by Helen Martin
In the two years since they’ve taken over Parakai 4 Square, Dan and Diana Dale have made their mark as generous, forward thinking business owners keen to make a positive contribution to the community. A key feature of this is their commitment to supporting local causes. In April this year, for example, they responded to media stories about the need for women on a low income to be helped out with donations of sanitary products and toiletries by running a buy-one-give-one promotion, where for every Pams or Neu sanitary or toiletry product bought by a customer the 4 Square donated the equivalent, giving them to Helensville Women and Family Centre for distribution. “People were really generous, and many came in specifically to buy the products,” says Diana. “Some donated the products they’d just bought as well, so effectively they were giving two.” Their next buy-one-give-one promotion, which began on December 4th, is for Helensville Foodbank’s annual Christmas collection and will focus on Pams and Value food products such as baked beans, pasta and flour. Proceeds will go to the Helensville Women and Family Centre for distribution throughout the community.
In other news, the 4 Square has taken over running the café adjacent to the store, taking 10 more local people onto the staff to help keep up with brisk demand. Catering for breakfast, lunch, dinner and refreshments in-between, the café serves a range of drinks and food. Delicious Fair Trade, locally roasted, 100% organic, double shot, barista-made coffee comes with a free cookie and the muffins, salads, lasagne, chicken, chips and wraps are proving popular. Next year the menu will include pancakes and burgers and there will be a new outdoor eating and play area to the rear of the building.
Growing a business here is working well for the Dales. “I like being able to walk to work, getting to know the locals and feeling part of the community,” says Dan. “We get useful feedback about what’s working and what isn’t and it’s great that lots of customers who’ve been shopping here for many years say it’s the best it’s been.”