Friday, March 13, 2009

Grubb Bakery update

The information I used for the post originally written in 2002 on Grubb's Avondale bakery came from a phone conversation in 2001 with Keith Grubb. Today, I found a website which appears to have some genealogical information on the family.

David Grubb (1821-1902) came originally from Kilconquhar, Fife, in Scotland. He died 3 March 1902 in Ponsonby. His eldest daughter, among 12 children, Magdalene Webster Grubb (1865-1953), was the one Keith Grubb said married Robert Samuel Kirkpatrick, apparently around 1886 in Ponsonby. The original story said that Kirkpatrick bought Grubb's bakery around 1903. This would be after David Grubb died, but the Grubb baker in Avondale appears to have been Thomas Gourlay Grubb (1864-1912), David Grubb's second son.

David Grubb apparently arrived in Auckland around November 1865. By December 1867, his bakery in Karangahape Road was established (Southern Cross ad, 30 December 1867). By June 1882, Grubb was retiring and selling his business.
"EXTENSIVE BUSINESS PREMISES in Karangahape Road, close to Pitt-street, one of the principal outlets of the City, a position only second to Queen-street, together with the Goodwill of his large and increasing Baking and Grocery Business that he has so successfully conducted for the past 15 years. This Property has a frontage of 68 feet by a depth of 102 feet, on which are erected four Good Showy Shops, with conveniently-arranged' residences, all in first-class condition, a large portion but recently built, the whole 1 thoroughly renovated. Two are now occupied by himself as a Bakery and Grocery Establishment : the others are let to respectable tenants, There is a well-constructed Bake-house with a first-class large Oven ; Store-room for 40 or 50 tons of flour. A large roomy Stable with Loft, Store-room, men's Sleeping Apartments, &c. Gas and Water laid on, well drained in every respect. A well-arranged convenient first-class place of business, well worthy the attention of anyone who may require a good investment for capital, or a money-making business. As Mr Grubb is retiring from the BAKING and GROCERY BUSINESS, the GOODWILL of bis extensive and paying Business will be sold with the Property and every assistance given to a successor."
(Observer, 24 June 1882)

However, it seems he didn't give up the trade at that point. By June 1883, he co-managed the Newton Baths & Billiard Rooms. (Observer, 2 June 1883) A fire destroyed his block of shops in March 1889 -- where he was still operating a bakery. (Bay of Plenty Times, 18 March 1889)

In June 1889, Thomas Grubb married Rebecca McCown in Avondale. This may have been when the Grubb family association with this district began. (Observer, 1 June 1889) Thomas, his wife Rebecca, and their eldest son are buried at the George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery on Rosebank Road. Thomas died on 24 April 1912, suffering from "perforation of lung and shock of broken ribs" after a railway accident." The family home was in Walton (Walsall) Street. (source site)

David Grubb was still going strong, though, in early 1890.
"Mr Grubb, 88, Karangahape Road, has been established nearly 40 years, and has carried on a most successful trade, from which he acquired all substantial competency ; but, like many others he was over sanguine about the immediate prospects of Auckland. He speculated in building with the prevailing result. However, Mr Grubb, being a practical tradesman, and having an industrious wife and family to help him, his business goes on as merrily as ever. The bakehouse ovens and utensils are all bright and clean, and the establishment throughout is one of the best in the colony. Bread and fancy goods of the best description are the order of the day. As the wise man said (and no doubt it was a good baker he was speaking of): "This is a workman that needeth not to be ashamed."
(Observer, 18 January 1890)

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