Unison Powering Rotorua Business Growth
Unison Powering Rotorua Business Growth
25 September 2013 – Local Rotorua businesses are benefiting, thanks to the exposure provided by the Unison Networks’ sponsored Rotorua Night Market.
The Rotorua Night Market, which held its third birthday in March this year, has provided a platform for small businesses to showcase their products, as well as helping charitable groups raise funds to support the local community.
“When the Rotorua District Council first approached Unison to sponsor the Night Market, we saw a great opportunity to support Council’s vision of revitalising the inner city. We also saw an opportunity to help the region grow at a community level,” said Unison Group Chief Executive Officer Ken Sutherland.
Rotorua Night Market Manager, Brigitte Nelson said that in addition to enriching the inner city for both locals and tourists, the Night market provided economic development opportunities.
“The Night Market offers a chance for local businesses to showcase their products and gain the exposure required to achieve growth. Because the profits remain in Rotorua, their success further boosts the local economy.”
There have been numerous success stories emerging from stallholders.
“We have been at the market since the beginning, and as the market has grown so have we,” said Siobain Higgins of Mistress of Cakes.
“When we first started selling at the market we were cooking once a week at Lynmore Primary School. This year saw us move into our second commercial kitchen having out grown the first, and we also opened our second retail premise. We have a great wholesale side to our business as well, and all our wholesale customers found us through our stall at the market.”
“Our customers from the market have been incredibly loyal and supportive in all our new ventures. The market has been the best launching pad.”
Neil and Melanie Macarthur have seen their business Cornish Pasties Ltd thrive since joining the market when it first began.
Foodstuffs Auckland and Wellington now offer Cornish Pasties through Pak n Save and New World supermarkets throughout the North Island.
“Initially we were selling around 100 pasties or so per week through Foodstuffs, and now we have reached over 2000 pasties per week and that number is still growing,” said Mr Macarthur.
“The roots of the business lie within markets, and to move on to the heights of supplying major supermarkets would not have been possible without the hustle and bustle and vibrancy of markets like the Rotorua Night Market.”
For Alex Burge, owner of Ciabatta Bakery, it is the personal interaction offered by the market that has helped grow his business.
“We appreciate the personal touch that is made possible in the Night Market setting – it enables a unique connection between the producer and the consumer, as they have the opportunities to ask us questions about our product, taste samples and so on.”
It is not just local food producers benefiting from the Night Market – New Zealand’s Got Talent top-16 performer Kylee Waaka and Smokefree Rockquest finalists ‘A Bit Nigel’ both built confidence through regular performances at the market.
The Rotorua Lakes Coastguard and Lake Tarawera Playcentre are among hundreds of community groups to have raised essential funds through the Night Market, and a recent ‘Spirit of Giving’ event encouraged donations of non-perishable food items, blankets and clothing for The Salvation Army.
“The Rotorua community was wonderful in their involvement, with the stall holders putting amazing effort into the event and the locals and visitors donating items on the night,” said a spokesperson for The Salvation Army.
“The Rotorua community is very blessed to have such strong support from the Rotorua District Council, Unison, and businesses in the local area who all contributed to make the ‘Spirit of Giving’ event at the Rotorua Night Market such a great success.”