Tabu owners Samantha Ifill and Ian Turner. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Eketahuna gets adult shop

 

BECKIE WILSON

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Iconic Eketahuna is known for many things, but, until now not as a rural town with its own sex shop.

That is to change tomorrow when the new adult boutique Tabu opens its doors for locals and travellers to shop for adult toys, sexy lingerie and massage oils.

Business partners and friends, Samantha Ifill and Ian Turner, are familiar with the industry having worked for Peaches & Cream in Auckland for seven years.

Their new store, Tabu, is stocked with a wide range of products from handcuffs to toys and condoms, to lingerie, massage oils and candles.

“We don’t want people to have to sneak in, everybody has sex, it’s a part of life. I think people who have never been in a sex shop before have a preconceived idea of what it is,” Mrs Ifill said.

The pair have known each other for 18 years since working in casinos together in Britain.

Tabu co-owner Samantha Ifill hopes locals come in and see what the shop has to offer. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

They began working for The Den in Auckland before the mainstream adult store, Peaches & Cream, bought it out.

Mrs Ifill started working there “randomly” after seeing a job advertised.

Then six months later she got Mr Turner a job too.

While working for the company, they often talked about owning their own store.

Most of the community and business owners have been supportive of their new business venture, Mrs Ifill said.

When word got out in Eketahuna, the news spread like “wildfire”.

“Some of the businesses are quite grateful, as it will bring more business to the town, and hopefully more people will stop and walk down the street of shops,” she said.

The new store filled the last of the vacant stores in the old A.H.Herbert building in Main St.

The business couple predict 90 per cent of their custom will be from those travelling through the small town, and eventually from online sales.

“It’s a good location, it is a small town and this is such a busy road, but all the adult stores we consider as competition are in Wellington and the next, Peaches & Cream, is in Hamilton,” Mr Turner said.

“Just because people aren’t living in the city doesn’t mean they aren’t using sex toys . . . they are buying them online,” Mr Turner said.

After seven years in the industry, there is not much the pair has not heard from customers enquiring about products.

“We just want people to walk in like they would any store, we are normal people — I’m married with kids,” Mrs Ifill said.

Tabu’s grand opening is on Friday from 7pm to 9pm.

The town reacts

Most business owners along Eketahuna’s main street are supportive of a new business opening.

Mellemskov boutique business owner Bridget Wellwood said she was “stoked” a new business was opening in the town.

While it had a niche market, she wished them well but acknowledged some locals would be anti the idea.

Maison gift store is a couple of doors down from Tabu.

Staff member Hannah Davis also welcomed the new business to town, and predicted their main customers would be those travelling through.

Tararua district Mayor Tracey Collis said the new business was a reflection of how vibrant the town was.

The town had reasonable rent offering lower overheads, and with fibre internet coming to town setting up a business in Eketahuna became more inviting, she said.