Words Vicki Ravlich-Horan, Images Ashlee DeCaires
Walk through the doors of the new Sweet Pea Parties store on 70 Rostrevor Street and even if you weren’t planning a party you will want to be!
The 700 sqm space is the third iteration of Sweet Pea Parties which started in Kirsty and Chris Parker’s home nearly ten years ago. It all began with Kirsty planning the first birthday party for son William and being disappointed with what was available in New Zealand.
William’s birthday was in December, by February Sweet Pea Parties had been born and was being run out of Kirsty’s home office. Pretty soon it had taken over their lounge and then the garage, and when it stretched into their bedroom the couple decided that was far enough and opened a showroom on Princes Street.
Chris says, “Even though it was an online business, people wanted to come around and see the products, and we had people coming to our home at all hours.” The Princes Street space was the answer but never meant to be a retail store, it was more about the warehousing of product with a small showroom. But the people kept coming and the business kept growing and three years on this initial space was doubled.
Fast forward another three years and Sweet Pea Parties have got bigger again. “In truth,” Chris says, “we had out-grown the last space pre-Covid and post-Covid have just continued to grow.” The two containers the couple added to the Princes Street site were no longer coping so a new space, just around the corner on Rostrevor Street, was found. And even before the doors were officially opened customers were coming through to check it out.
The family part in this family business goes beyond Kirsty and Chris. Kirsty’s parents, who understand first-hand what it takes to run a husband-and-wife retail business, have been a huge support. This has meant everything from helping with the children, to packing orders and in Kirsty’s dad’s case, even project managing the complete shop fit out. “We wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have without their support,” Chris freely admits.
Then when it came to making the big move another family emerged, the Sweet Pea Parties family that Kirsty and Chris have created. Customers, staff, family and friends all pitched in to help.
Even though it has been the case for some time now, when you visit Sweet Pea Parties new shop you can see why they are New Zealand’s number one independent party supply and cake ware retailer in New Zealand. From engagements to weddings, gender reveals to first birthdays, 21sts to golden wedding anniversaries, they can help you out. Be it decorations, tableware, candles or balloons.
While they won’t make you a cake, they can sell you everything you need to make a great one! And as this is where all the best cake makers shop, they can probably recommend a great one, if making that masterpiece is just a step too far.
Although, with that said, one of the additions to the new shop is kitchen/workshop space where you can brush up on those skills. This space is designed to work as both a workshop space as well as one for parties where kids can decorate their own cupcakes or cookies.
Sweet Pea Parties
70 Rostrevor Street, Hamilton