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Good food gets a boost for a second year [UPDATED]

Entries close tomorrow for The Good Food Boost, which gives Wellington start-up food businesses the chance to apply for a six-week mentoring programme.

Photo of pomegranates by Nathalie Jolie on Unsplash

Applications are open until 5:00pm on Tuesday 21 August for businesses with the 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 Wellington City Council initiative, run in partnership with the Sustainable Business Network, offers the four winning applicants mentoring support and strategy sessions.

“We are helping the next generation of successful Kiwi food businesses to be all about good food., says Laurie Foon, Wellington Regional Manager for the Sustainable Business Network.

“Every meal in New Zealand should feature food that is good for the people, our society and our natural environment.”

The mentoring sessions are run by experts in food and business, including Wellington restaurateur Kelda Hains, Teva Stewart of Commonsense Organics, business director Matt West from EightyOne, and Richard Shirtcliffe, former CEO of Tuatara Brewing and Coffee Supreme.

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.

“The mentors brought great industry knowledge and really helped us in our thinking,” said Rebecca Stewart from Pomegranate Kitchen, one of last year’s winners.

“The networks we have made and relationships built have been invaluable.”

Pomegranate Kitchen is a not-for-profit social enterprise with strong values at the heart of the food they serve. They offer catering services and deliver meals prepared by former refugees to central Wellington workplaces.

Since last year’s Good Food Boost, they have moved into new premises and this week announced a partnership with the Mojo Coffee group, with their honey-soaked chopped-nut baklava on sale at Mojo’s Aurora and Featherston Street cafes. And anyone who books catering with Pomegranate Kitchen for group lunch or morning tea meetings during the month of July and August will receive a Mojo coffee.

Other 2017 recipients included The Drunken Nanny, makers of soft goats cheeses farmed in the Wairarapa, Baker Gramercy, makers of handcrafted fermented breads and artisan pastries, and Ritual Tea, who hand-blend a range of local, organic and Fairtrade leaf teas.

An experienced line-up of judges from the Council, Visa Wellington on a Plate, the NZ Food Innovation Network and All Good Organics will assess the 2018 applicants on a range of criteria covering everything from taste to traceability.

More details and a link to the application form for the Good Food Boost can be found  here.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 4 September.