Nelson peanut butter producer extends factory to help budding businesses

Nelson is seeing a food and beverage revolution with a growing number of people inventing high-end products.

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Got a family favourite recipe? This is the place to test it out! Source: 1 NEWS

Now, it's hoped a new centre for start-ups will help entrepreneurs scale up and take their brands to the world.

Founder of Pic's Peanut Butter Bruce Picot, a project that started in a garage before becoming an empire, wants to help other backyard businesses fulfill their potential.

“Lots of people - you know, have got their mother's famous sauce recipe that they always knew they could make a fortune out of but they've never really had the opportunity to give it a go,” he says.

So he is building just the place - a food factory for inventors to test their ideas, with the ability to bottle or package them up.

“Take it to the market, sell it, if people buy it, great. If people don't buy it, they can come back, change the recipe and try something new," says Mr Picot. 

The region is not short of food and beverage brands but scaling up is a challenge, with limitations coming from running a home-based business.

The new build will be supported by $778,000 worth of funding from the provincial growth fund.

The factory includes four kitchens that can be hired for up to several months.

Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary, Fletcher Tabuteau says it will add value to Nelson in terms of primary industries.

“It will mean higher paying jobs, it will mean education opportunities long-term and it will mean competitiveness with the rest of the world,” he says.

With the increase in food products being made in the region, it's also meant more options for buying local.

At Freshchoice Nelson, customers are encouraged to buy as much as possible within a 200 kilometre radius of town.

The food factory is due to open next February.