Select Your Currency

Moore Wilson's Centenary Timeline

Frederick William Moore

Frederick William Moore

6th April 1892: Frederick William Moore, founder of Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd, arrives in Wellington. Frederick was born in West Derby, Liverpool on 26th August 1868. Aged 24, in search of new opportunities, Frederick booked a passage to New Zealand aboard the R.M.S Arawa.

Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd

Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd

1st June 1918: Frederick Moore officially opens Moore Wilson & Co Ltd. First premises in Wakefield St.

Wilson Withdraws

2nd December 1919: J.H. Wilson, an original director and naming partner of Moore Wilson’s,  withdraws from the partnership. According to Frederick’s son Stan, Mr Wilson left as he didn’t see a future for the business but Frederick liked the ‘Moore Wilson’ name combination so kept it on.  

Lorne Street

Lorne Street

1927: After purchasing land in 1923, a custom built warehouse is opened on Lorne Street, just down the road from Moore Wilson’s current site.

Second Generation

Second Generation

Mid 1930’s: Frederick’s son Stanley Osborne Moore commences full time work with the company.

Masterton Store

Masterton Store

1944: Moore Wilson’s second store opens on Dixon Street, Masterton, on the site of Cameron’s Service Station.

Lorne St Closes

March 1956: Due to extreme pressure on store space and handling and an uncooperative City Council, Moore Wilson’s are forced to shut down their Wellington operations.

Ross Cole Investments

Ross Cole Investments

Late 1956: Capital from selling Lorne Street property and plant is used to start up Ross Cole Investments Ltd, specialising in motor vehicle hire purchases. Company offices were on Oriental Bay, with the business running until the early 1980’s.

Third Generation

Third Generation

August 1960: Current Managing Director, Graeme Moore, starts work full time.

Masterton Travel Centre

Masterton Travel Centre

1960: Moore Wilson’s purchase and operate the Masterton Travel Centre. Closed in 1971.

Porirua Store

Porirua Store

1960: Moore Wilson’s reenters the Wellington region with a new store on Kenepuru Drive. This is the company’s first ‘self service’ cash n’ carry store.

Miramar Store

Miramar Store

1964: A store is opened on Miramar’s Maupuia Peninsula. Moore Wilson’s now has three stores operating.

Wright Street

Wright Street

1969: Miramar store closes and operations are moved to a larger warehouse in Wright Street, Mt Cook.

Moore Wilson’s Card

Moore Wilson’s Card

1969: The Moore Wilson’s card is introduced to help provide a more efficient, tailored service for Trade Customers. Previously trade only, the card is also a way around zoning laws, allowing non-trade customers to shop with a wholesaler.

Porirua Flood

Porirua Flood

20th December 1976: The Kenepuru stream bursts its banks causing a massive flash flood at the Porirua store. Some 30 people, including staff and Christmas shoppers, had to be taken to the roof and ferried to safety by officers from the Porirua Fire Brigade. Stock damage was estimated at $250,000-$300,000.

Bigger & Better

Bigger & Better

Early 1977: After being redesigned by Athfield Architects, the Porirua store reopens just months after the devastating flood.

Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt

1978: A fourth Cash & Carry store is opened in Upper Hutt.

Home on Tory Street

Home on Tory Street

12th August 1983: Moore Wilson’s purchas the Thomson, Lewis & Co. Ltd property on the corner of Tory & College Streets. In the early 1900’s Thomson Lewis were Wellington’s major soft drink producer. The site is home to a pure artesian water bore.

Moving Again

Moving Again

10th September 1984: After building at Tory Street is complete, the Wright Street store is closed and Moore Wilson’s move to our current home. Just in time, as  Wellington’s cafe and restaurant scene was taking off.

Dominion Tavern

Dominion Tavern

1986: Originally built in the early 20th century, the Dominion Tavern (adjoining to Moore Wilson’s Tory Street store) was purchased. Moore Wilson’s ran the pub for four years before it was demolished in 1991 to extend the store.

