A trio of budding local business people have been given the opportunity to expand thanks to a new initiative which encourages entrepreneurial spirit.
A new purpose-built facility to mentor and upskill food businesses, known as The Food Factory, officially opened its doors last Friday.
The factory is the brainchild of Pic’s Peanut Butter founder Pic Picot who started his global business at the Nelson Market.
“Nelson Tasman is a region with bountiful natural resources and creative entrepreneurs. We want to create a great, supportive learning environment to enable small businesses to capture all the region has to offer,” says Pic.
It consists of four commercial food-grade kitchens within the building, that also encompasses warehouse and chiller space, staff amenities, and a presentation kitchen.
As well as supporting each other, tenants of The Food Factory will also have the mentor support of an on-site business manager to help navigate the vagaries of the marketplace
“We want to provide a supportive learning environment to enable these small enterprises to grow and set up their own premises and create jobs,” says The Food Factory manager Brian Olorenshaw.
Lucy Maxwell of local organic food delivery business Fresh2U says she has been at the Food Factory for “three wonderful weeks”.
Prior to the move, Lucy was operating for eight years in a cramped old shed on a farm,
with broken windows, muddy surrounds, occasional floods, and no easily accessible toilet.
“To go from that to this amazing facility, it’s such a fantastic progression.”
She says she is now able to supply more customers with the extra space and allow easy access for couriers to deliver her product.
“I can also welcome customers in with pride and market with confidence.”
Lucy says it’s a win for not only her business, but also the region and its natural resources.