Barker, (John) Heaton

Barker Mr J Heaton resize

(John) Heaton Barker

When Heaton Barker, a former cash register salesman, formed the Auckland Master Grocers' Buying Group in 1922 he probably had little idea he was helping create a $4 billion-plus organisation.

His group, later called Foodstuffs (Auckland), helped independent grocers battle price-cutting from farmers' co-operatives and new grocery chains such as Self Help. Two years later the group decided to market its products under the Four Square label. This extended to a Wellington buyers' co-operative in 1930 which later adopted the Foodstuffs name.

Barker ran Foodstuffs (Auckland) from 1922-34 and was a director from 1934 until his death in 1947. He also launched an industry magazine, Grocers' Review, in 1936.