THAT young lad who started at Manukau Pak’nSave straight from the local James Cook High School was never expected by owner operator Vern Hayden to be his successor. But Stephen Lockie was so infatuated with the grocery trade, there was never going to be any other outcome.
So when Vern retired eight or nine months ago, the 32-year-old Lockie stepped into his shoes and has become one of the youngest Pak’nSave operators in the country.
Stephen and his sister worked at a local Manurewa supermarket while at school and after graduating was taken on at Pak’nSave as a freezer hand by Ken Buckley. The idea was to work fulltime to get enough money to go to University.
It just didn’t turn out that way and he never stopped loving the grocery industry.
Stephen was at Manukau PnS for two years before moving out to Pukekohe and working in that PnS for Grant Prince – a six year stint where he has nothing but praise for Prince as a trainer and mentor.
Moving out of retail in Foodstuffs Auckland, he spent two years as a category manager, a role that gave him an insight into wholesaling and one that opened up fresh opportunities.
In fact he went back there again on secondment after three years in the Waikato with Glenn Miller at Mill Street PnS.
Stephen moved out of Foodstuffs and took over the older Takapuna New World as an owner/operator and stayed there for two and a half years before the Manukau opportunity came up. The Cavendish Drive store with its 200 staff, is now 20 years old and certainly will be one of refurbishment projects targeted by Foodstuffs over the next three or four years
Grant and his wife Jodie with their two young children, have made Pukekohe their home – an easy 30 minute commute every day.