Wingate Store

Wingate Store

1989: Moore Wilson’s Wingate store opens. All of the foodservice products at Upper Hutt were moved to Wingate, leaving Upper Hutt a Variety only store until its closure in 1998.

Liquor Category Added

Liquor Category Added

1991: The Dominion Tavern was demolished and Moore Wilson’s Tory Street store extended towards Lorne Street. On the licensed site of the old Dominion, liquor was now available for sale at Moore Wilson’s.

Fourth Generation

Fourth Generation

Julie Moore, Director, began working part-time at Moore Wilson’s as a school student then started full time as the Liquor Buyer after studying hotel management.

Cuisine Centre

Cuisine Centre

1997: The Cuisine Centre opens in Tory Street, providing Wellington’s only cooking demonstration kitchen. Local and international chefs held demonstrations and the room was available for suppliers and hospitality training companies to hire.

Fourth Generation

Fourth Generation

1998: Nick Moore commences full time work. Today Nick looks after operations for all four stores and is the Tory Street Store Manager.

A Fresh Way of Thinking

A Fresh Way of Thinking

December 1998: Moore Wilson’s Fresh Market, a concept believed to be a world first, opens on Lorne Street on the site of the old Elim Church. The naysayers said it wouldn’t last, but after just two days the store was so busy that Graeme had to pull the advertising.

Porirua Fresh

Porirua Fresh

1999: The Fresh category is introduced at Moore Wilson’s Porirua.

An Evening with Jamie

An Evening with Jamie

May 2000: Jamie Oliver visits Moore Wilson’s Wellington, with a large crowd filling the entire lower carpark. Jamie, then just 25 years old, entertained with his signature Essex charm, demonstrating recipes at the event MC’d by Wellington food personality Ruth Pretty.

Masterton Fresh

Masterton Fresh

2002: Fresh category introduced at Moore Wilson’s Masterton.

Restaurant Association Award

Restaurant Association Award

2002: Moore Wilson’s Fresh awarded Innovator Award by Restaurant Association of New Zealand.

Cuisine Award

Cuisine Award

2004: Moore Wilson’s Fresh named Supreme Winner of the Cuisine and Matua Valley Wines Awards of Innovation and Excellence.

Porirua Farmers Market

Porirua Farmers Market

July 2006: A weekly market called Moore Wilson’s Farmer’s Fresh begins, running on Saturday mornings in the bulk warehouse across the carpark from the main Porirua store. The market closed in 2010.

New Fresh Market

New Fresh Market

December 2008: After outgrowing the original space, a new larger Fresh Market is opened on the College Street side of Moore Wilson’s Wellington site. Liquor moves from inside Grocery to the standalone building that housed the old Fresh Market.

Dibble in the Piazza

Dibble in the Piazza

April 2009: A sculpture by renowned Manawatu artist Paul Dibble is unveiled in the Tory Street Piazza to tell the story of the artesian bore that runs under the site.

Fresh Workshops

Fresh Workshops

March 2011: Fresh Workshops begin. Workshops ran on Thursday mornings from 2011 to 2015 in a room off Moore Wilson’s Tory Street Fresh and were hosted by guest chefs, bakers, food personalities, and cookbook authors.

Wellingtonians of the Year

Wellingtonians of the Year

2012: Graeme & Julie Moore awarded Wellingtonians of the Year in the Business category of The Wellys.

The Chook Wagon

The Chook Wagon

August 2012: The Chook Wagon opens in the carpark above Moore Wilson’s Wellington Fresh Market, recreating the traditional French ‘Poulet Rotisserie’ experience served from a replica of the iconic 1947 Citroen H-van. The Citroen was designed and built by Miramar’s Human Dynamo Workshop.

O’Sushi Tory Street

O’Sushi Tory Street

December 2013: O’Sushi opens in a custom built kiosk in the Piazza of Moore Wilson’s Tory St.

Moore Wilson’s Wine Direct

March 2014: Moore Wilson’s launch first e-commerce website “Moore Wilson’s Wine Direct”. Set up by Sales Development Manager Alex Bazeley, the website featured a small hand-picked range of wines available for delivery nationwide.

