Mentoring initiative supports food for thought

5 September 2018

Wellington City Council and The Sustainable Business Network are excited to announce the four winners of the 2018 Good Food Boost programme – giving fledgling food businesses the wings to fly.

Good Food Boost 2018 winners and mentors

L-R bottom: Shinee McIntyre (Half Baked Catering), Kelda Haines (Mentor), Nikki Van de Laar (Creative Cooking), Esther Lewis (Esther's). L-R top: Matt West (Mentor), Chris Baring (Wellington Honey) Teva Stewart (Mentor), Richard Shirtclliffe (Mentor)

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Businesses that deliver creative cooking, local honey, healthy crackers, and food that nurtures, were the four winners announced last night – all of which reflect the philosophy that inspired the initiative initially.

The winners were 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.

Mayor Justin Lester says supporting the local food market ticks all the boxes.

“Investing in the local food market is beneficial to the economy as it keeps money circulating around the region, an exciting and innovative food scene is attractive to locals and visitors alike, and let’s face it, the closer the source, the fresher and better the taste,” he says.

“It’s also important from a resilience point of view, as the fewer kilometres food travels, the smaller the footprint. We also know many of the region’s food producers, and the majority of them are conscious about sustainability and regenerative practices.”

The Sustainable Business Network initiative, run in partnership with Wellington City Council, offers the four winning applicants mentoring and business development support from some of the country’s most successful food business experts:

  • Matt West: Business director
  • Richard Shirtcliffe: Business transformer
  • Teva Stewart: Commonsense Organics
  • Kelda Hains: Established Wellington restaurateur (Rita)

The winners are:

  • Creative Cooking: Quality, handmade products created from scratch, including macarons and superseed crackers. Ingredients are sourced locally and from ethical suppliers.

  • Wellington Honey: Honey that can be traced back to local hives or apiaries. The bees collect nectar from local gardens and the extensive native bush surrounding the city.
  • Esther’s: A food production kitchen supplying local cafés and the community with nutritious sweet treats, savoury snacks and tasty seasonal condiments. Specialties include nut butters, pickles, jams and live sauerkraut.

  • Half Baked: Two Wellington sisters produce delicious, healthy sweet treats to suit alternative diets. They cater for vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free and refined sugar free.

They also receive a guided tour of the FoodPilot and FoodBowl through the NZ Food Innovation Network, and a one on one session on business growth from WREDA (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency).

The 2018 Wellington Good Food Boost was judged by Beth Barsh (Visa Wellington on a Plate); Matt Morrison (All Good/Karma Cola); Jo Madden (Food Innovation Network); and Amy Bird (Wellington City Council).

The judges said: “We acknowledge all the businesses that entered as being so brave, and they were all people who had already taken risks. It was a privilege to be able to hear their stories. It was a very difficult decision because all qualify and are an inspiring reflection of what is happening in the food community in Wellington.”

The Good Food Boost is supported by our event partner Le Cordon Bleu.