Rugby league legend Steve Price has caused a stir in Waipu after buying the town's supermarket.
The former Warriors' captain was introduced at the Waipu Business and Promotions Group meeting on October 7 as the new owner of the Four Square supermarket.
Foodstuffs confirmed his purchase of the supermarket from Richard Wilson and Juanita McGoldrick.
Price took over the supermarket, located at The Centre in central Waipu, yesterday.
He was on the premises but declined to comment, and explained to the Advocate that he was in discussions with a magazine regarding a possible article about his new business. The locals hope he will be behind the counter and live locally.
Waipu Business and Promotions Group chairwoman Sarah Archer said it was great to live and work alongside a celebrity. "I think he will be a great asset to the Waipu community and one who will bring his knowledge and experience here.
"He's definitely caused a stir in the community, in a good way, and he could be quite an influential figure if we do things like fundraising in future, because people who follow league certainly know him," she said.
A motivational and keynote speaker through his company SP 10, Price completed a masters in business management after joining the Warriors.
He was appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010 for services to New Zealand rugby league.
Capped 28 times by Queensland and 16 by the Kangaroos, Price played for the Sydney-based Canterbury Bulldogs and the New Zealand Warriors during his 17 years in the NRL.
Price is the second high-profile sports star to trade the footy field for the supermarket floor in Northland this year.
Kaeo-born Eric Rush, who captained the New Zealand Rugby Sevens team to six consecutive world titles, took ownership of the Kaikohe New World supermarket in February.
After eight years in the corporate world, he started in the supermarket industry in 2008.
Rush became an approved owner-operator in February 2010. Later that year he bought his first store, New World Browns Bay.