Berry Culture

Berry Culture

September 2014: The Berry Culture frozen yoghurt truck parked up in the Piazza of Moore Wilson’s Tory Street, serving natural yoghurt with live cultures and a range of premium topping. The Citroen hit the road in March 2016, returning to Christchurch.

Moore Wilson’s Online

October 2015: A new website “Moore Wilson’s Online” is launched with an increased range of wine, beers, and spirits as well as products from the Kitchen and Homeware department available to purchase online. Content including recipes, events, supplier profiles and product trends is also added.

Pop-Up Food Pods

Pop-Up Food Pods

April 2016: Pop-Up Food Pods are introduced in the Tory Street Piazza with the aim of giving our trade customers and suppliers the chance to showcase their cafes, restaurants, food trucks, and products.

Building Strengthening

Building Strengthening

June 2016: 18 months of building strengthening work by L.T. McGuinness at Moore Wilson’s Tory Street Store are completed. The new buckling-restrained braces had their first test (and passed with flying colours) when the Kaikoura earthquake struck in November.

Business Hall of Fame

Business Hall of Fame

July 2016: Moore Wilson’s inducted into the Wellington Region Business Hall of Fame.

Porirua Wine, Beer & Spirits

Porirua Wine, Beer & Spirits

July 2017: With the help of Human Dynamo, Porirua’s standalone Wine, Beer & Spirits store underwent a nautical makeover, paying homage to the regions sea-side location.

Felix Awards

Felix Awards

October 2017: Moore Wilson’s accept the award for Outstanding Supplier at the 2017 Felix Awards.

O’Sushi Porirua

O’Sushi Porirua

November 2017: O’Sushi opens at Moore Wilson’s Porirua. The exterior features a stunning painting of Mana Island by Human Dynamo director Sue Dorrington, continuing the nautical theme from the Wine, Beer & Spirits store across the carpark.

Celebrating 100 Years

Celebrating 100 Years

1st June 2018: Moore Wilson’s celebrates 100 years in business.

Moore Wilson's Centenary Timeline


Frederick William Moore

Frederick William Moore

6th April 1892: Frederick William Moore, founder of Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd, arrives in Wellington. Frederick was born in West Derby, Liverpool on 26th August 1868. Aged 24, in search of new opportunities, Frederick booked a passage to New Zealand aboard the R.M.S Arawa.


Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd

Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd

1st June 1918: Frederick Moore officially opens Moore Wilson & Co Ltd. First premises in Wakefield St.


Wilson Withdraws

2nd December 1919: J.H. Wilson, an original director and naming partner of Moore Wilson’s,  withdraws from the partnership. According to Frederick’s son Stan, Mr Wilson left as he didn’t see a future for the business but Frederick liked the ‘Moore Wilson’ name combination so kept it on.  


Lorne Street

Lorne Street

1927: After purchasing land in 1923, a custom built warehouse is opened on Lorne Street, just down the road from Moore Wilson’s current site.


Second Generation

Second Generation

Mid 1930’s: Frederick’s son Stanley Osborne Moore commences full time work with the company.


Masterton Store

Masterton Store

1944: Moore Wilson’s second store opens on Dixon Street, Masterton, on the site of Cameron’s Service Station.


Lorne St Closes

March 1956: Due to extreme pressure on store space and handling and an uncooperative City Council, Moore Wilson’s are forced to shut down their Wellington operations.


Ross Cole Investments

Ross Cole Investments

Late 1956: Capital from selling Lorne Street property and plant is used to start up Ross Cole Investments Ltd, specialising in motor vehicle hire purchases. Company offices were on Oriental Bay, with the business running until the early 1980’s.


Third Generation

Third Generation

August 1960: Current Managing Director, Graeme Moore, starts work full time.


Masterton Travel Centre

Masterton Travel Centre

1960: Moore Wilson’s purchase and operate the Masterton Travel Centre. Closed in 1971.


Porirua Store

Porirua Store

1960: Moore Wilson’s reenters the Wellington region with a new store on Kenepuru Drive. This is the company’s first ‘self service’ cash n’ carry store.


