Coromandel Food Collective

The Coromandel Food Collective is a network of niche food producers on the Coromandel.

Our Council created the network, as part of our Economic Development Strategy, to bring together the local food and beverage industry to share opportunities and discuss common challenges that could be solved as a collective. We also help put members in touch with organisations and contacts and funding opportunities for food-related businesses and industry on the Coromandel.  

We support the Collective with two key events during the year: The Coromandel Food Forum and the Coromandel Food Collective exhibition space at the Auckland Food Show. You can read more about these initiatives below.

Our Council’s economic development and communications group manager Laurna White says food is becoming more and more important for tourism across our district.

Local and homegrown food is an important part of the Coromandel economy, with mussel farms organic growers and artisan producers among those helping to establish our district as the pantry of artisan and locally-grown food products,” Laurna says.

“Increasingly, as people learn about the great, home-grown, fresh artisan products produced right here, it’s becoming another strong reason for people to visit us,” Laurna says.

You can read more about the benefits of leveraging the New Zealand tourism industry to showcase food and beverage experiences in the recent report New Zealand Food and Agri Tourism, produced by ANZ Bank and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Open for business at the Food Show

Each year, the Coromandel Food Collective is represented at the Food Show in Auckland – the biggest food show in the country -  with a range of home-grown Coromandel food producers showcasing the quality and diversity of artisan food products made right here on the Coromandel.

Our Council gets right behind our producers at the show, creating the Coromandel Food Collective exhibition space within the show’s ‘Artisan Village’ for handmade, high-quality goods.

Being at the show creates opportunities for niche Coromandel food businesses to network and develop new markets for their product. It’s a wonderful opportunity for local food producers to get their products known further afield in front of chefs, media and buyers and to raise the Cormoandel’s profile as a destination for good food.

The five exhibitors representing the Coromandel Food Collective in 2018 were: 

  • Omahu Valley Citrus Products
    Omahu Valley Citrus is an artisan maker of award-winning citrus products, marmalades, chutneys, cordials and more. Recently, a jar of Omahu Valley's lemon and ginger marmelade was included in the gift hamper sent to the Queen by Prime Minsiter Jacinda Adern. All products are preservative-free and made from citrus fruit grown in their own orchards near Puriri. You'll also find Omahu Valley Citrus at the Thames Market in Grahamstown on a Saturday morning and the products in several other outlets around New
  • Thames Valley Bacon
    Thames Valley Bacon specialises in Manuka-smoked bacons, hams, salamis and their own shop recipe sausages with gluten free options, as well as Christmas hams cured, smoked and cooked to perfection. The Matatoki-based business was the overall winner of the 2016 NZ Bacon awards.
  • Mercury Bay Creamery
    Mercury Bay Creamery hand-crafts its organic, artisan cheeses from its own milk supply. Visit the shop, just 1km from the Whitianga township, and you can look through a large viewing window to see the cheeses being made, including camembert, brie, merlot's, manchegos, feta and butter kaze. Cheese tastings are available Thursday to Sunday.
  • Castle Rock Café
    Down the road from Whangapoua and the famous New Chums Beach, Castle Rock produces an assortment of dressings and chutneys all made with New Zealand fruit. Try their new tamarillo and cinnamon dressing that's being launched at the show, or their hot chilli lime chutney is a particular favourite and, just like all of Castle Rock Cafe products, is packed with flavour, is gluten and preservative-free.
  • Chocolates Are Us
    Whitianga-based Chocolates Are Us specialises in hand-made chocolates customised with messages or logos for promotions or events. At the show this year the team will be showcasing its small-batch confectionary range, including the best-selling cashew nut brittle with sea salt and the classic coconut rough. See the full range of memorable chocolates created by the Chocolates Are Us at the website below:

Coromandel Food Forum

In 2017 we hosted our first Coromandel Food Forum attended by restaurant and café owners, hospitality and tourism industry experts, craft beer brewers, winemakers and local homegrown artisan food producers.

Speakers from Food Waikato (Waikato Innovation Park), Export NZ, NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) gave presentations on how they can provide support, resources, business mentors and access to funding opportunities to food related businesses and industry on the Coromandel.

Due to its success, we have made this a regular calendar event, where guest speakers are invited to share advice and provide help and information to the industry," says Mrs White.

The second forum is due to be held on Monday, December 3, 2018 at The Peppertree Restaurant and Bar in Coromandel Town. Find our more about this event here.

This event allows our producers to get together and discuss some of their success stories and challenges, and share knowledge and ideas.

Coromandel Food Trail Guide

Each year our Council produces the Coromandel Food Trail Guide, showcasing the Coromandel's appeal as a destination for lovers of artisan beer, homegrown seafood, tantalising condiments and specialty food. 

We are about to launch the 2019 guide on December 3, 2018 and it  will be available for visitors to pick up from I-sites, information centres and Council offices, and for download at