Ah-Chee, Thomas Henry

Ah Chee Tom resize

Thomas Henry Ah-Chee

Tom Ah Chee was a natural greengrocer and shopkeeper, following a tradition established by his grandfather who arrived in New Zealand in the late 1860s.

Ah Chee was born in Remuera, Auckland, but travelled with his parents to Canton, China, in 1931, returning to Auckland as an 11-year-old.

Ah Chee was a bright pupil but his university education was cut short by his father's death and he took over the family fruit shop. It was there he foresaw that large supermarkets would determine the future of food distribution in New Zealand.

In 1958 his vision became a reality with the opening of the country's first major standalone supermarket, Foodtown, at Otahuhu.