Miramar Store

Miramar Store

1964: A store is opened on Miramar’s Maupuia Peninsula. Moore Wilson’s now has three stores operating.


Wright Street

Wright Street

1969: Miramar store closes and operations are moved to a larger warehouse in Wright Street, Mt Cook.


Moore Wilson’s Card

Moore Wilson’s Card

1969: The Moore Wilson’s card is introduced to help provide a more efficient, tailored service for Trade Customers. Previously trade only, the card is also a way around zoning laws, allowing non-trade customers to shop with a wholesaler.


Porirua Flood

Porirua Flood

20th December 1976: The Kenepuru stream bursts its banks causing a massive flash flood at the Porirua store. Some 30 people, including staff and Christmas shoppers, had to be taken to the roof and ferried to safety by officers from the Porirua Fire Brigade. Stock damage was estimated at $250,000-$300,000.


Bigger & Better

Bigger & Better

Early 1977: After being redesigned by Athfield Architects, the Porirua store reopens just months after the devastating flood.


Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt

1978: A fourth Cash & Carry store is opened in Upper Hutt.


Home on Tory Street

Home on Tory Street

12th August 1983: Moore Wilson’s purchas the Thomson, Lewis & Co. Ltd property on the corner of Tory & College Streets. In the early 1900’s Thomson Lewis were Wellington’s major soft drink producer. The site is home to a pure artesian water bore.


Moving Again

Moving Again

10th September 1984: After building at Tory Street is complete, the Wright Street store is closed and Moore Wilson’s move to our current home. Just in time, as  Wellington’s cafe and restaurant scene was taking off.


Dominion Tavern

Dominion Tavern

1986: Originally built in the early 20th century, the Dominion Tavern (adjoining to Moore Wilson’s Tory Street store) was purchased. Moore Wilson’s ran the pub for four years before it was demolished in 1991 to extend the store.


Wingate Store

Wingate Store

1989: Moore Wilson’s Wingate store opens. All of the foodservice products at Upper Hutt were moved to Wingate, leaving Upper Hutt a Variety only store until its closure in 1998.


Liquor Category Added

Liquor Category Added

1991: The Dominion Tavern was demolished and Moore Wilson’s Tory Street store extended towards Lorne Street. On the licensed site of the old Dominion, liquor was now available for sale at Moore Wilson’s.


Fourth Generation

Fourth Generation

Julie Moore, Director, began working part-time at Moore Wilson’s as a school student then started full time as the Liquor Buyer after studying hotel management.


Cuisine Centre

Cuisine Centre

1997: The Cuisine Centre opens in Tory Street, providing Wellington’s only cooking demonstration kitchen. Local and international chefs held demonstrations and the room was available for suppliers and hospitality training companies to hire.


Fourth Generation

Fourth Generation

1998: Nick Moore commences full time work. Today Nick looks after operations for all four stores and is the Tory Street Store Manager.


A Fresh Way of Thinking

A Fresh Way of Thinking

December 1998: Moore Wilson’s Fresh Market, a concept believed to be a world first, opens on Lorne Street on the site of the old Elim Church. The naysayers said it wouldn’t last, but after just two days the store was so busy that Graeme had to pull the advertising.


Porirua Fresh

Porirua Fresh

1999: The Fresh category is introduced at Moore Wilson’s Porirua.


An Evening with Jamie

An Evening with Jamie

May 2000: Jamie Oliver visits Moore Wilson’s Wellington, with a large crowd filling the entire lower carpark. Jamie, then just 25 years old, entertained with his signature Essex charm, demonstrating recipes at the event MC’d by Wellington food personality Ruth Pretty.


Masterton Fresh

Masterton Fresh

2002: Fresh category introduced at Moore Wilson’s Masterton.


Restaurant Association Award

Restaurant Association Award

2002: Moore Wilson’s Fresh awarded Innovator Award by Restaurant Association of New Zealand.


