First anniversary for Whitianga Fine Wines & Spirits

05 Oct 2021

First anniversary for Whitianga Fine Wines & Spirits

One year on from realising their dream of opening and operating a successful premium liquor store in Whitianga, husband and wife team Gurinder Preet (who has happily adopted the nickname of Gary) and Reema Makhni, the owners of Whitianga Fine Wines & Spirits, can look back on 12 months of hard work mixed with immense satisfaction. 

Both born and bred in India, Gary and Reema studied business management in Auckland, which is where they first met in 2010. They have lived and worked in Whitianga for the last six years. 

“When we applied and were eventually granted a license to operate a liquor store in Whitianga, it was on the understanding there would be a significant point of difference from the other four liquor outlets operating in town,” says Gary. “Our intention was always to offer high-end premium products as we felt there was a gap in the market that we could move into and not become just another direct competitor to the other established stores in town. Reema and I also love living in Whitianga, so it was important for us to not only deliver on our promise from a business sense, but to also fit into, and be part of, the local community. 

“I believe we can both say its job done and our aim now is to continue to grow the business. It must be said also that we are very thankful and appreciative for the initial and ongoing support from the local community.”   

Along with a big selection of well-known and popular international and New Zealand beers, wines and spirits, the store’s shelves are also well stocked with local products, including craft beers, wine and gin. “Craft beers are proving to be very popular and consistently changing, so customers can always find something new and a little different to try on an almost weekly basis at the moment,” says Gary. “Gin has become a big seller for us as well, with a number of local products available along with white wine. We also sell a selection of beautiful dark and white coated macadamia chocolates which are sourced from Hahei.”     

All up, it has been a good year for Gary and Reema despite the Covid-19 disruptions which they aren’t complaining about. “Whitianga is our home and our business is not just about profit at all costs, it’s more about meeting customer needs and providing an environment which is not all about grab and run,” says Gary. “Customers are encouraged to take their time and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere we have worked hard to create. We support the efforts made by Thames-Coromandel District Council to encourage holidaymakers to visit the Coromandel region and would like to think a visit to Whitianga Fine Wines & Spirits will only enhance the visitors’ experience.”

Gary and Reema have already had something of a royal visit based on a positive recommendation.  In February, the former Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy was in town and popped into the store because someone had told her it was well worth a visit. 

Visits and recommendations don’t come much better than that.

Pictured - Gurinder (Gary) Preet and Reema Makhni, the owners of Whitianga Fine Wines & Spirits