Wherever you are in New Zealand, you’ll likely find that your local café is one of the many that sells packages of gingerbread men, biscotti and other baked treats made by the artisan bakery Molly Woppy.
Like many Kiwi businesses, Molly Woppy comes from humble beginnings. The business began when Alistair Parker, a chef and a keen observer of food trends, started baking at home, on top of his full-time job.
He could see a gap in the market for good-quality biscotti, and went for it. After only six months, demand was so high that with his partner Hayley Molloy, he decided to install a commercial oven in their dining room.
When the business expanded further, the couple renovated their garden studio into a commercial kitchen.
Fast-forward to today, and the business employs 22 people and operates from a small factory and warehouse in the Auckland suburb of Avondale. Hayley, a former restaurant manager, looks after administration, marketing and design, while Alistair oversees the kitchen and supplier relationships.
Impressive growth for a small start-up. “We are at a really exciting point, where we are not a start-up any more, and have some great supplier relationships, and a committed team of people. We are now shifting gears to take things up a notch,” says Hayley.
Their bank, ANZ, has been an invaluable part of their journey from birth to expansion, Alistair says.
“Our Business Banker, Patrick, understands who we are and what we are trying to achieve with the business. That isn’t common.”