PENGUIN Wholesalers have just celebrated being in business for 40 years, and are still locally owned and operated by Dave and Patsy Walters. From humble beginnings as an ice making company, Penguin has successfully gone forward as a significant food distribution business to the food service industry in the last 40 years.

Penguin has a long history of being a solid Northland company and continues to service a wide customer base throughout the north. In the last year Penguin has made a concerted effort to reduce their foot print. By focusing on a smaller area, Penguin is now better able to service their customer base.

Their territory is now south to Kaiwaka and Mangawahi, north to Paihia, Russell, Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Kaeo, west towards Dargaville and Paparoa, and Whangarei and surrounding areas.

“We cannot emphasize the importance of being locally owned and operated business and understanding your business is our priority, and providing solutions to meet your needs,” Walters said. In 2014 Penguin acquired an existing distribution business and turned it into a cash and carry outlet, Penguin Direct. Penguin Direct is about bringing food service products into retail. Penguin has teamed up with suppliers who exclusively supply to their group foodfirst, made up of 22 members throughout New Zealand. Recently, the company launched a new website and moved onto a new software platform to bring better solutions to businesses.

This will enable Penguin to bring more cost effective solutions to businesses through food first. Penguin also recently teamed up with some of their customers to help take their products into the marketplace using their distribution network.

“This is a win win situation for Penguin and our customers, we can do this as we are not dictated by a head office in Auckland or overseas and in typical Northland fashion we are allowed to think outside the square.

Penguin’s customers vary from cafes, restaurants, fast food outlets, bakeries, healthcare, education, institutions, contractors, industrial and the accommodation sector.

Penguin employs 35 staff, including warehouse, drivers, sales and administration. Apart from sourcing stock from the warehouse, the company is also able to source fresh meat, seafood and produce on a daily basis.