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Kapiti Food Fair 2018 serves 20,000+ visitors

06 December 2018

WOW …... what a day the Kapiti Food Fair experienced on Saturday the 1st of December with 20,379 visitors. The crowds arrived early and stayed throughout the day. “Our expectations have been exceeded and we're super pleased that closing at 4pm proved to be the right decision as we had many visitors still on-site at thattime,” said Fair owners Helene Judge and Jeanine van Kradenburg.

Visitors were a mixed crowd including many families which was excellent to see. The vibe around the Fair was humming with 3 entertainment zones including the Beach FM Stage, the ZEAL Busking Zone and the Coastella Tiny Town Studio. There was certainly much grooving going on while the kids were rocking at the 3 kids’ zones with Bouncy Monkeys, Adrenalin Laser and Colossal Circus.

“We think the continued growth of the fair confirms our belief that we are anchored as a major and sustainable Kapiti event,” Co-owner of the Kapiti Food Fair Helene Judge says. She goes on to say, “we are still in a significant phase of growth with the next 2-3 years being important to keep critiquing the business model of running the Fair. We are hopeful that we will be supported by the Kapiti Major Events Fund for another couple of years as that will definitely help us to super-charge what we are doing for the benefit of Kapiti as a visitor destination”.

The range of vendors at the Fair this year was vast and included an excellent range of packaged F&B products, other F&B related products and a range of ready to eat foods being prepared by dedicated vendors operating under gazebo or from a food truck. The choice available for visitors to browse, buy and tuck-in to delicious treats from 200+ vendors was amazing.

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Just some examples of what was on offer at the Fair this year: chocolates, sweets, fudges, turkish delight, licorice, toffee apples, jams, marmalade, jellies, relishes & pickles, pastes & syrups, sauces, dressings, vinegars, dips & spreads, pestos & salsas, dukkah & preserves.

Figs, peanut butter, nut butters, breads, baking & cupcakes, cheesecakes, donuts, macarons & pastries, wines, beers, champagne, cider, mead & ports, liqueurs, whiskey, gin & vodka, juices, cordials & soda, teas, coffee, chai & kombucha, olives & olive oils, nuts, salts, peppers, ice cream, popsicles, gelato & sorbet, koeksisters, popcorn & candyfloss, meats, pies, salami & sausages, cheeses, DIY kits, eel, smoked salmon, crab & fish.

Honey, health & balm products, microgreens, herbs, spices & rubs, rice & noodles, pizza bases, vegetable wraps, cracker bread, muesli, sprouts, fruits & veg, kitchenware, tupperware & gadgets, henna art, recipe books, plant holders, handcrafted utensils & holders, pottery, chopping boards, spice racks, notice boards, plates & platters, tagines, pet foods, pepper grinders, mortal & pestles, eco & reusable bags & packaging, edible gardens, free range eggs & egg boxes.

We were very happy with the Site Map this year as it included food codes for the ready to eat vendors operating under gazebo or from a food truck: dairy, gluten or sugar free, organic, raw-fresh, vegan or vegetarian so we truly believe there was something for everyone.

The Celebrity Chef, Brett McGregor was awesome to see in action as he was fun guy who is definitely talented in the kitchen. He genuinely engaged at a personal level with tickets holders at the Masterclass on Friday the 30th of November at Whitireia Kapiti Campus, and then again in the PartyPerfect Celebrity Kitchen at the Fair. Brett says, “it was a brilliant, amazing food fair, and well executed with loads of fantastic stalls, music and great people”. He was delighted to receive the invitation many months ago and to be in Kapiti for the occasion.

The Tuatara Bar hummed along all day serving local brews from their own collection, Duncan’s Brewing and North End Brewing. The wine served was from Clark Estate, a boutique Marlborough vineyard, cider from Wellington’s South Cider and delicious cocktails from another Fair sponsor, Koakoa.

The weather on the day was perfect with high cloud so many visitors were wearing their sunhats and slapping on sunscreen as they browsed and relaxed their way around the Fair. Many bought their picnic blanket which was great to see groups making the Fair their destination for the day.

The free Kapiti Kruzer bus service from Paraparaumu Station to the Reserve had good loadings on every circuit so visitors can be assured we will continue with this service in 2019.

With a growing Fair, additional services and infrastructure were needed like more seating, shade, porta-loos, on-site paramedics and free water. People noticed, and we will make decisions on more of this for 2019.

We are confident that our extensive regional marketing approach was acted upon by thousands so our philosophy of filling your life with good friends, good times and good food was enjoyed by everyone. Fair owners, Helene and Jeanine, were delighted to see so many happy people on the day making all the hard work behind the scenes seem justified.

Part of our success on the day was our massive 100+ volunteer crew from Kapiti Rotary, 49 Squadron Air Cadets, NZME, Waste Management and our own Fair crew. Huge planning leads any event like the Fair which means volunteers need to be well briefed and resourced, so they can perform their roles efficiently and with pride, while having fun on the day. “We are very thankful for the relationships we have built over time with our volunteer crew as without their efforts, the Fair would not be as successful as it is,” says Helene.

We were also complimented on our entertainment programming which included a variety of music genres from talented local performers, including ZEAL, The Biddys, Brasso, IRN Blues, Gypsies, The AJ Crawshaw Band, Michelle Scullion, Dreams Academy of Performing Arts DAPA, ForevAmore, Fernando Figueroa, Charlotte Kerrigan, Sam Manzanza, Brendon Mercer Music, Geof Culverwell, Ivy Angel, Devon Welch and the awesome Colossal Circus team of Zane, Degge, Imogen and others.

We sincerely thank every visitor, vendor, entertainer, sponsor, volunteer & crew for helping us to create a magic event.

The Fair has an online Visitor survey – if you attended please take 5-7 minutes of your time to let us know your views on how the Fair was for you. This information is important for debriefing and planning for 2019 and beyond >>

To view all photos from the Kapiti Food Fair follow us on Facebook, Instagram or go to our Website >>

Image Credit: Captured By Friday


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