7 Dec 2015

Always a Dayal

From Voices, 3:30 pm on 7 December 2015

By Teresa Cowie

At the Cuba Street Fruitmart in Wellington 3 elderly gents are wandering along the mirror-lined shop preening produce.

When the Dayal brothers are in the shop there is no time to daydream when there are lemons that need to be placed just-so to catch the best of the light or wilted cauliflower leaves that need to be pruned.

Sanjay Dayal eyes up a deal at the fresh produce wholesalers

Sanjay Dayal eyes up a deal at the fresh produce wholesalers Photo: RNZ / Teresa Cowie

And while re-thinking the structure of their business ensured its success, Magan said the rule that there should always be a Dayal in the shop is why it has managed to keep going for half a century.

"There are no managers, [we're] owner operators, there's always someone here that the chefs or anyone else can talk to about the produce that's available, or knows what's coming into season, what's expensive this week and what's a good buy this week," he said.

But for the brother and sister team, making sure they are always available is hard yakka.

"We start about 4:30 or 5am and we run until 5pm, but every alternate day we get to go home at lunchtime," Joshna said.

And she jokes, working along side your sibling all the time can have its moments.

"We fight, we fight like brother and sister about anything, like miscommunications or staff, but it doesn't last for long, never more than a day, it can't, we work too closely together and you have to get over it" she said.

As for the next generation Sanjay said he does not know whether any of his four young children will become the fourth generation to run the shop.

"I don't know if it will be around that long, but who knows, I mean these guys [his father and uncles] probably didn't think that we would end up here, you can't predict the future," he said.