Food entrepreneurs


Are you wanting to take your food business from starting out to stepping up? Are you ready to grow but running into challenges?

The Kitchen Project is committed to working with emerging food entrepreneurs who are committed to their community, whose business will improve access to healthy foods and improve the local foodscape. Here we outline the stages of our programme, who we are looking for and how you can apply.

Act now if you’re an interested entrepreneur in west Auckland – we are currently recruiting for our second cohort in Henderson. For our August 2018 intake, applications are currently open until Friday 10 August 2018.



Induction (6 weeks)

Our induction gives food entrepreneurs an overview of running a successful business. Topics will cover regulations, food safety, finance and fund sourcing, supply chain, quality, sustainability and health, and marketing.

You’ll be expected to commit nine hours a week for the duration of the induction.

By the end of the induction you will:

complete a food plan and business plan.

understand food regulations.

be familiar with commercial kitchens and equipment.

integrate sustainability, health, marketing, branding, and sales into your business plan.



Development programme (20 weeks)

Food entrepreneurs will receive one-on-one mentoring with industry experts while developing their food product in the kitchen.

 You’ll be expected to commit nine hours a week for the duration of the development programme.

By the end of this module you will:

start building your network with industry professionals.

 gain confidence in dealing with procurement, suppliers and distribution lines.

 be reaching your target market with your product, and increasing sales.

be tracking well against standard industry practice for food business.

have a solid foundation for your food business to succeed.

Upon completion of the programme we will continue to support businesses. We are committed to ensuring their ongoing sustainability and success.


Applications open: 29 June 2018 – 27 July 2018

Drop in sessions: Every Wednesday and Friday from 10am - 2pm, 1 July to 10 August

Induction begins: August 2018


who can apply?

The Kitchen Project is designed for emerging food entrepreneurs in the first year or two of business, with a food business that needs help and support to succeed.

Entrepreneurs will be focused on building their business locally and committed to healthy food processes and ingredients to improve the food culture of the community. We’ll also ask applicants to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable business practices.

An ideal business will be able to show a business plan and have been selling food products/service to a small and loyal customer base.

This pilot programme celebrates the diversity of Henderson and the surrounding west Auckland community, which is a vibrant place with people from different cultures, races and countries of origin.  The Kitchen Project is committed to reflecting the vibrancy of our community as we select our applicants.

We are currently looking for entrepreneurs in west Auckland – follow us on Facebook to be the first to know when we roll out the programme to other Auckland communities.

recruitment criteria

Food businesses will need to meet the following criteria:

Be business ready

  • Have a food business and a product or service that is legal and safe.
  • Be based in west Auckland and plan to operate in the area, with a commitment to growing the food culture of the community.
  • Be in a position to financially support your involvement in our programme.
  • You will enter a contract with the Kitchen Project that outlines programme expectations.
  • Have a commitment to:
    – the community (employees and staff)
    – environmental sustainability (production, packaging, processing, types of ingredients, and food waste) 
    – healthy food (ingredients and food processes).

Be personally ready       

  • Be willing to learn, and evolve the business, for commercial viability.
  • Be hardworking and dedicated and able to work with others in a shared learning and work space.
  • Be willing to share and be transparent about your business, including financial information.
  • Be able to attend 9 hours a week of programme time.
  • Have what it takes to grow and thrive in the food industry.

how much does it cost?

It is free to apply to the programme. If your application is successful, the programme will cost $50 a month.

Over the whole 26-week period the total cost for entrepreneurs will be $325 plus kitchen time. This does not include insurance or business registration and verification.

Your use of the commercial kitchen during the development programme will be charged at an hourly rate, reduced by half from commercial kitchen rates.

You will be responsible for all the costs your business occurs over and above this.

application steps

Applications for our August intake are now open! Don't miss out, apply now!