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Ali Foers and Kim Lee with Hamish Bond and Eric Murray

Their catchphrase sounds ruthless but it’s serving them and their customers well.

Gourmet Delicious owners Kim Lee and Ali Foers are taking their “whatever it takes” attitude to new heights with the expansion of their catering business.

The Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Small Business Management and Applied Business Growth graduates have grown Gourmet Delicious to include the popular cafe Suburban Kitchen and another cafe in the Karapiro Domain is on its way.

Kim and Ali have increased their staff from three to 16, while doing what they do best - providing good food to elite athletes, corporate functions, schools, dignitaries and charities as pro bono.
The pair shared their success story at the recent Te Wānanga o Aotearoa leadership summit.

"We loved our course. Through Te Wānanga Aotearoa we gained confidence in our ability to make informed decisions," says Kim.

"Rather than working at the coalface, we want to spend more time making sure everything is running up to our standard."

Their jobs vary but their mission; to create tasty and inspired food with excellent service, with the catchphrase, "Whatever It Takes" proudly emblazoned on their uniforms, vehicles and stationery.
And as it's common to cater for a large number of people in many locations with different menus, they take the slogan seriously.

"At times numbers are over 1000 on one day. No two days are the same though which adds challenges, but lots of satisfaction," says Kim.

Highlights include preparing the Olympic meals for the New Zealand Rowing Team this year in Rio and during 2012 in London and catering for His Royal Highness Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge during their visit in 2014.

"These events changed our business and with a higher profile we got busier and out of control. We felt very reactive rather than proactive," says Ali.

In 2014 they enrolled in the CSBM course and it was here that their direction started to develop as they focused working on their business rather in it, which they admit was both exciting and scary.
The pair say tutor Rosalie Lunson was a mine of information and the people we met were inspiring. 

"Having both of us on the same page attending the course made a difference," says Ali.

"We started looking at each step of the detailed business plan we were developing and to hear other individuals going through the same highs and lows, we all could relate."

Kim agrees and says the feeling after completing a job gives them a massive sense of achievement.

 "Success for us is not measured financially, we love what we do and believe we are living the dream," she says.

"The letters, cards and emails we get from customers thanking us for our part in their function, it's very humbling."


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Published On: 6 Dec, 2016

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