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Third-generation owner operator delighted to continue family legacy and take the reins at New World Northwood
24 May 2023

New owner operator of New World Northwood, Greg Boock, is a third -generation Foodstuffs South Island owner operator, a title he has proudly shared with his sisters.

“I’m a third-generation grocer in my family, and ours is a really special story, we share that with only a few families who’ve been in the co-op for that long,” Greg says.

Greg’s grandparents Bill and Win Boock owned New World Gardens in Dunedin, which they opened in 1980. His father Bruce and his brothers and sisters all worked in the store in the 1980s.

“Bill and Win had six children who worked at the Gardens, and Dad was the eldest of the six,” Greg says.

Greg’s parents, Maria and Bruce Boock, set their sights on owning a store of their own and moved to Christchurch to own New World Bishopdale in 1990. Maria and Bruce then took the opportunity to move north yet again to become the owner operators of New World Blenheim in 2000.

It wasn’t just Greg’s father that carried on the family tradition; his uncle Stephen, a former New Zealand cricketer, also carved out a successful career in the supermarket business, while his aunt and uncles all went on to become successful in their chosen careers, including former sports journalist Richard Boock, novelist Paula Boock, and Stephen himself.

“We’ve had an amazing family of aunts and uncles to look up to,” he says.

Greg spent about a year working at New World Blenheim after returning from his OE and was soon given the opportunity he had been waiting for – to begin his pathway to ownership as store manager at PAK’nSAVE Northlands. As the owner operator of the store, Greg’s uncle Stephen took him under his wing and became a father figure after Greg’s own father passed away.

The Boock family, from left, Andrea Boock-Elkington, Greg Boock, Maria Boock and Jo Stafford

Both of his sisters have also been Foodstuffs South Island co-owner operators – Andrea Boock and Mark Elkington are currently in post at PAK’nSAVE Blenheim, and Jo and Jack Stafford, who retired as the owner operators of New World Mosgiel about 18 months ago.

Greg’s family has had a big influence on his career path, and Greg makes sure he treats his team members like his extended family.

“I make it a priority to be open and honest and empower people. I love to nurture others, take them under my wing, and help them to be the best that they can be. I apply the same principles as my parents of treating people well because if your team is happy this shows up in their attitude, service, and work ethic,” he says.

For Greg, it’s a real privilege to work for Foodstuffs South Island.

“Not only is it a great place to work, it’s a fantastic culture, with great people and numerous opportunities for those who have the right attitude and work ethic,” Greg says.

Greg also loves to give back and supports a lot of local sports clubs in the community, including rugby, cricket and football. “We really get behind our local schools and scouts clubs and the like which is all necessary to be able to give back.”

On Thursday, 1 June, New World Northwood will host New Zealand Black Caps captain Tom Latham, Todd Astle (Black Caps) and Amy Satterthwaite (former NZ White Ferns) to help encourage more school kids to play cricket.

It was an initiative dreamt up between Greg and Kookaburra Cricket, supplier and manufacturer of premium quality cricket gear. Together, with the support of Christchurch New Worlds, Canterbury Cricket and the Foodstuffs Community Trust, they helped raise almost $14,000, which provided every New World in Christchurch 52 sets of cricket gear to donate to local primary schools.

Greg describes getting his first store as an owner operator at New World Woolston as his biggest achievement. He was then in post at New World Ferry Road for three years, before moving on to New World Stanmore for four years, and now New World Northwood.

“Getting to New World Northwood was an amazing step – it’s a privilege and I feel very humbled to be here, surrounded by such a great bunch of people,” Greg says.
“I’m just loving it here, it’s a beautiful store with great team members, fantastic customers and a really great community.”

Going into the family business was never a question for Greg.

“It’s always been supermarkets for me. I knew I could do it and I knew I had the knowledge and support around me to do it,” Greg says.

“I’ve done everything from trolley boy to store owner and I always think that if it weren’t for the family, my parents, my grandparents and aunts and uncles who did it all before me, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Greg and his wife Emma Twiss have a blended family of five children aged between 11 and 18, three of whom work part time at the store. He likes to think the family business will one day be passed down to his kids as well.

If you’re keen to find out more about working at Foodstuffs South Island and all the opportunities on offer, visit our Working at Foodies page. To register your interest in working at Foodies, visit our Careers website.