My Food Bag bags bigger base

5:00 AM Wednesday May 24, 2017 Colin Taylor

A standout feature at 56 Parnell Rd is My Food Bag’s development kitchen. Photo / Supplied

Home food delivery provider My Food Bag has relocated to a new building in Parnell to cater for rapid growth that has seen the company more than treble the size of its Auckland premises.

The company has consolidated its office and development kitchen operations from two separate locations at 280 and 283-285 Parnell Rd. which total about 550sq m; and has moved into two freshly fitted-out floors totalling around 1627sq m at 56 Parnell Rd.

A nine-year year lease, negotiated by Ben Wallace of Bayleys Auckland, encompasses 533sq m of ground floor kitchen, showroom and office space; and 1094sqm of third floor offices and 32 basement car parks.

“My Food Bag had some very specific and unique requirements which meant that standard office floors weren’t necessarily going to suit their needs,” says Wallace. “Fortunately, we were able to identify a building close to their existing premises which aligned with those requirements as well as providing flexibility for future growth.

“We also had a forward-thinking landlord willing to countenance a complete retrofit to accommodate a high-profile tenant with impressive aspirations. We then partnered My Food Bag with interior designers and project managers Platform Consulting Ltd - who we knew could deliver a funky, individualised fit-out that reflected My Food Bag’s corporate culture.

Their two levels of space underwent a complete refurbishment to provide a stunning modern character working environment complete with polished concrete floors, exposed ceiling services, new lighting and plenty of functionality."

My Food Bag founder and co-CEO Cecilia Robinson says the new premises will enable the company to become even more innovative. A standout feature is the development kitchen which takes up the majority of the ground floor space.

“A big part of our success lies in the work our chefs put in to the development and testing of ingredients and recipes for all our offerings and this is reflected in the space that has been allocated to this vital part of the business. The new development kitchen gives our team the ability to innovate in accordance with Nadia Lim’s ‘nude food’ philosophy to deliver exciting new offerings to our customers.”

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Office space is mainly open plan with some break out rooms. Photo / Supplied

The number of cooking stations has been increased from three in the old premises to 10, and these are fully decked out with the latest state-of-the-art Fisher & Paykel appliances plus a “living wall” including herbs that are used in recipes.

In another innovation, a two-station photography kitchen has been installed where each dish that makes its way through a stringent evaluation process undergoes a photography shoot for use on recipe cards and other marketing collateral. Completing the development kitchen is a large pantry and chiller where ingredients are held.

The “back end” of the business is located on Level 3 which has also been completely reconfigured to accommodate My Food Bag’s operations, procurement, finance, marketing, digital and customer love teams.

This is mostly open plan space but with break out rooms that carry the “middle” name of the founders of the business, Cecilia and James Robinson, Theresa Gattung and celebrity chef Nadia Lim and her husband Carlos Bagrie. Each staff member adopts a food ingredient as their My Food Bag middle name.

Kevin Roberts joined the team as a shareholder and chair in 2015 and the board room on Level 3 is called Rhubarb after the name he chose.

The third level also has a substantial central raised platform area which serves as a staff kitchen and gathering place and has expansive views over Fraser Park towards the Sky Tower and CBD.

Wallace says the level’s floor-to-ceiling glazing means it benefits from plenty of natural light to help create a lively and bright working environment.

My Food Bag began operations in 2013, offering a service where customers ordered online and received food bags containing recipes for a week’s main dinner meals. In mid-2016, it expanded its offering with the launch of the Bargain Box brand and recently launched Fresh Start with Nadia, a new product range designed specifically for people wanting to manage their weight. The company now delivers more than one million meals to New Zealanders each month.

In October 2016, My Food Bag announced it had secured investment from Waterman Capital to support its ambition to list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange within the next three years to raise further capital.

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Ben Wallace, Bayleys Auckland.