Expert helping hand for local food artisans
A handful of up and coming food businesses are set to reap the rewards of having expert advice at their fingertips as the inaugural winners of the Wellington Good Food Boost programme.
The programme, which began in Auckland, has been expanded to the capital thanks to a partnership between Wellington City Council, the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), Le Cordon Bleu and Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.
Four fledgling businesses, including Martinborough’s The Drunken Nanny, will take part in an eight-week programme receiving support and guidance from leading mentors to give their organisation a boost.
The panel consists of Shepherd Elliott, of Wellington’s Ti Kouka, Leeds Street Bakery and Shepherd restaurant fame, Kathryn Robinson from The Assignment Group, CommonSense Organics merchandise manager Teva Stewart and Richard Shirtcliffe from Coffee Supreme.
Winner Amanda Goodman and her husband Lindsey from Martinborough-based cheese maker The Drunken Nanny looked forward to growing operations with the guidance of their new mentors.
‘‘Having that support for small artisan food-growers is really important for us, especially when you’re in a situation like we are, on the farm, not necessarily having a lot of interaction with different people every day.’’
Goodman said she would happily drive down to Wellington to meet with the experts, whose brains she couldn’t wait to pick.
‘‘Food growers in New Zealand have ups and downs and it can be really challenging so to have someone willing to put their time and energy into supporting us is amazing.’’
SBN Wellington regional coordinator Laurie Foon was pleased to be involved with the programme and able to support the first batch of winners.
‘‘These businesses all tick the box as far as meeting our definition of a good food business by using locally sourced produce, being innovative, creative, sustainable, healthy, and culturally connected,’’ she said.
The four winners receive mentoring sessions in food and business development later this year, a strategy session with the FoodBowl or NZ Food Innovation Network’s FOODPILOT project.
The Drunken Nanny’s Frisky Feta.