From Grapes to Gold

Innovation and the pioneering spirit are part of every New Zealander's DNA.

We are taught to admire the achievements of men and women who have made great sacrifices for the advancement of our nation, when in fact sometimes through some basic research, we can find these types of people in our own family.

 John Franich Jewellers, established for over 50 years in West Auckland have done exactly that, and have gone back through their family archives and chosen an inspiring ancestor by the name of Joseph Franich.

 Jozip Franic arrived in NZ in 1893 from Croatia, not speaking a word of English he immediately began working on the Gum Fields.

 He was a head strong individual, he learnt English and became a proficient writer and orator, championing the cause of the Croatian Gum diggers helping to establish benevolent organisations for the Dalmatian Community, and supporting the first Croatian/English newspaper in the early 1890s.

 His efforts to build bridges between the two communities and his generosity in assisting new settlers to better themselves in New Zealand earnt him the respect of the community, and he was a friend to many in need.

 Many early Croatian men sought lodgings in his boarding house in the city, where he set them up with employment.

 Not afraid to speak up, he famously challenged Premier Richard Seddon's views on foreign emigration in the press by defending the rights of Croatian Immigrants, and he built strong connections in the early Wine Industry in West Auckland.

 John Franich Jewellers take inspiration from Joseph's sense of entrepreneurial spirt. Our latest collection of jewellery is based on the colours of the grapes and the leaves. Like Joseph, we have made our home in West Auckland, selling jewellery to many of the customers whose grandparents purchased wine from the Franich family.

 Come and visit us, and be part of our story. 

Ovdje ste dobrodošli. You are welcome here.

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