Tuesday, July 16, 2024

NZ’s oldest ice creamery on the move

Iconic Hastings ice creamery business, Rush Munro’s, is moving into the heart of Hastings city, after 90 years at its present site on Heretaunga St West after the land was sold during last year’s COVID lockdown.

Business owner, Vaughan Currie said it was sad to leave the company’s historic home.

“There was no option to retain the award-winning gardens. We have had to quickly turn our minds towards ensuring the Rush Munro’s legacy is secured for the next generation. As the oldest Ice Creamery in New Zealand, this holds a unique sentimental prominence as we look forward to our centenary as a business and brand,” he said.

During the 2021 lockdown the land was sold to new owners who had immediate plans to develop the site. They gave Rush Munro’s notice in May that the lease would be terminated at the end of October.

Hastings District Council stepped in to help the iconic business find a new home at Albert Square on the corner of Heretaunga Street and Karamu Road.

Council leases the square for an inner-city pocket park, and will sublease a small piece of the park for a bespoke ‘pop-up Ice Creamery’.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the arrangement was a win for all parties.

“For Council, it means we keep an iconic business that we grew up with in the heart of our city, in our vibrant hospitality and entertainment zone,” she said.

“Also, through the discussions, we have been able to negotiate an extended lease of what is an important inner city green space, which means we can add more public amenities.”

Rush Munro was first set up in Hastings in 1926 by Frederick Charles Rush Munro and wife Catherine, who started making confectionary and expanded into making ice cream.

Their original building was lost in the 1931 earthquake and they moved to the current premises 30 days later. The Currie’s are the fifth family to have owned the business over its 96 years and the Ice Cream is “still 100%” made in Hastings, said Mr Vaughan.

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