STOP RIGHT NOW THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
It’s been three years since Daven took over the Stop-N-Save Superette at 413 Mt Eden Rd. He can often be seen standing curbside chatting to locals, ready to jump behind the counter for the needs of the loyal regulars that frequent his shop.
Q. Tell me a bit about your life?
A. I grew up in Fiji and moved to New Zealand 17 years ago. My sister and mum were here, so I moved to be with my family. My childhood was good in Fiji. I came from a middle-class family and studied automotive engineering. I originally came to NZ and worked my trade. As time passed, I moved to a warehouse. I always wanted to work for myself and I was looking for a small business to start off with, and I found this place and liked it, so I moved in. I like Mt Eden, it’s safe at night and has good foot traffic.
Q. What was the turning point in your career that led you to taking on a small business?
A. I wanted a change. I’d like to open a second business at some point – maybe a service station or a café, I could do anything. In Fiji we grew up in a multiracial culture. We are mixed with all races of people and we fit into all sorts of things. People in Fiji are mostly multi-trade. Over there, if you are working doing anything in any business, you don’t do only one thing, you are trained for all sorts of jobs. Over here if someone is doing barista, they are only a barista. But over there, if you are doing barista you have to do kitchen hand and waitress as well, it is the culture. Multi-tasking basically.
Q. What do you do on your day off?
A. Mostly I spend time with my partner, go away for mini-breaks and just rest. This year I’ve been to Kerikeri and Mount Maunganui, I like driving around. I go fishing too. I always go to Takapuna. I have friends who have a boat in the West, so I go with them. The biggest snapper I’ve caught was 75cm. I fish in summer mostly. How early depends on the tide, 5am, 6am and back before 1 or 2pm. It’s good fun, going with friends. My partner and I often have a late dinner together and watch My Kitchen Rules. I love to cook. My speciality is Lamb Curry and Pork Stir Fry. I just returned from Fiji in January, to see family. When I go there, I like to stay in the rural seaside areas.
Q. Do you shop anywhere else in Mt Eden?
A. I go out to all of them, I eat here. Coffees and cakes in the morning, every morning I get a coffee. All the food places are good. Last week I went to Garden Shed for lunch and dinner.
Q. Do you have favourite sorts of customers?
A. I’ve got my local customers, who are really good. I have heaps of friends around here too – locals I’ve made friends with over the last 6 years since I’ve been living in Mt Eden. It’s a very friendly township.
During the interview Daven breaks to serve customers. For many he knows exactly what they want, without them even asking. Local and loved by locals Daven and this little shop is truly at the beating heart of daily village life.