Business Profiles

by The Source Bulk Foods

last updated 09/12/2021


Finding A Better Way

by The Source Bulk Foods

last updated 09/12/2021


The Source Bulk Foods franchise supports local businesses and eliminates waste

As everybody knows, there’s an awful lot of wasted packaging – and wasted food – these days. The Source Bulk Foods was born in Mullumbimby, near Byron Bay, in 2012 to make unpackaged food easier to access and achieve a smaller carbon footprint. From this simple idea, founders Paul Medeiros and Emma Smith have created a franchised network of organic stores dedicated to zero waste. There are already nearly 90 round the world in Australia, UK, Ireland, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand.

Seeking the kind of family business which has customers and community at its heart, Robert and Andrea Watt acquired the master licence for New Zealand and opened the first outlet here in 2017. Since then, this new-but-classic quality shopping experience has expanded to six stores around the country – with room for many more, judging by their popularity. Now the brother-and-sister team are opening the opportunity to new franchisees.

Zero-waste shopping revolution

The Source Bulk Foods is described as a zero-waste shopping revolution, supplying food and other items as they would have been provided before the era of mass plastic.

‘We are the local organic health food store that is committed to delivering an impressive range of bulk wholefoods with conscious consumption and nutrition at its heart,’ says Robert. ‘We offer more than 400 items from as close to their source as possible – hence the name – and that’s just the start. Our grandparents owned their own grocery store and we use paper bags, just as they used to, or customers can bring their own containers. We also supply re-usable glass jars and bottles for people, which provides another revenue stream for franchisees that aligns with our purpose and ethics.’

There’s less waste, too, as Andrea points out. ‘For example, at this time of year people are making Christmas cakes. We have a regular stream of customers who come to buy just the 100g of currants and sultanas that they need, rather than ending up with half a packet of stale fruit in their larder 12 months later.’

Local focus

Andrea was involved in the travel industry and Robert had his own business before taking on The Source Bulk Foods. ‘We’d reached a bit of a crossroads and when we saw the master licence in Franchise New Zealand, we were on the plane within a week, and we haven’t looked back. There are now stores in Christchurch, Taupo, Mt Maunganui, Kumeu, Mission Bay and Milford, and every major town or city has room for at least one.

‘We are looking for people who are dedicated both to their local community and delivering great customer service. We are also committed to buying as much as we can locally – our aim is to become the go-to centre as the outlet for local home-grown businesses. This is not easy if the supply is not there but, for example, we’ve recently been able to source pumpkin seeds grown in Marton – much better nutritionally than imported ones.’

Appeal on every level

Ken and Fiona Harris have owned The Source Bulk Foods store in Taupo since January 2020. ‘I was facing redundancy and, with two small children, we didn’t really want to stay in Auckland any longer,’ says Ken.

‘We’re both acutely aware of the environmental issues posed by retail shopping and felt that The Source Bulk Foods has got so much right. It appealed on every level and, as a first venture into business, we thought a franchise would give us the support and experience we needed. The initial nationwide lockdown just after opening meant we didn’t manage to build up a local clientele immediately but, with terrific help from Robert and Andrea, we put a rocket under our online ordering system and that more than kept us afloat and got our name out there.

‘Once we re-opened, people soon became regulars and now we already employ three full-time staff. It still feels like early days but it is certainly working!’

Locations everywhere

The Source Bulk Foods has opportunities now throughout the country, with locations available in all the major centres and prime regional towns. Investment levels are generally between $350,000 and $450,000.

‘This is a profitable and positive franchise that thrives on your energy to drive it within your community,’ Robert says. ‘We offer you a fully turn-key business, from training and systems to fit-out, recruitment, stocking and marketing. We will be there to get you off the ground and hold your hand as your business grows.

‘Contact us today to find out more.’   

See this advertorial on page 11 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 4 

Contact details for The Source Bulk Foods

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