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Kapiti Food Fair wraps after serving a crowd of 22,064

04 December 2019

The Kapiti Food Fair turned on an amazing day for 22,000+ visitors on Saturday 30 November. The weather was perfect, and the vibe was one of happiness as visitors shopped, ate, drunk and were entertained by Celebrity Guest, Nicky Sinden ‘The Fishing Chick’, local demo chefs and performers on two stages.

“We are super pleased with how the day went off and our expectations have been met,” said Fair owners Helene Judge and Jeanine van Kradenburg. They go to say, “many hours of work go in to planning and executing the Kapiti Food Fair so knowing our marketing tactics spoke to the people and they came is a huge relief.” The crowd were dedicated foodies and it was excellent to see many families and plenty of crowd friendly pooches on lead. The Beach FM and ZEAL stages’, the Kids Zone run by Kapiti Castles and the Tuatara Bar were grooving with visitors all day.

This year the Site Map grew from 211 vendors to 254 which meant a much larger footprint to accommodate everyone. Careful planning goes in to bringing the Site Map together and we made the decision to produce a visitor map that was bigger, informative and using our new bright colour palette.

The range of vendors was vast, so we identified Kapiti-based vendors as they made-up 35% of sites and we added food coding for ready to eat vendors. 57% of vendors were packaged food and beverage products and 43% were ready to eat foods being lovingly prepared by vendors operating under gazebo or from a food truck. We are confident there was something for everyone and so very grateful that vendors came from all over New Zealand to be at the Kapiti Food Fair. They came from as far south as Wanaka and from the north to Waiheke Island.

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The Liquor Zone also grew in size this year and it did not disappoint visitors with craft beers, distilleries, liquors, ports, wines and cider. Near to this zone was the Italian Zone organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce based in Wellington which was a real hit with visitors.

Our minds are now turning to wrapping the Fair and starting the work to deliver the 2020 Fair. Part of the wrap includes gathering the statistics and having them analysed by an events economic barometer to determine the return on investment to the Kapiti Major Events Fund. “Last year we returned $16 for every $1 given to the Fair from the Fund. We anticipate that to be a little higher this year with increased visitors from 2018 and more visitors from outside of the Kapiti District. We have another two years of funding pending from the Fund which needs careful management, so we firmly anchor as a sustainable event for many years to come,” says Helene.

New to the Fair this year was a full programme of foodie demonstrations in the PartyPerfect Celebrity Guest Demo Kitchen. It got underway with Nicky Sinden, host of the Prime TV show ‘TradeZone Addicted to Fishing’. Nicky was truly inspirational with her story in a male dominated industry and she made us laugh and visualise at the same time – she is big on goals and being flexible on how to achieve them. Her talk and fish taco demonstration were enjoyed by many visitors.

While Nicky was in Kapiti she was hosted aboard the new Coastguard Kapiti Coast boat for a tour that navigated the Kapiti Marine Reserve, observed Kapiti Island and heard about local Maori legends including the mighty Te Rauparaha and his famous ka mate ka mate haka as narrated by local legend, Karl Webber. Nicky has told us she will be returning to Kapiti with her film crew so keep an eye out for that show hopefully in 2020.

Following Nicky, we hosted other local chefs who created their hero dishes for visitors to learn and enjoy. Jeanine said, “the programme included Marcus Quarterman of PartyPerfect Catering, Michele Passarello of Passo Pizza Pasta Caffe, Theo Marais of the South African Pantry, Fair Sponsor BCE Catering Equipment, Neil Thomson talking on-trend kitchen utensils and Lani Evans from the Cheese Cartel with a cheese appreciation talk.”

Thanks to Ross McDermott of AudioSuite and MC Corran Crispe, the Beach FM Stage rocked all day with 70s+ covers from Rough Copy; Peyton Morete, singer and songwriter of soft indie rock/pop; Brasso jazz big band; Sam Manzanza, an African drummer; hip hop, soul and funk by Devon Welch; more funk, soul, jazz and classic rock from Queen Fox, and wrapped by Tu Tilley with their funky reggae beats.

The team from ZEAL set-up their awesome new trailer stage and hosted young jazz musicians Look Both Ways; NRJ Trio of jazz, blues, jive, soul and pop; followed by Geoff Culverwell jazz duo; the young heavy metal boy band Thorn; Latin extraordinaire Fernando Figueroa; rhythmic dance by DAPA; folk, rock and blues by The Tarps, and wrapped up by rock n roll, blues and modern rock by The Deadbeat Dads.

