Julie’s younger brother Nick, 43, manages the flagship branch. “He’s done a couple of other things and then got more and more involved.”
Since becoming a director in 1997, Julie has swapped her specialist knowledge of Sauternes and Semillon for a broader overview of the company.
“I get involved in a little bit of everything whether that’s human resources, sales or category management. I know every new product that gets ranged.”
Graeme is similar, says Julie. “Our management style is to see and know what’s happening.”
Moore Wilson’s was established by Julie’s great-grandfather Frederick Moore, who emigrated to New Zealand from Lancaster in 1882.
Who the co-founder ‘Wilson’ was, and why he left the company, is now a mystery. “There was a Wilson, but pretty much only in the first year,” says Julie. “The name just stuck.”
For near on a century, Moore Wilson’s has “resisted the temptation” to be bought out or expand out of Wellington, says Graeme.
“We’ve had a few offers over the years… but we’ve stuck to it here. A lot of the people who approached us, going way back, for takeovers, they’ve all since disappeared.”
These days Moore Wilson’s concentrates on its core businesses, says Julie. “We like to keep the focus on what we are doing and we are constantly doing little improvements.”
These include its ‘food on the go’ stands, such as the Chook Wagon, a replica 1947 Citroen-H van selling free-range chickens cooked in its traditional rotisserie oven. There’s also Miki Sushi, which operates out of a bright red replica of an early 1900s Te Aro villa.
Both stands were designed and built by Human Dynamo Workshop, a Miramar model-making company whose other clients include filmmakers Weta and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Last year Moore Wilson’s launched a pair of pop-up food pods, providing a chance for local artisans, cafes and restaurants to share their brand of street food for a week or two.