Hastings and Wattie's go way back, and are celebrating with a beautiful mural depicting the origins of the Wattie's company. The mural will be on a 3m by 20m wall opposite the A&P Showgrounds, and is being brought to life by the Hastings District Council's Keep Hastings Beautiful committee.
Wattie's started their journey from humble beginings in Hastings in 1934, when Jim Wattie and Harold Carr started J. Wattie Canneries Ltd in a way to avoid wastage of fruit which was too expensive to ship to Auckland or Wellington. They soon branched out into canning vegetables, and have subsequently developed a more comprehensive product line, including Kiwi favourites like tomato sauce and baked beans. Their canned fruit and vegetables are still on the shelf, and Wattie's are undoubtedly a market leader, with their products found in most Kiwi homes, and a strong exporting presence.
From their original factory in King Street, Hastings approximately 500 permanent employees still produce goods, as well as their new Tomoana factory houses 230 permanent employees.
The mural has been designed by Alan Passchier, and will be painted by Brandon Blair.