Wellington Good Food Boost

The Sustainable Business Network has partnered with Wellington City Council to bring you the 2019 Wellington Good Food Boost, a mentoring programme for Wellington’s fledgling Good Food businesses.

Applications are now open for the Wellington Good Food Boost 2019!

The Wellington Good Food Boost is a free eight-week mentoring programme that supports fledgling businesses working towards improving NZ’s food systems. This may be through focusing on local, seasonal or organic produce, or incorporating social and environmental good into their business model.

Four winning businesses win the opportunity to work with industry specialists who will provide support and guidance to give their good food business a boost.

We are now taking applications here.

Entries close at midnight on 28 August 2019.

This is what we are looking for:

  • A product or service that’s just starting out and is (or contributes to) local, seasonal, healthy, tasty, culturally connected or organic – and made by you.
  • A vision for the future of your business and New Zealand food.
  • Commitment and time!
  • A base in or around the Greater Wellington region

The Good Food Boost is free to enter!

Last year’s winner testimonials:

Creative Cooking: “This mentoring program was fantastic to be involved in, it helped me to focus the business and gave me confidence to set goals and achieve them. It was a brilliant team experience between all four businesses and mentors, learning and supporting each other.”

Esthers: “The Good Food Boost was invaluable to me and my business. I learnt what important aspects of the business I needed to concentrate on, made good connections with other producers and had a space where I could discuss issues and problems. I know see things in a different light and are so grateful for the opportunity!”

Half Baked: “The Good Food Boost was such an awesome experience! It helped our business to grow and move forward in so many ways, also it was really cool getting to know Laurie, all of the mentors and other small business owners, we would definitely recommend it.”

Wellington Honey: “This programme was incredibly beneficial for my small business. It really makes you look at your business from the inside out as well as connecting you to a myriad of insightful people. Your business will become a better oiled machine after going through this programme!”

As a result of last year’s Good Food Boost, all winners are now stocked by Commonsense!

We are taking applications here.

Meet our mentors:

Matt Morrison- Co-Founder of All Good and Karma Cola

Matt’s been part of a range of sustainable business initiatives since 2008.  Prior to this, he was a Senior Analyst at the Treasury and an officer in the NZ Army.  Matt is a co-founder and GM of All Good Bananas and a co-founder of Karma Cola.  Matt is also involved with Clean Planet and the Wellington Chocolate Factory.

Kelda Hains – Restaurateur for Rita

After studying hospitality management, Kelda returned to her first love, the kitchen, and has worked in Wellington restaurants and cafes ever since. Her priority has always been working with local and organic growers with a focus on super-seasonal ingredients. These two principles make for good food in every sense of the word. Alongside her business partner Paul Schrader, she applied these principles at Nikau Café, which has become an important part of the fabric of central Wellington.

In her new restaurant Rita, her team makes a new three-course menu every day, encouraging collaborative and flexible ways of working together. Rita’s set menu format means diners have a unique, shared experience every night and more so this enables the cooks to choose local and sustainable ingredients while embracing principles of reducing food waste.

After more than 20 years of owning her own business, Kelda understands the demands of small business and the need to design a business model that suits the needs of stakeholders.

Teva Stewart – Merchandise Manager, Commonsense

Commonsense has been providing Wellington with quality organic & ethically produced food and groceries for over 25 years. Teva Stewart leads their merchandise team with passion and high energy and offers global experience in artisan retailing.  He has been with Commonsense since arriving in New Zealand from Scotland in 2006.

His strong environmental focus ensures that sustainability is at the forefront when considering which products Commonsense will stock, and he always strives for a win-win outcome for people and the planet. When he’s not selling good food, Teva enjoys cooking, especially for his wife and two kids.

Matt West – Partner & Business Director at EightyOne

Is a serial entrepreneur having started a number of successful companies including; EightyOne (creative agency), TSA, who holds the import license for Nike Football gear, DOT loves data, Ultra Football (Australia), Allsorts, Octave (digital agency) and is involved in Sacred Spring (gin).  Matt is a marketer by trade, having worked for Saatchi & Saatchi in NZ, then in Hong Kong leading the Adidas account for Asia Pacific, prior to moving back to NZ to embark on his entrepreneurial career.

Meet our judges:

Beth Brash – Visa Wellington on a Plate

Beth knows good food. As the Programme Manager of Visa Wellington On a Plate she works with local restaurants and suppliers to showcase the best the region has to offer. This love of food extends beyond what tastes good, from her previous role in marketing at Peoples Coffee, she knows that food and beverage always taste better when you know it’s from ethical, sustainable and reputable sources. And that at its very core, good food is about good people.

Councillor Nicola Young – Wellington City Council:

Nicola is a life-long and adventurous foodie who loves exploring ethnic cooking and new tastes. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and  – in her former life as a writer – wrote extensively about food and dining rituals. As a central city resident, she makes the most of Wellington’s diverse range of restaurants and cafés. Nicola has grown her own herbs since she was a teenager; more recently she’s grown beans and attempted to raise passionfruit.

Nicky Solomon – Business Development Manager, Food Innovation Network:

Nicky has recently begun working for the New Zealand Food Innovation Network as the Business Development Manager for the lower North Island.  Nicky is experienced in food product development and innovation strategy, having held a variety of roles with Fonterra, and most recently working for Corson Grain in innovation and product development.  She holds a PhD in Food Science, an honours degree in Chemistry, and is passionate about food, both professionally, and as an avid consumer! “I think that it’s a super-exciting time for the food industry, with many of the big threats and opportunities that the world faces being related to food production and consumption. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help support and develop New Zealand food businesses”, she says.  “Being part of the Good Food Boost completely aligns with my professional and personal passions, and I am so excited to be involved, as are my colleagues in the Food Innovation Network.”

Teva Stewart – Merchandise Manager, Commonsense (see bio above)

We are taking applications here.


As well as eight weeks mentoring, Wellington NZ ( new brand name) will offer the winners of the Good Food Boost 2019 one on one mentoring session about business growth.

The New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) is an accessible, national network of science and technology resources created to support the growth and development of New Zealand food & beverage business of all sizes or providing facilities and the expertise needed to develop new products and process from idea to commercial success. NZFIN would like to offer the winners of the Good Food Boost 2019 the opportunity to come and visit both the FoodPilot and the FoodBowl for a guided tour of the facilities and a 1 hour session to be used to best service the needs of the winner; this could include further discussions of equipment, R&D strategy session etc.

Key Dates:

Launch Date: 24/25 July 2019

Event to launch the Good Food Boost: 30 July 2019 at EightyOne

Entries Closing Date: 28 August 2019

Pre-Judging: 29 August 2019

Final Judging and winners announced: 5th September 2019

For further information please contact:

Laurie Foon, Sustainable Business Network, laurie@sustainable.org.nz, 021 741 515.

The Good Food Boost is part of the Sustainable Food Initiative by the Wellington City Council. It’s all about strengthening council and community efforts to increase food sustainability and resilience in Wellington.

Supported by

Wellington City Council