’ve been working there, understand the customer’s health care concerns and know where they are in their life journey.

Contrasting to the health care kiosks now appearing in supermarkets, the longevity of staff employment at Orewa Life Pharmacy allows regular customers to form genuine relationships with staff for more continuity of care. Orewa Life Pharmacy is a popular place to work which is evident in the low staff turn over. As Wentworth boasts of his staff, they are a “great bunch of people.” One staff member in particular is in her twenty-fifth year working in the pharmacy this year. This fun, family vibe between staff is evident to customers and there is a sense of community welfare for staff and customers alike. Wentworth explains that owning a small business in an area like Orewa means that more than just goods and services are traded between customers and staff. Rather, a shared history of life’s journeys are exchanged as customers also inquire about the staff’s family and community life experiences as well.


The future for Orewa:
Today Wentworth believes Orewa is in an exciting stage of development. When he first settled over twenty years ago, the town was just at the tail end of being recognized as a holiday destination or a quiet place for the elderly to retire. Now days the iconic camping ground on the shorefront is mostly gone or filled with just a few permanent residents. Huge developments such as the motorways, the Westfield mall in Albany, shopping complexes in Silverdale and housing in Millwater, have meant a huge boost in population in the area. While Wentworth recognizes that this rapid development has caused a lot of tension for some residents uncomfortable with the perceived loss of the quiet ‘charm’ of the area, he is quick to note that the beach remains steadfast and “stunning” no matter the progress. As families from the city are now choosing to move into the area for a positive change in lifestyle and an easy commute back into town, the infrastructure needs to develop simultaneously to support it. Moving forward, Orewa has an exciting future ahead where local businesses, rich in community histories such as Orewa Life Pharmacy, can continue to flourish and support their local identity. Wentworth is keen to emphasize that progress and development is good and that it has to happen for the future success of the area. 






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