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Rush Munro’s moving to Albert Square

musicians albert square

Iconic Hastings business Rush Munro’s is moving into the heart of Hastings city, after 90 years at its present site on Heretaunga St West and 96 years in Hastings.

Owner Vaughan Currie said it was sad they had to leave the company’s historic home, particularly because the gardens held so many fond childhood memories for Hawke’s Bay families. “There was no option to retain the award-winning gardens. We have had to quickly turn our minds towards ensuring the Rush Munro’s legacy is secured for the next generation. As the oldest Ice Creamery in New Zealand, this holds a unique sentimental prominence as we look forward to our centenary as a business and brand.”

During the third Covid lockdown last year the previous landowners sold to new owners who had immediate plans to develop the site. They gave Rush Munro’s notice in May that the lease would be terminated at the end of October. A hunt for suitable premises with access to garden dining for families within Hastings had been underway since and an arrangement with the owner of Albert Square, on the corner of Heretaunga St and Karamu Rd, and Hastings District Council reached.

Council leases the square for an inner-city pocket park, and it will sublease a small piece of the park for a bespoke ‘pop-up Ice Creamery’. The rest of the square will remain available to the general public.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the arrangement was great for all parties. “For Council, it means we keep an iconic business that we grew up with in the heart of our city, in our vibrant hospitality and entertainment zone. Also, through the discussions, we have been able to negotiate an extended lease of what is an important inner city green space, which means we can add more public amenities.”

Seating, shade and the ‘pop-up Ice Creamery’ would be added, all of which are able to be relocated at the end of the lease.

Rush Munro was first set up in Hastings in 1926 by Frederick Charles Rush Munro and wife Catherine, who started making confectionary and expanded into making ice cream.

Their original building was lost in the 1931 earthquake and they moved to the current premises 30 days later. The Currie’s are the fifth family to have owned the business over its 96 years and the Ice Cream is “still 100 per cent” made in Hastings, said Vaughan.

2 September 2022

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