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22 May - 6 June 2010, 38 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

Wellington’s first FREE STORE was open at 38 Ghuznee St from 10 till 6pm for two weeks until June 6, supplied by local retailers keen to reduce waste and provide excess stock to the community for no cost.

Artist Kim Paton, creator of FREE STORE, sourced bread from Arobake and Brooklyn bakeries, coffee from Supreme and People’s Coffee, and produce from several of Progressives’ Countdown and Woolworths supermarkets and Caffe Italiano. This was supplemented by an array of goods from hundreds of individuals over the two weeks. The stock was displayed in the Free Store much as in any grocery store, but without a price.  

She says her journey to stocking the shop has been a rollercoaster ride. “This has been a great experiment in testing the broad mindedness of retailers.   Willing suppliers have been very intrigued about the concept -and have been willing to look at ways to remove waste from their supply and, importantly to highlight the contributions they are making to the community already,” Paton says.

“Free Store is making public the point in the supply chain that is usually unseen. I hope to raise discussion around how we define the value of a product and what we do with our waste,” Paton said.

More about Kim Paton

Kim Paton is a fine arts graduate of Massey University Wellington who has had major work appear recently at the Govett-Brewster, New Plymouth, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington and at City Gallery Wellington as part of Prospect 2007. She has been running a grocery store in the Waikato for the past three years.


Property partner: Foodstuffs

Major produce partners: Arobake and Brooklyn bakeries, Supreme and People’s Coffee, Progressives’ Countdown and Woolworths supermarkets, Celcius Coffee and Caffe Italiano. 

Storekeepers: Natalie Ellen-Eliza, Jaime Cortez, Kirstin Martis, Jack Hooker, Jason Wright, India Davis, Pieta Hextall, Jeannie Mueller, Johannah Morris, Jack Nesbit, Sandra Anttila, Caroline Redelinghuys, Melanie Nieuwoudt, Philippa Clements, Robin Murphy, Georgina Titheridge, Omega Smith, Harriet Lethbridge, Sai Dobui, Monique Davey, Leda Farrow, Caleb Gordon, Jane Hyder, MaxTelfer, Hannah Zwartz, Helen Keivom, Kylie Walker, Ish, Uri Khein, Victoria Wevers, Gabrielle McKone, Mark Amery, Sophie Jerram and Kim Paton

Opening sponsor: Tuatara Brewery

Van sponsor: Cliff McNabb, from Barrels and Wedges (Stressing Equipment and Lifting Anchors)

Logistics (food transport): Kirsty Lillico, Darryl Walker, Mel Oliver, Monique Davey, Sai Dobui, Andy Dickinson, Sophie Jerram, Mark Amery, Kim Paton, David Zwartz

Aprons: Vita Cochrane

Pre-install Cleaners: David, Jaime and Sophie

Our thanks also to the assistance of our neighbours: Customs Brew Bar, Bowen Galleries, Minimum Graphics, Milk Crate and Hamish McKay Gallery

We look forward to seeing the results of our the work of our resident documentary maker, Jaime Cortez