The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association
The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association

1971 - 1990

Rush Munro's

Englishman Frederick Charles Rush-Munro, having learned the skills of the confectionery trade from his father, Frederick Rush, had opened the original Rush Munro confectionery shop at 161-163 Ponsonby Road, in Auckland by December 1914.

In 1917, the year his first wife Amy died, the business re-located to 142 Karangahape Road, advertising as "Rush Munro's Soda Fountain", and Fred was advertising his services to train prospective soda fountain owners and dispensers:


                                             Advertisement, Auckland Star, 7 March, 1917


In 1919, the business moved to 181 - 187 Karangahape Road, re-named "Rush Munro", complete with cafeteria ("help yourself style" service), light lunches, soda fountain and ice cream.


                             Photo: Rush Munro, Karangahape Road, Auckland, ca. 1920 (detail from original).
                             - Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A15977

Rush-Munro's Cabaret ("Auckland's first Cabaret") operated in conjunction with the cafeteria, upstairs, from the same address.

In 1924 Rush Munro was advertising lemon ice cream sold at a second shop at 281 Ponsonby Road. There may have been another outlet at Otahuhu, and in December 1925, Rush Munro announced the opening of a new confectionery shop in Queen St, to coincide with the completion of the Majestic Theatre.

However on 16 January 1926, the "Strollers" Jazz Club announced that "absolutely the last dance to be held at Rush Munro Cabaret" would take place that night, and on 26th and 28th January, Rush Munro's ice cream plant, soda fountain and "whole stock" was put up to auction at 181 Karangahape Rd. Another "Gigantic Auction Sale" held later that year referred to "Rush Munro in liquidation".

Frederick had re-married in 1922, and he and his new wife Catherine moved to the Hawke's Bay - perhaps he had over-stretched himself financially - legend has it that he only had £10 in his pocket when they opened a new shop, Munro's 'Garden of Sweets' in central Hastings on 26 May 1926.


                             Photo: Rush-Munro's first Hastings shop, ca. 1926.
                             - Rush Munro's.

Munro's premises were destroyed in the devastating 1931 Napier earthquake, but seventeen days later, they managed to re-open in a tent in an empty section near Stortford Lodge.

Around 1930 they moved the business to the current site at 704 Heretaunga Street West, the shop which eventually evolved into the famous Rush Munro's Ice Cream Gardens:


Photo: Rush Munro's Ice Cream parlour and garden, ca. 1930. Photographer Henry Norford Whitehead.
- National Library Reference Number: 1/1-004612-G


Interestingly, the photo shows that the ice cream was originally branded "Munro's Ice Cream".

Over the years the Ice Cream Gardens became a Hawke's Bay landmark and Kiwi family tradition, much-loved for its soda fountain and hand-made, batch-churned ice cream, scooped high in a peaked cone, or served in a dish with a silver spoon, in a range of natural, real fruit flavours.

Frederick Rush-Munro died in 1976.


Today Rush Munro's is privately owned and operated.



The company is still producing 100% natural ice cream made to Frederick's original real-fruit recipes, such as Passionfruit (above, photo courtesy of Rush Munro's NZ Ltd), Boysenberry and Feijoa, now available and enjoyed all around New Zealand.

And it’s still lovingly served at the iconic Ice Cream Gardens at 704 Heretaunga Street West, where you can choose from over 20 award-winning flavours.

www.rushmunro.co.nz




References and related sites:

Archives New Zealand:
http://archives.govt.nz/

Auckland Libraries

National Library

NZ Ice Cream Manufacturers Assn. archives.

Papers Past (National Library of New Zealand digitised newspapers database):
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/

Rush Munro's NZ Ltd
www.rushmunro.co.nz


BackBack to Ice Cream Brands from the Past.

Frederick C. Rush-Munro



           Frederick Charles Rush-Munro
                                1883 - 1976

Frederick Rush-Munro was born in London in 1883, son of confectioner Frederick Rush, and emigrated to New Zealand probably in the early 1900's.

He married his first wife Amy in Auckland in 1913, and had opened a Rush Munro confectionery shop at 161-163 Ponsonby Road by 1914.

By 1917, the year Amy died, the couple had had two children. The period of his wife's illness may have been difficult financially as Fred was advertising his services (from his wife's parents' address) to train prospective soda fountain owners and dispensers.

Fred also served as President of the Auckland Provincial Retail Confectioners' Association, and was involved in organising dances at the Orange Hall and Munro's Hall, Ponsonby.

In 1919, the business moved to 181 - 187 Karangahape Road. Rush-Munro's Cabaret ("Auckland's first Cabaret") and Conservatoire de Danse operated in conjunction with the cafeteria, hosting weddings, functions, music (jazz bands and the Coo Ee Jazz Club), dance classes and jazz dancing.

Frederick re-married in 1922, to Catherine.

The Karangahape Rd cafe hosted fortnightly lunch meetings of the Karangahape Business Men's Promotion League, and other business functions, up until November 1925.

The Rush Munro business went into liquidation at the end of 1925, and Frederick and Catherine moved to the Hawke's Bay - he is said to have had only £10 in his pocket when they opened a new Rush Munro in central Hastings on 26 May 1926.

After the premises were destroyed in the devastating 1931 earthquake, they moved the business to the current site at 704 Heretaunga Street West, the shop evolving into the famous Rush Munro's Ice Cream Gardens.


Photo: Rush Munro's Ice Cream parlour and garden, ca. 1930. (Detail). Photographer Henry Norford Whitehead.
National Library Reference Number: 1/1-004612-G

Frederick Rush-Munro died in 1976.


Help Us Tell the Story



If you can fill in any gaps in our history of Rush Munro's Ice Cream, please drop us a line:

info@nzicecream.org.nz

Copyright © The New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers Association (Inc.)
PO Box 9364, Wellington,
NEW ZEALAND.
Telephone +64 4 385 1410.
E-mail: info@nzicecream.org.nz
Design by FoodWorks