who should apply

Are you an emerging food entrepreneur in your first or second of business? Do you need support to take your offering to the next level? Then read on.

The Kitchen Project is looking for entrepreneurs who are focused on building their business locally and are committed to healthy food processes and ingredients to improve access to healthy foods in the community. We also want candidates who are committed 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.

The programme offers a mix of classroom and hands-on experience through our commercial kitchen space available to rent on site as well as access to business experts and mentors with established careers in the food and beverage industries.

Participants must be willing to commit nine hours per week for the duration of the programme.

We are based at 4 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson, so applicants to the programme will need to ensure they can reach us.


Selection criteria

Food entrepreneurs 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, such as the hours you will be expected to commit and a publicity agreement.
  • Be committed to:
    – The community (your employees and staff).
    – Environmental sustainability (production, packaging, processing, types of ingredients and food waste).
    – Healthy food (your ingredients and food processes).

Be personally ready       

  • Be willing to learn and evolve the business to become commercially viable.
  • Be hardworking, 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 nine hours of programme time each week.
  • 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 a 26-week period the total cost for food entrepreneurs is $325 plus kitchen time. This does not include insurance or business registration and verification.

Use of our 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.