Created by Nicky White in Clevedon, The Larder Project produces wholesome, handmade snacks with no refined sugar, wheat products, preservatives, additives, trans fats, colouring or numbers. In 2016, the business was awarded a Highly Commended at the NZ Food Awards in the Artisan category. We ask Nicky to tell us all about her project.

What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“We first started out as a company providing made-to-order lunchbox snacks, The Big Lunchbox Revolution. With a real food philosophy, we delivered nutritious ready-made lunchbox eats into homes – sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, preservative-free, packaging-free.
The addition of a “DIY” version of our range saw further product development. Our Sesame and Linseed Bread Mix was developed and introduced in October 2015 and very quickly became a star, then other flavour combinations followed and were also well received. Our bread mixes (gluten, grain and dairy-free) gained popularity very quickly and it soon became apparent that we could build a business on them alone – a rebrand followed and The Larder Project was born.”

What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“We’ve decided to launch into retail with our two savoury bread mixes – Sesame & Linseed and Walnut & Pumpkin Seed. We also trade both online and weekly at The Clevedon Farmer’s Market, where we also sell two fruit bread mixes – Sunflower Seed & Raisin and Date & Walnut, a Coconut Porridge and a Cracker Mix. Our range is all gluten, grain and dairy-free; paleo-friendly.
The baked result of our bread mix is a moist, flavoursome loaf that can be enjoyed as sandwich bread or toasted. It offers the texture and flavour of other wheat based breads, qualities that are often lacking in many gluten-free options – qualities that many gluten-free/coeliac sufferers miss.”

Has there been any recent company news?
“Our most exciting and recent news is that we are now ready to start trading in a true retail sense and we are thrilled to have been accepted by Farro Fresh with our Sesame & Linseed and our Walnut & Pumpkin Seed bread mixes. It’s an incredible starting point.”

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We’re really keen to establish a strong presence in the retail sector and when the time is right we will release our other variants/products.”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Farro Fresh, Clevedon Farmer’s Market, and Wild Earth Organics, in Tauranga. We’d love to grow this list when the time is right – we’ve got our sights on an outcome of successful and far reaching distribution – the sky’s the limit!”

Did you expect to win a prize at the NZ Food Awards? How do you think it will affect your business strategy?
“We were thrilled to be acknowledged with a Highly Commended at the Food Awards. We’ve worked so hard, the validation that comes with the award is something really encouraging. We’ll remain focused on our plan but with a little extra confidence that comes from knowing that our product has what it takes to impress.”