Mentoring programme fruitful for food businesses

17 July 2018

Entries are now open for the second year of The Good Food Boost in Wellington – giving start-up foodie businesses the chance to apply for an exciting mentoring programme in the capital.

Good Food Boost

The winners are selected for their potential to successfully promote ‘good food’ across the region – including a focus on healthy, nutritious food that contributes to local economies, reduces waste, and helps protect and restore the environment. 

The Council initiative, run in partnership with The Sustainable Business Network (SBN), offers the four winning applicants mentoring support from some of the country’s most successful food business experts.

Mayor Justin Lester hopes this year’s programme is as successful as 2017. 

“We’re proud to be supporters of this programme, which contributes to Wellington’s reputation as the foodie capital. It supports our culinary up and comers and entrepreneurs as it promotes innovation, sustainability, creativity, and diversity – all of which will boost the capital’s economy, multi-cultural scene, appeal to locals and visitors, and have a positive impact on the environment,” he says. 

Laurie Foon, SBN Wellington Regional Manager, adds: “We are helping the next generation of successful Kiwi food businesses to be all about good food. Every meal in New Zealand should feature food that is good for the people, our society and our natural environment.” 

Applications are open from Tuesday 17 July until 5pm Tuesday 21 August, with winners announced on Tuesday 4 September.

Winners receive four mentoring sessions from experts in food and business, including Kelda Hains (established Wellington restauranteur), Teva Stewart (Commonsense Organics), Richard Shirtcliffe (formerly CEO of Tuatara Brewing and Coffee Supreme) and Matt West (Business Director at EightyOne). 

Winners will also receive a strategy session with the FoodBowl or NZ Food Innovation Network’s FOODPILOT project, and a one on one business development session with the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

An experienced line-up of judges including Amy Bird (Wellington City Council), Beth Brash (Visa Wellington on a Plate), Jo Madden (NZ Food Innovation Network) and Matt Morrison (All Good Organics and Karma Cola) will assess the applicants on a range of criteria covering everything from taste to traceability. 

Judge and Council Community Resilience Advisor, Amy Bird says: “Food is of fundamental importance to the health and prosperity of our city. The Good Food Boost supports this with its positive emphasis on growing food resilience and encouraging sustainable food production.” 

Comments from previous winners:
Rebecca Stewart from Pomegranate Kitchen: 
“The mentors brought great industry knowledge and really helped us in our thinking. The networks we have made and relationships built have been invaluable.”

Baker Gramercy: 
“The Good Food Boost provided great platform to link in with other like-minded individuals facing similar issues in growing their businesses. Drawing on the experiences and knowledge of mentors allowed me to develop strategy and build structure throughout our business. It provided the time and resource to focus on strategy, something we all found beneficial.”