After more than 12 years operating out of Central Hawke's Bay, Laver & Wood, the country's biggest producer of custom-made cricket bats, has pulled up stumps and moved north to Napier.

Managing director James Laver moved his operation from Otane to a workshop on Ruataniwha St in Waipawa, formerly the St John's ambulance depot, back in 2005.

Before its move to Napier at the start of the month, the company was making about 1200 custom-made bats a year from imported English willow, ranging in price from $300 to $2500.

Though the company is tight-lipped about its clientele, it's understood many top batsmen from prominent test-playing nations use Laver & Wood bats and rebadge them with the logos of their sponsors.


On August 30, the company moved to new premises at Meeanee Quay in Westshore, Napier.

"The building and the local business community hold a very fond place in our hearts and although it is sad to leave [Waipawa], we are very excited to be taking the operation north to Napier," Mr Laver said.

The business had simply outgrown the Waipawa workshop and needed more space to keep up with demand, he said.

"The decision was made so we could set up a more efficient batmaking facility and to accommodate an expanded pod shaving team, to be closer to [the] port, and offer the majority of Hawke's Bay cricketers a handy one-stop destination for all their batting requirements."

The company had also been experiencing a surge in customers flying in from around the world and the rest of the country, and the new premises would be closer to Hawke's Bay Airport and make for a more convenient location.

In a bid to fund its expansion plans, Laver & Wood attempted to raise between $250,000 and $1 million from investors in a crowdfunding campaign late last year.

Though the campaign did not reach its minimum $250,000 target, Mr Laver said private investors had since come on board.

"[Their] investment in the business has made the move and expansion possible.


"We now have a showroom and more packing room and office space due to the mail order side being the dominant factor in our business," said Mr Laver, adding the company had taken on two new apprentices as part of the move.