Every Monday, the Chronicle fires 10 questions at a Whanganui local to find out what makes them tick. This week Ethan Griffiths sat down with Ginza Bargains owner Brent Huijs.
How long have you been at Ginza?
I've owned the business since 2014, but I've been in and out of it since I was 12, helping out my uncle Peter who was the previous owner. Pretty much all of the family have worked here at some stage. Everyone in the family comes here to catch everyone. It's a real family affair.
What is the best thing about your job?
I've always liked buying and selling, as well as finding unique things. It sounds dumb, but meeting customers and talking to people is also a great part of it. Everyone's got a story, especially some of our older customers.
What did you do before you purchased Ginza?
I had a few different jobs - I was a kitchen hand and then a chef when I left school. I moved into engineering and really enjoyed that. I've always worked on pretty hands-on jobs.
What's the most interesting thing you've ever bought or sold?
There have been many things over the years - it's hard trying to think of something I haven't bought. I suppose I haven't had a coffin yet. I've found a few unique things like old coca-cola fridges, grenade and missile cases, military items, old bits of cars. Anything unusual sells.
What's your favourite thing about Whanganui?
Probably the car scene. For a small town, there's a lot of people who do up cars - old, new, modified, racecars.
What cars do you own?
I've got two Mk 1 Ford Escorts and a Mk 1 Ford Cortina. The family races cars too, so we've got a few [speedway] midgets.
What are your favourite music artists to listen to?
It's probably Metallica, a bit of Limp Biskit. Not the heavy, heavy stuff.
What's your favourite place in New Zealand, outside of Whanganui?
To be honest, it's probably New Plymouth. It's close to Whanganui, but it's also really nice up there.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
Probably stay in school. I was out by 15. School wasn't for me, but I think it was more how school was back then, compared to how it is now.
Where does the name Ginza come from?
It's actually named after a place in Japan, near Tokyo. It's a high-end area in Japan where I'm told all the top-end shops and pieces are. It's a bit of play on us being a second-hand store. It would be nice to visit one day and see where the name came from.