The Bay's premier family-owned bakery has closed its doors on the Taradale store - the place where it all began four decades ago.

Heavens Bakery was founded in 1974 in Taradale by Graham and Denise Heaven and after 43 years of operating and with the development of six stores over the years, they quickly became known as one of the Bay's first bakery cafes and hot bread shops to operate.

In 2000 the store was handed down to son Jason, a passionate baker who has owned the bakery ever since.

Jason Heaven said it wasn't an easy decision to close the Taradale store given this was where it all started 43 years ago.


"We will definitely miss the area and it's sad for us but it's been tough for the last five to six years with competition and there are a lot more choices for people now than in 1974."

Mr Heaven's parents started the business in Taradale after recognising it as a growth area, with schools increasing in size and a large number of developments taking place.

"I was only a young fella when they started the business but I can remember the area being full of orchards whereas now there are houses everywhere."

Despite the founding store closing its doors the Napier and Marewa stores will stay open for business and Mr Heaven said they didn't have any plans to close them any time soon.

"The third generation is coming through now so we are down but definitely not out."

The factory, which used to be based in Greenmeadows, would now be based at the Marewa store.

The business will continue to operate its mobile store at events and Mr Heaven is thinking about popping it up in Greenmeadows during some weekends.

"To put it in a nutshell we want to make Heavens great again as we were the first of a lot of things in Hawke's Bay and I think we have lost touch with that a bit."


Without giving too much away Mr Heaven said the firm was keen to source more locally while continuing to produce its speciality products.

Heavens Bakery has supported a range of local organisations such as Hawke's Bay Hockey, Hawke's Bay Rugby, basketball teams and the Cancer Society and it wants to continue doing that.

"We love the Bay, it is a cool place, so we want to promote what we do and source our ingredients more locally."

Mr Heaven said the family had loved working and being based in Taradale and he didn't rule out the option of moving back there one day, but with something a little different.

"We have had some great years there and we did contemplate keeping it but it's just the way it is and it's also about simplifying life a little bit."