Foodstuffs on the move after selling Hutt warehouse and offices

Jovan Čanak and his wife Farrah whose tortilla and wraps company Farrah's has bought Foodstuffs' Silverstream site.
JOHN NICHOLSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Jovan Čanak and his wife Farrah whose tortilla and wraps company Farrah's has bought Foodstuffs' Silverstream site.

Up-and-coming food exporter Farrah's has bought a huge warehouse in the Hutt Valley from Foodstuffs North Island.

Foodstuffs has occupied the 4 hectare site in Silverstream since 1981, which features a 23,500 square metre warehouse and office building and 167 carparks.

The move will mean Foodstuffs will close its bottling plant in mid-August, and move its 100-plus staff to new office space.

Foodstuff North Island's distribution centre in Upper Hutt which has been sold to Farrah's.

Foodstuff North Island's distribution centre in Upper Hutt which has been sold to Farrah's.

Foodstuff North Island's general manager of property development Lindsay Rowles said the company had not yet found new premises.

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"This is a chance for us to significantly upgrade our office premises for our Wellington staff and provide them with a more modern working environment," he said.

However, it was pleasing that the existing property at 57 Kiln St would continue to be used for food. Farrah's, which is based in Upper Hutt, has been making tortillas and wraps since 1999 

Co-owner Jovan Čanak said the business started out cooking each wrap by hand and his first bakery was in an old fish and chip shop.

"In 1999, a friend who owned a local kebab shop commented that he couldn't find a tortilla wrap that wouldn't crack or split when rolled. That's what sparked our business idea," he said.

Canak said Farrah's new premises would be turned into a top-notch export facility and construction would begin in November.  

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Rowles said the site was sold for an undisclosed sum and it was initially hoped that Foodstuff's bottling plant would remain.

"We went to market with the idea of leasing back part of the site in order to retain the bottling plant, but in the end, the offer for the entire site made the best economic sense for our business," he said.

Instead, the bottling services will be outsourced to an external supplier, affecting six jobs.

The company was looking for ways to redeploy the staff.

 - Stuff

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