Download The Wellington App for more stories like this.

Four fledgling food businesses boosted

Four local food businesses, all with a sweet but healthy angle, were last week’s winners of the 2018 Good Food Boost mentoring initiative programme.

The winners – Creative Cooking, Wellington Honey, Esther’s and Half Baked – were selected for their potential to successfully promote healthy, nutritious food that contributes to local economies, reduces waste, and helps protect and restore the environment. The Good Food Boost is supported by the Wellington City Council and The Sustainable Business Network, in association with event partner Le Cordon Bleu.

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

Creative Cooking, an artisan bakery based in Lower Hutt, creates quality, handmade patisserie products from scratch, including macarons and superseed crackers, using locally sourced ingredients from ethical suppliers.

Island Bay urban beekeepers and honey producers Wellington Honey trace their supply back to local hives or apiaries, where the bees collect nectar from local gardens and extensive native bush.

Esther’s is a food production kitchen supplying local cafés and the community with nutritious sweet treats, savoury snacks and tasty seasonal condiments, including specialty nut butters, pickles, jams and live sauerkraut.

Wellington sisters Zara and Shinee Mcintyre operate as Half Bakedproducing, healthy sweet treats catering for vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free and refined sugar free diets.

Mayor Justin Lester says 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.

“It’s also important from a resilience point of view, as the fewer kilometres food travels, the smaller the footprint.”

The Sustainable Business Network initiative offers the winners mentoring and business development support from business director Matt West, business transformer Richard Shirtcliffe, Teva Stewart of Commonsense Organics, and restaurateur Kelda Hains (of Rita).

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 Brash from Visa Wellington on a Plate, Matt Morrison of All Good and Karma Cola, Jo Madden of the Food Innovation Network and Amy Bird representing Wellington City Council.

Read earlier story: Good food gets a boost for a second year