The Tuatara Bar was jammed all day serving local brews from their own collection and Duncan’s Brewing, wine from Johner Estate, a boutique vineyard from Gladstone, cider from Wellington’s South Cider and The Bond Store Gin Fizz and Koakoa Limoncello Mule cocktails from another Fair Sponsor, Koakoa Limoncello.

The weather on the day was perfect and it was great to see visitors wearing sunhats of all shapes and sizes and slapping on sunscreen and drinking lots of water freely provided from The Hits Info Hub and Kapiti Pure Water. Shading and seating increased this year for the comfort of visitors, and many bought their picnic blanket, so the Fair became their destination of choice for the day.

The free Kapiti Kruzer bus service from Paraparaumu Station to the Reserve had good loadings on each circuit so visitors can be assured we will continue with this service in 2020.

“We spent a lot of time and money this year to promote the Fair in a variety of channels and it was super exciting to see wave after wave of happy visitors arriving at the Fair. Our mantra is to fill your life with good friends, good times and good food and we think we have captured that again this year which helps to justify all the hard work behind the scenes to execute the day,” says Jeanine.

The Fair had a massive 300+ crew from Kapiti Rotary, 49 Squadron Air Cadets, NZME, Waste Management, Organic Wealth, Auros, Brien Electrical, St John, NZME, Higgins, BCE Catering Equipment, Tuatara Brewing, Koakoa Limoncello, PartyPerfect Catering, Beach FM, SignCraft and the team from the Fair. Much of this happens behind the scenes yet everyone was well briefed and resourced so they could perform their role and with pride while having fun on the day. “We are very thankful for the relationships we continue to build with our crew as without their efforts, the Fair would not run as smoothly as it does,” says Helene.

This year the Fair got serious about its waste minimisation efforts to divert up to 80% of waste from landfill. Before the event we worked closely with vendors to support them in using compostable and recyclable packaging. The magic waste busting team was led by Organic Wealth and volunteers from 49 Squadron Air Cadets and expertly supported by the local Waste Management team. Visitors were happily guided on correct disposal of their rubbish which was then sorted, and recyclable items were even washed so they would not be contaminated and therefore rejected by the Wellington Recycle Station. We are confident we will achieve our goal this year which is exciting.

The Kapiti Food Fair is privately owned and operated as a business partnership between Helene Judge and Jeanine van Kradenburg. It started from humble beginnings in 2008 when Jeanine and a fellow trainee chef, Tony Gan, staged a food festival at the Whitireia campus which was located near to the Lindale Complex where Millvale Residential Care operates now.

From there the Fair grew and moved to the Lindale carpark and in 2014 it moved again to its current home at the Mazengarb Reserve. In 2016, the Fair applied and received funding for three years from the Kapiti Major Events Fund, which enabled marketing and promotion to increase and lead growth in both vendors, visitors and sponsorship to boost resources and profile. The Fair is now one of Kapiti’s largest annual events that has vendors flocking to participate from all over New Zealand to engage with thousands of visitors. “We believe people love good food and to enjoy that food with people they love, which is why they’ve responded so well to the Fair,” says Helene.

We could not do any of this without the support of our sponsors. We are very grateful to: Air New Zealand, Bayleys Real Estate Wellington, BCE Catering Equipment, Flightdec, Kapiti Business Projects, Kapiti News, Koakoa Limoncello, PartyPerfect Catering, Pope & Co Mortgages, SignCraft, The Hits 92.7 & Tuatara Brewing.

The Fair promised a super tasty day out with a huge range of packaged and ready to eat food and beverage

options, surprises and treats to take home and enjoy, or to give away as gifts. We don’t think we disappointed on that front as The Hits Info Hub reported many delighted visitor comments on the day.

We encourage visitors to complete a short online Visitor survey to let us know your views so we can debrief and commence 2020 planning >>

We sincerely thank every visitor, vendor, entertainer, sponsor, volunteer and crew for helping us to create a magic event. See you all again 2020 – note your calendar now >> Saturday 5 December.

Go to Kapiti Food Fair website or Facebook page to see the photo gallery by Captured By Friday >> | |


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