20 Oct 2016

Ewe won't believe what's for sale...

7:15 pm on 20 October 2016

The iconic sheep and ram building in the Waikato town of Tirau is up for sale for the first time.

Sheep and ram building, Tirau

The sheep and ram building has been put on the market for the first time Photo: Supplied / Bayleys

The famous shop and cafe was built by John and Nancy Drake more than 20 years ago and, it is claimed, is the biggest corrugated sheep building in the world.

The Drakes decided to establish a wool and craft store and settled on the Tirau site, having the sheep built in 1994.

The ram was added more than a decade later to provide more space for the business.

A local builder, with the help of the community, added a building on the land in 2005, which houses the Tirau Information Centre and public toilets, now operated by the council.

Sheep and ram building, Tirau

Photo: Supplied / Bayleys

Mr Drake said the family had decided now was the best time to let it go.

"The main reason for putting it up for sale is the fact that Nancy and I are now in our mid-70s and we think it's time to let somebody else whose got a bit more vim and vigour take over", Mr Drake said.

"It will be sad for us."

They had even lived inside the sheep for five or six years, he said.

"I could joke and say 'well, it's a sheep, it was very warm' but, no, it was noisy, we have so much traffic passing on this road that it was noisy and we had to get out to the countryside just to get a night's sleep."

Sheep and ram building, Tirau

Photo: Supplied / Bayleys / TradeMe

The Honey Shop and Cafe occupy about 100 square metres of the 590 sq/m space.

Bailey's real estate agent Blair Hutcheson said there had been strong interest so far in the property, which was listed at $1.16 million and would be sold by tender on 9 November.

Mr Drake said they lived a little way from the shop but he would still keep an eye on how things were going and checking in on them to "make sure everyone's behaving themselves."