Junction Awards 2019 WINNER - Sun, Surf - And Bammas
David Glover and partner Mariska moved to Mangawhai in 2007, with the intention of raising their daughter Mariska in a small seaside community. “Few opportunities for employment were available, so when Bammas Surf shop came onto the market for the first time in 30 years we jumped at the opportunity,” remembers Dave. They certainly haven’t regretted it.
“We like to think of our little shop as a local hub,” Dave says. “All the Bammas staff are very much engaged in various aspects of the community we love so much, and our business philosophy of conscious community focus enables us to put a lot of aroha into it. There are very few local activities that haven’t had support from us, and we’re extremely proud of that.”
As a local independent store, Bammas operates in a marketplace increasingly dominated by enormous online retailers, so they’ve had to figure out how to encourage people to shop local. “We know we have no way of going to head to head with the big boys,” Dave admits. “Instead we focus on what we can do within our own market space. Because of this we’re quite nimble and can shift our buying patterns quickly to reflect local market trends. And knowing our customers and community well helps us stock brands that we know will work.”
For well over a decade, Bammas has stocked the coolest beach gear alongside surfing hardware and sporting equipment. But they’re well aware that keeping their business up to date and relevant means continuous evolution of their brand and what they offer.
“We are a seasonal business that’s heavily reliant on a long hot summer, so if it rains through a large part of that we’re at the doctors getting stress pills for sure!” Dave laughs. Thankfully the 2019 summer season was fantastic, so no such trips were in order. And as the Mangawhai community continues to grow, Bammas is seeing a slow but steady trend upwards over winter as well.
An important part of the company philosophy is their involvement in ‘Plastic Free Mangawhai’, a Facebook-run group whose goal is to eliminate single-use plastics in the area. In line with this, Bammas has removed all plastic from their retail bags and are working alongside their suppliers to reduce their need for plastic packaging, too.
But when it comes down to it, says Dave, the most important part of the business is the close-knit group of Bammas staff and the fantastic Mangawhai community. “All our staff are locals. We’re a family and our love for Bammas and each other is the key to our success. This genuine feeling of whanau keeps us all working together closely, keeping each other enthusiastic and passionate.”