Ice cream containers a tasty central city attraction

Rush Munro

When New Zealand’s oldest ice creamery needed a new home to sell its iconic ice cream, two modified shipping containers were the ideal solution.  

With the historic, long-term lease on Hastings’ institution Rush Munro’s ending after 97 years, it needed to move to a new location.  

“Containers were the best solution, amongst other alternatives,” says Rush Munro’s owner, Vaughan Currie. “We were able to turn it around quickly, but more importantly, using containers you can inject yourself into a competitive location that may not be an option with more permanent solutions, it put us right in the centre of Hastings.”   

Currie says it was also important for the company that the new location acknowledged its old “world famous” Rush Munro’s Gardens site in Heretaunga St.    

“It needed to acknowledge features of our old location because as well as our ice cream, we were known for our garden by not just fans from the Hawkes Bay, but Kiwis across the country and our international tourists.”    

With location being so important, Hastings District Council leased a site at Albert Square which connects to a park and sits at the heart of the city’s hospitality and entertainment hub alongside arts and events centre Toi Toi. 

Containers key to successful partnership  

Royal Wolf partnered with Rush Munro’s to modify and create two container buildings for the site. The main container shop – made from two 20-foot containers – has large windows on each side to enable serving both sides of the container. The second container building is a 10-foot accessible disability toilet.   

As well as being located alongside a park, the surrounding area has been developed with seating and shading.  

Rachel Stuart, Parks Planning and Development Manager, says it was essential to keep a business with a legacy and very loyal following like Rush Munro’s in the heart of the city.  

“They are now at the centre of a hospitality hub that we are continuing to develop to bring a vibrancy to the city throughout the week and into the weekend.”   

She says because the land is leased, the semi-permanent container solution means it can be relocated if required. 

“They are good quality containers, and they can be redeployed to a different location if circumstances change,” she says.   

For Currie, the high-foot traffic site drives sales right across the week as well as enabling Rush Munro’s to support council-led events in the city. 

”As we near our 100th birthday, the location and the containers gives us a great presence in the central city and means we can keep doing what we do best – produce delicious handcrafted, artisanal ice cream that people love.” 

Discover More Stories