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Former refugees treat Wellington to delicious new flavours

Former refugees treat Wellington to delicious new flavours

11 October 2016

Syrian, Afghani and Iranian food has hit the streets of Wellington with the launch of Pomegranate Kitchen, a social enterprise working to support former refugees into work.

Pomegranate Kitchen opened a pop-up lunch stall at Moore Wilson’s this week and the not-for-profit business is asking for help raising the rest of its start-up costs through a PledgeMe campaign.

Finding work is one of the most challenging aspects of resettling in a new country and Pomegranate Kitchen has worked closely with the Red Cross on its first intake of cooks.

“Pomegranate Kitchen’s business model is wonderfully synergistic. Wellingtonians can broaden their taste buds and, at the same time, help to improve the social and financial outcomes for former refugees who are now Wellington locals,” says Co-founder and General Manager, Rebecca Stewart.

Founded in 2016 by Rebecca Stewart and Ange Wither, the business combines a love of food with the desire to increase the job opportunities available to people with refugee backgrounds. The business has strong values, with people from refugee backgrounds involved at every level from management to writing menus and preparing dishes.

Judi McCallum, Red Cross Pathways to Employment Team Leader, says Pomegranate Kitchen is a fantastic initiative that is helping former refugees into employment.

“A number of our clients have completed initial health and safety training through us and have gone on to get experience in a working kitchen with Pomegranate Kitchen. It is a valuable community initiative that recognises the contribution former refugees can make to our community. We look forward to seeing more people fulfilling their ambitions through the project,” she said.

Pomegranate Kitchen lunches are available at the Moore Wilson’s pop-up everyday 11am to 3pm from Monday 10 October to Sunday 23 October 2016.

“People who have fled violence in other countries have so much to offer. New Zealanders may struggle to find meaningful ways to help, however buying food or pledging on Pomegranate Kitchen is an easy way to make a difference right here in your local community,” Rebecca Stewart said.

Information on Pomegranate Kitchen can be found at and its PledgeMe campaign at


Background information on Pomegranate Kitchen can be found at:

Meet the former refugee cooks:


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