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When asked why he has chosen to keep his successful business based in the Waimakariri District for over 40 years, Ron van Til says the answer is simple: “People, people, people.”
Ron owns Rangiora Bakery. The business has been in his family since the 1960s, and was established in Rangiora in 1860. Despite significant expansion since he took over in 1990, including distributing products throughout New Zealand, exporting products to Australia and the Pacific Islands and the opening of a two-level, licensed café - Artisan by Rangiora Bakery - Ron has never thought of moving his business from Rangiora.
“The connections you develop with people within the district and being able to help others in the community is paramount,” he explains.
“Over a period of 40+ years, we have employed many people from within the district and those staff members are still with us today. We have a very stable work force and 95% of them live within 10km of the bakery. We look after our staff and treat them as our ‘daytime family’ and in return, they stay with us. This cuts the need to continuously train new staff and ensures our quality is maintained to a higher level.
“When we do advertise for more staff, we get at least 100 applications and these are mostly from workers frustrated at traveling to Christchurch for work. Being able to have access to that size pool of people means we can employ a higher value staff member. Being able to live, work and play in the same district is a key driver for operating a business in the Waimakariri.”
He says that being a larger business in a smaller district means there is also more opportunity for direct relationships and support from local government agencies.
“We find the local council and MainPower are very supportive of our operation and things happen a lot easier. We have a voice in the district and we are a known and respected business. If we were based in Christchurch we would probably be lost; just a number.”
Although sticking to the Waimakariri District, Ron has successfully branched out across the globe and now operates as a large wholesale and retail food producer specialising in café food for multinational brands that require a high level of food safety to protect their brand.
“We hold long term relationships with a number of large multinational customers and can produce high volumes of food that has great taste and is a constant quality,” says Ron.
“We are continuing to grow and have a number of projects on the go currently. We have room to expand on site and will grow our plant size to match our sales volumes.”
Ron sees no issues with the business’s future plans, based on the support of and success with his past expansions. “The council have been very supportive of our expansions and work easily with us. Here you can develop relationships with the council staff that is invaluable. You get listened to.”
Rangiora Bakery and Artisan by Rangiora Bakery are located at 18 High Street, Rangiora. Visit www.rangiorabakery.com for more information.