Good Food Boost.

Get your fledgling food business off the ground with mentoring and support from some of the industry's best.


Calling all foodies! If you’re starting out on your journey to make a good food business, this is the chance to get training, guidance and ideas. Boost your business and make it a success with support from some of the industry's best.

The Sustainable Business Network and ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) will help four fledgling food businesses get a good start.

Entries have now closed

Four businesses will win:

  • Mentoring sessions from experts in food and business
  • Strategy session with the FoodBowl
  • Attendance at Good Food Nation workshop on how to pitch your company as a good food business
  • Business and sustainability advice from the Sustainable Business Network.

Weekly mentoring in February and March will give you tips and inspiration on how to develop a tasty product that looks good, sells well and endures the test of time. Financial support and advice are not included.

Winners last year said:

The Good Food Boost programme helped us a lot as a new business. It forced us to face up to decisions early on and really think about our direction. The mentors were really easy to talk to and have ongoing relationships with.

It was with great delight I found out I was accepted into the Good Food Boost mentoring programme. However it exceeded any expectations I had about what the course would entail. I learned so much about my business, myself, my product and I learned from the mentors and Emily from Sustainable Business Network. Never, ever, ever give up!”

The mentor programme allowed us to define what the key areas of our business are, focus on the areas where we needed guidance and move forward with achieving those goals. The insight from the mentors and the passion that they showed us was inspirational. The experience brought us to a new level in such a short time.”

This year’s mentors are:

paul johnston v2

Paul Johnston, Life Health Foods

Paul has a wealth of food industry experience in manufacturing and the grocery supply chain, especially for plant-based foods that meet consumers’ needs for foods that are healthy, tasty, nutritional and readily available. Founding Bean Supreme in a vegetarian/health food vacuum with his brother in 1984, he has championed Soy products with a string of innovative products and awards. In 2006 he brokered a deal with the newly formed Life Health Foods, to buy both Bean Supreme and Naked Organics and has since helped quadruple the volumes of these brands along with Lisa’s Hummus, where today all three brands are clear category leaders. Paul is passionate about sustainable values-driven businesses and building relationships based on trust, opportunity, education, integrity and personal responsibility.



Michael Van de Elzen, award-winning chef

Chef Michael de Elzen has worked at landmark restaurants including Kermadec and Hammerheads in Auckland and London’s acclaimed Bluebird and Bank. Here he provided catering for some of London’s top earners and A-list celebrities. After his return to New Zealand he opened the award-winning Molten restaurant, Liquid Molten wine bar and Boy and Bird restaurant, which focuses on healthy eating choices. Michael has starred in the popular television shows Food Truck, Family Recipes and Kiwi Living. In 2012 he was inducted into the New Zealand Hospitality Hall of Fame.


MARTIN YEOMAN - Advertising, branding, marketing

Martin is a Director and Managing Partner of Assignment Group where he leads a team of strategic and creative experts. Assignment Group works with the likes of Z Energy, Kiwibank and NZ Story as well as food businesses including Griffin’s, Sanitarium, Fonterra and Whittaker’s. Martin’s background is strategic planning and he has previously held strategic leadership roles at Publicis Mojo and Saatchi & Saatchi. While being based in New Zealand for the last 10 years, he has also been involved with a great deal of international work, for example for the Coca-Cola Company, Cadbury and Nestle. Martin has been involved in the creation of several major food brands including Steinlager Pure, MacKenzie High Country Bread and Lewis Road Creamery as well major launches for Griffin’s, Whittaker’s, and Charlie’s.



Kim Evans, Little and Friday

Kim Evans is the creative behind the Little and Friday cafés and bakery in Auckland. A sculptor by training, she is a self-taught cook who opened her first café, Ice It, in Devonport some years ago. She then started selling home-baked goodies at the Takapuna Market. The demand quickly grew to the point that she needed a commercial-sized kitchen, which she sited in a disused shop in Belmont. She wasn't open to the public, but people would tap on the window at all hours wanting to buy her delicious cakes, loaves and pies, so she added a shop counter and opened first one, then two, then four days a week. Now she has four shops open seven days a week and employs 70 staff with a never-ending stream of adoring customers.


Pete Ooooby

Pete Russell –Ooooby

Pete Russell is the founder and CEO of Ooooby – an online trading platform for local and small-scale food.  Pete is driven by a vision of a real food renaissance and believes that small-scale food is a big part of the solution.

With over 14 years of running food enterprises across manufacturing, wholesale, distribution and retail, Pete brings a wide range of industry experience to the table.

To enter you’ll need:

  • A food product that’s just starting out and is local, seasonal, healthy, tasty, culturally connected or organic – and made by you
  • Clear goals and vision for the future of your business and the future of New Zealand food
  • Commitment to attend weekly mentoring sessions in February and March 2017, which will take place at The Cloud in Auckland.

The judges are looking to support emerging food businesses that have the potential to shape the future of good food in New Zealand.

By ‘good food’ we mean considering more than just your bottom line of profits. It’s thinking about where food comes from, how it’s grown and made and where it goes: to the consumer and if it’s going to be food waste.

So, get your business strategy ready and apply online for a chance to win a boost for your good food business!


Entries close on 25 January 2017 and are open to all starting-out food businesses.  Entrants from previous years are encouraged to reapply, but winners from 2015 and 2016 cannot re-enter the competition.

Entries have now closed

For further details contact Emily King. Email:

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