Cuisine Award

Cuisine Award

2004: Moore Wilson’s Fresh named Supreme Winner of the Cuisine and Matua Valley Wines Awards of Innovation and Excellence.


Porirua Farmers Market

Porirua Farmers Market

July 2006: A weekly market called Moore Wilson’s Farmer’s Fresh begins, running on Saturday mornings in the bulk warehouse across the carpark from the main Porirua store. The market closed in 2010.


New Fresh Market

New Fresh Market

December 2008: After outgrowing the original space, a new larger Fresh Market is opened on the College Street side of Moore Wilson’s Wellington site. Liquor moves from inside Grocery to the standalone building that housed the old Fresh Market.


Dibble in the Piazza

Dibble in the Piazza

April 2009: A sculpture by renowned Manawatu artist Paul Dibble is unveiled in the Tory Street Piazza to tell the story of the artesian bore that runs under the site.


Fresh Workshops

Fresh Workshops

March 2011: Fresh Workshops begin. Workshops ran on Thursday mornings from 2011 to 2015 in a room off Moore Wilson’s Tory Street Fresh and were hosted by guest chefs, bakers, food personalities, and cookbook authors.


Wellingtonians of the Year

Wellingtonians of the Year

2012: Graeme & Julie Moore awarded Wellingtonians of the Year in the Business category of The Wellys.


The Chook Wagon

The Chook Wagon

August 2012: The Chook Wagon opens in the carpark above Moore Wilson’s Wellington Fresh Market, recreating the traditional French ‘Poulet Rotisserie’ experience served from a replica of the iconic 1947 Citroen H-van. The Citroen was designed and built by Miramar’s Human Dynamo Workshop.


O’Sushi Tory Street

O’Sushi Tory Street

December 2013: O’Sushi opens in a custom built kiosk in the Piazza of Moore Wilson’s Tory St.


Moore Wilson’s Wine Direct

March 2014: Moore Wilson’s launch first e-commerce website “Moore Wilson’s Wine Direct”. Set up by Sales Development Manager Alex Bazeley, the website featured a small hand-picked range of wines available for delivery nationwide.


Berry Culture

Berry Culture

September 2014: The Berry Culture frozen yoghurt truck parked up in the Piazza of Moore Wilson’s Tory Street, serving natural yoghurt with live cultures and a range of premium topping. The Citroen hit the road in March 2016, returning to Christchurch.


Moore Wilson’s Online

October 2015: A new website “Moore Wilson’s Online” is launched with an increased range of wine, beers, and spirits as well as products from the Kitchen and Homeware department available to purchase online. Content including recipes, events, supplier profiles and product trends is also added.


Pop-Up Food Pods

Pop-Up Food Pods

April 2016: Pop-Up Food Pods are introduced in the Tory Street Piazza with the aim of giving our trade customers and suppliers the chance to showcase their cafes, restaurants, food trucks, and products.


Building Strengthening

Building Strengthening

June 2016: 18 months of building strengthening work by L.T. McGuinness at Moore Wilson’s Tory Street Store are completed. The new buckling-restrained braces had their first test (and passed with flying colours) when the Kaikoura earthquake struck in November.


Business Hall of Fame

Business Hall of Fame

July 2016: Moore Wilson’s inducted into the Wellington Region Business Hall of Fame.


Porirua Wine, Beer & Spirits

Porirua Wine, Beer & Spirits

July 2017: With the help of Human Dynamo, Porirua’s standalone Wine, Beer & Spirits store underwent a nautical makeover, paying homage to the regions sea-side location.


Felix Awards

Felix Awards

October 2017: Moore Wilson’s accept the award for Outstanding Supplier at the 2017 Felix Awards.


O’Sushi Porirua

O’Sushi Porirua

November 2017: O’Sushi opens at Moore Wilson’s Porirua. The exterior features a stunning painting of Mana Island by Human Dynamo director Sue Dorrington, continuing the nautical theme from the Wine, Beer & Spirits store across the carpark.


Celebrating 100 Years

Celebrating 100 Years

1st June 2018: Moore Wilson’s celebrates 100 years in business.