And with a week’s worth of specials planned, Kavera Central retail manager Uta Araitia says there will be plenty for the community to enjoy.
“We have already started to deck out the store in birthday colours before our week of specials kicks off on Monday.
“We will be singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to ourselves and we will also have some chocolate cakes for the customers to enjoy on Wednesday as part of our celebration.”
Uta says he’s surprised how quickly the year has gone by.
“I never thought it would go by quite so fast.
“We had to sort out a few things when we opened. Getting to know the area and getting to know the community was important so we could provide exactly what they needed.”
What the customers wanted out of their convenience store has at times surprised Uta, with non-traditional items being some of the store’s biggest sellers.
“We thought your essentials – bread, milk, rice, coconut cream, would be what they were after. But actually it’s been things like pig food and our two litre bottles of cooking oil that have often been our highest sellers.”
Catering to the community’s needs is an ongoing focus for Uta and his team.
“The village really needed something like this so we are more than happy to cater to what they want.
“We encourage people to talk to us, and let us know what products they want. If they request it, we try our best to bring it in for them.”
With a personal background in hospitality before joining CITC, Uta said he wants to instil in his team that the customer comes first.
“Here at Kavera we bend over backwards for our customers. We try and help them as much as we can.”
This attitude was illustrated earlier this year when members of his staff helped a local customer whose car was accidentally filled with diesel instead of petrol.
“It was a lot of team work. I was notified and we got things into play quickly, we contacted the mechanics promptly.
“Even the staff member who made the mistake, was making sure we were on top of things, I guess it was just our compassion for the customer and making sure they got their vehicle back in use as soon as they could.”
Uta says the store’s picturesque location, just across the road from the lagoon, also helps sales.
“Our busiest days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday for both the store and our ice-cream and smoothie stand.
“People can come and enjoy the beach and then grab an ice-cream.”
For now, it is business as usual at Kavera Central, with Uta and the team looking forward to celebrating their first of many birthdays with the community.