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General store gets big overhaul

Three generations of Kershaws cut the ribbon at the store’s Thursday morning opening. PHOTO/REBECCA KEMPTON

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Tears flowed freely at an early morning ribbon-cutting ceremony for Martinborough’s revamped grocery store last week.

The ceremony at P and K on Thursday marked the end of the first stage of the General Store and Four Square redevelopment.

Seven years ago, husband and wife duo Conor and Pip Kershaw had big dreams for a store makeover.

The first stage of that dream was now completed, with more than 100 people gathering from far and wide for the opening of the new store, which was built next door to the heritage grocery building.

Long-time family friend Nelson Rangi led a blessing to open the new building with the words: “Let’s leave the past differences and start off brand new.”

Rangi said he knew the place and family well and was honoured to lead the blessing.

Pip Kershaw said it had been a team effort to get it across the finish line for stage one of the redevelopment.

“We’re lucky to have had such an incredible team. I’m blown away. I wasn’t expecting this many people to turn up and support, so it’s really special.”

The Kershaws said they would charge ahead with stage two of the plan and upgrade the original heritage building.

Conor Kershaw said the heritage building was where his 150-year-old family business started.

“When I was growing up, I remember there were paddocks out there for the horses to deliver the product.

“It was one of the original buildings in the business, so we’re quite happy to strengthen it and make it beautiful again after four generations.”

Kershaw said the new building remained “sympathetic to its heritage neighbour”, with features like a rolled verandah, weatherboards, and rectangular windows that resembled “double home windows as you would get in an old building”.

Visitors could expect a new shopping experience to accompany the second stage of the development.

Kershaw said it would be more like a provincial service store with a more extensive range of goods.

“We’re hoping people will do their main shops here because we’ll have the range to accommodate that.”

The upgrade of the heritage building was expected to finish in May next year. When it opened, the size of the store would double.

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