Pomegranate Kitchen

Pomegranate Kitchen offers catering services and delivers delicious meals prepared by former refugees living in Wellington, to central Wellington workplaces.

They’re a not-for-profit social enterprise with strong values at the heart of the food we serve. Founded in 2016 by Rebecca and Ange, the business combines a love of food with the desire to increase the job opportunities available to people with refugee backgrounds resettling in New Zealand.

Finding work is one of the most challenging aspects of resettling in a new country. Language barriers and the lack of local experience or references means it can be very difficult for former refugees to find the right training or job opportunities.

Rebecca explains “When I was working for New Zealand Red Cross I saw there was a lot of potential out there in the refugee community that wasn’t being utilised because people from refugee background weren’t quite job-ready – facing barriers such as language and local references or experience.

With that in mind, my business partner Ange and I put our heads together and decided to combine our skills – she is a big foodie, and a learning and development professional. So Pomegranate Kitchen was born!”

Pomegranate Kitchen has a training and development programme which includes English language, health and safety, kitchen skills and on-the-job catering experience.

Former refugees who are now Wellington locals are involved at every level of the business – from management to writing menus and preparing dishes.

With lunch and group catering options, Wellingtonians can discover off-the-beaten path cuisines and new flavours from around the world. Sharing fresh and authentic food is our way of recognising the rich contribution former refugees make to our society, and making sure our city is a welcoming new home.

Pomegranate Kitchen accessed support from Ākina to grow. Rebecca said “Going to an Akina workshop was one of the first times I’d told our ideas to anyone other than friends and it was a very useful experience – I came home buzzing! We tested out some assumptions and subsequently I received further help from them in the impact framework, marketing and financial area. Akina were absolutely invaluable in the lead up to our launch, both in asking the hard questions and being flexible and creative enough to believe in our idea.