On 1st June 2018 Moore Wilson's are be celebrating 100 years in business! Following are some of the key events and highlights from our first 100 years:
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. At age 24, in search of new opportunities, Frederick booked a passage to Wellington, New Zealand aboard the R.M.S Arawa.
Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd
1st June 1918: Frederick Moore officially opens Moore Wilson & Co Ltd. First premises in Wakefield St.
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 so kept it on.
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.
Mid 1930’s: Frederick’s son Stanley Osborne Moore commences full time work with the company.
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
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.
August 1960: Current Managing Director, Graeme Moore, starts work full time.
Masterton Travel Centre
1960: Moore Wilson’s purchase and operate the Masterton Travel Centre. Closed in 1971.
1960: Moore Wilson’s re-enters the Wellington region with a new store on Kenepuru Drive. This is the company’s first ‘self service’ cash n’ carry store.
1964: A store is opened on Miramar’s Maupuia Peninsula. Moore Wilson’s now has three stores operating.
1969: Miramar store closes and operations are moved to a larger warehouse in Wright Street, Mt Cook.
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.
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
Early 1977: After being redesigned by Athfield Architects, the Porirua store reopens just months after the devastating flood.
1978: A fourth Cash & Carry store is opened in Upper Hutt.
Home on Tory Street
12th August 1983: Moore Wilson’s purchase 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
1991: Julie Moore, current Executive Director, started full time in the role of Liquor Buyer.
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.
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
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.
1999: The Fresh category is introduced at Moore Wilson’s Porirua.
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.
2002: Fresh category introduced at Moore Wilson’s Masterton.
Restaurant Association Award
2002: Moore Wilson’s Fresh awarded Innovator Award by Restaurant Association of New Zealand.
2004: Moore Wilson’s Fresh named Supreme Winner of the Cuisine and Matua Valley Wines Awards of Innovation and Excellence.
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
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
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.
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
2012: Graeme & Julie Moore awarded Wellingtonians of the Year in the Business category of The Wellys.
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
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”. The website featured a small hand-picked range of wines available for delivery nationwide.
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
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.
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
July 2016: Moore Wilson’s inducted into the Wellington Region Business Hall of Fame.
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.
October 2017: Moore Wilson’s accept the award for Outstanding Supplier at the 2017 Felix Awards.
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
1st June 2018: Moore Wilson’s celebrates 100 years in business.
Moore Wilson’s Fresh Market 20 Years
December 2018 : Moore Wilson’s Fresh Market celebrating 20 years.
The Retail Hotlist Awards
September 2019: Moore Wilson’s wins Hottest Retail Business in Operation over 20 Years at the Gem Retail Hotlist 2019 Awards.