The Heavens Family


Heavens Bakery began as the dream of a young Waipukarau boy.

Graham Heaven wanted to make something of himself and in 1963 began a five year apprenticeship at Dunne's Home Cookery in Havelock North.

After eleven years in the trade Grahan and his wife, Denise, saw huge potential in Taradale and began their own bakery, the first of many Heaven's Bakeries throughout Napier.

In 1978, after seeing the "Hot Bread Shop" concept overseas, the couple opened Hawke's Bay's first on Meeanee Road, offering residents fresh hot bread straight from the oven.

Within a few years, another store opened in Napier's old D.I.C., then Civic Court and later the Grenmeadows site - where the company's state-of -the-art bakery is now.

As the years went by the couple's sons became involved with the business. Their eldest son, Jason, began his apprenticeship and later went on to run the cake and finishing side of the business, while their younger son, Shane, took charge of deliveries and maintenance.

In 1997 Jason and his wife Leanne opened their own shop in Marewa - the first Heaven's Bakery & Cafe and the fifth Heaven's store.

In 2000 all five stores amalgmated and Jason took over as managing director. This left Graham to focus on his passion for training and encouraging young people into the exciting and creative industry of baking, and he is now an assessor and coach for the New Zealand training organisation Skill 4 Work.

In 2003 the family developed the Greenmeadows bakery - now the hub of Heaven's Bakery.

All products are baked fresh at this site and dispatched to stores twice a day, beginning at 6am each morning. Throughout New Zealand and Australia, bakers come to visit this efficient bakery to see the systems developed by Jason.

Like his father, Jason is not one to sit back and rest, and in 2004 he refurbished the original site in Taradale's main street. Heaven's Bakery wanted to retain the family-oriented feel and so the new cafe includes a childrens' play area with television, along with accessible walkways for those with pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

The succuss continues, and in August last year Heaven's Bakery opened their sixth store in Emerson Street, Napier. This was Heaven's Bakery's first franchise and the Heavens welcomed Gavin and Mandy Smith to the team. Heaven's Bakery saw the CBD had many good cafes, but none catering to families, so they modelled their Emerson Street store on their Taradale cafe.

The future is looking bright and with Jason and Leanne's four children growing up, there may be a third generation of bakers in the making.