Wellington Good Food Boost

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

The Wellington Good Food Boost is a free eight-week mentoring programme that supports 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 businesses will win the opportunity to work with industry specialists who will provide support and guidance to give their good food business a boost. The Good Food Boost is free to enter!

This is what we are looking for:

  • A product or service that’s just starting out or is 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 near, Wellington.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Wellington Good Food Boost:

Cheap Kai: a website, with a mobile app under development, uses crowdsourced data to find incredible food deals around Wellington. Users can join this digital community to compare prices and store locations, and upload their own bargain discoveries.

Kōkihi: an urban farm growing microgreens, edible flowers and garden produce in the city. They also host workshops on food foraging and mushroom growing.

Kavita’s Kitchen: Kavita creates plant-based curry pastes using her grandma’s traditional recipes. Her products are intended to make life easier for busy people.

Terra Nut Cheese: makes vegan cream cheeses of cashews and dairy-free probiotics. Without trying to imitate dairy, Terra Nut Cheese is minimally processed, made from organic whole foods, and doesn’t come wrapped in plastic like many other cheeses.

What has the Good Food Boost enabled previous winners to achieve?

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 now see things in a different light and am 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!”

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. Teva is also one of Good Food Boost mentors.


Bobby Lloyd – Co-founder of Reusabowl and Sustainability Consultant

Bobby is super interested in opportunities that lie in the circular economy. He strongly believes that by designing out waste and building sustainability throughout the food supply chain we can achieve greater social and environmental outcomes for Aotearoa and build resilience in the hospitality sector. 

Bobby has worked with some of NZ’s top innovators in the food and beverage industry, including Pickle and Pie, Parrotdog and Otis Oat Milk. His company Reusabowl is developing reusable packaging for takeaway food that is being piloted in Wellington this winter.

Bobby Lloyd

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 Laurie Foon – Wellington City Council:

Laurie is committed to supporting and sharing knowledge with any businesses wanting to balance its impact on communities and the environment. Up until last year she was Wellington Manager for the Sustainable Business Network. She is now a councillor on the Wellington City Council and is a strong advocate of working together to achieve a zero carbon and zero waste future. Her vision is for Wellington to be the ‘coolest little sustainable capital in the world’. Laurie can get pretty obsessive about growing a regular supply of lettuce and tomatoes.


Nicky Solomon – Business Development Manager, Food Innovation Network:

Nicky is a Business Development Manager for the New Zealand Food Innovation Network, supporting businesses in the lower North Island. Nicky is experienced in food product development and innovation strategy, having held a variety of roles with food companies in the course of her career. She holds a PhD in Food Science, an honours degree in chemistry, and is passionate about food, both professionally, and as an avid consumer! “This is a stressful and yet 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 in the Mentor section)


As well as eight weeks mentoring, Wellington NZ offers the winners of the Good Food Boost 2020 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 2020 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.

For further information please contact:

Holly Norton, Sustainable Business Network, hollynorton@sustainable.org.nz, 027 774 6559.

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