Farro Fresh falls foul of liquor licence

Last updated 16:46 25/03/2014
Peter Meecham

FALLEN FOUL: Farro Fresh Food in Grey Lynn has breached its liquor licence by selling spirits.

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Upmarket grocery chain Farro Fresh has breached the liquor licence of its flagship Grey Lynn store in Auckland by selling spirits.

However the Auckland Council recognises it may have been a misunderstanding.

Farro operates a string of grocery stores in the upper North Island, selling local and imported gourmet foods and also has a liquor licence which allows it to sell wine and beer.

Like most supermarkets, the Farro Fresh stores are prohibited from selling spirits.

But the company has fallen foul of the liquor licensing laws by selling limoncello, an Italian liqueur made by soaking lemons in grain alcohol.

Limoncello typically has an alcohol content of about 28 per cent, double the amount of alcohol in wine and six times the alcohol level of a typical beer.

However, the company was forced to remove stocks of the liqueur from its shelves after an investigation by Auckland Council's liquor licensing unit.

Rob Abbott, Auckland Council's manager of alcohol licensing, said it had investigated the sale of spirits at Farro's Grey Lynn store and found that a breach of its liquor licence had occurred.

"We have asked for a formal explanation from the licensee," Abbott said.

"Farro has been asked to remove any spirits from their shelves."

Farro Fresh is owned by its co-founders, James and Janene Draper.

When asked how his Grey Lynn store came to be selling spirits in breach of its liquor licence, James Draper replied: "I'd have to get advice on that before I answer any questions."

The sale of spirits through online liquor retailer FarroWine.co.nz has not been affected, because it is operated by a separate liquor company, Caro's Wine Merchants, and has a separate liquor licence allowing it to sell spirits.

This story has been updated to include new information from the Council.

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- Fairfax Media

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