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Kim Clayton, left, Bev Rowe, Keith Newton, and The Depot owner Vicky Brimblecombe say goodbye after 20 years. Photo: Kelley Tantau

‘End of an era’ for Paeroa’s The Depot

There was a lot of love inside The Depot, one of Paeroa’s most well-known antique stores, in the week leading up to its closure.
The affection owner Vicky Brimblecombe, as well as her loyal staff, had for the expansive space was clear when they pointed out the kaitiaki owl perched on the rafters, and the walls that were painted by hand.
Vicky had owned The Depot for 20 years but the time had come to close the doors of the co-op, iconically housed in what used to be the old Paeroa bus depot.
Her whanau were at the store helping pack up the assortment of items when The Profile visited, and they said grandchildren and great-grandchildren were also armed with memories of the place.
“It used to be like a jungle for them,” they said. “And they’d run around it at night when they were closing up.”
Vicky was also joined by long-time friend Bev Rowe, and loyal workers Kim Clayton and Keith Newton. Kim has been helping at The Depot for 12 years, while Keith has been volunteering at the shop, seven days a week for 15 years.
“I needed some bookcases, so I came wandering in here and got friendly, and [Vicky] said: ‘Don’t be a stranger’,” Keith recalled.
As a proficient fixer of clocks, he has been helping at the store ever since, and said The Depot’s closure will be a big change for him.
The others agreed it was “the end of an era”.
“I remember we used to go up to all the auctions in Auckland and afterwards, we’d stop at McDonalds at the Bombays, pick up our burgers, and drive home,” Bev said.
“Then the next morning it’d be unloading and pricing.”
When Vicky and her partner moved from Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty to Paeroa, she said they sat outside on the main street all day to watch the traffic flow.
They bought the lease from Tony and Joyce Webb 20 years ago, and opened the store up as an upmarket second-hand shop. The antiques came later, she said.
At the time of closing on November 19, the co-op had 12 store-holders.
Vicky will now be moving to the wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay – where she once used to travel regularly to pick up wine barrels for the shop – and thanked the community, her staff, and her support team for their help and encouragement over the past two decades.