Ex­pert help­ing hand for lo­cal food ar­ti­sans

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - RUBY MACANDREW

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.

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