Why did Froth Technologies choose Ventell for their Business Coaching?

Froth Technologies | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Froth Technologies recently took part in the MYOB Head Start for Start Ups competition, getting into the top 5 and presenting their idea to a panel of judges.

Who started Froth Technologies?

Froth Technologies is made up of two awesome guys, Simon and Ryan, who noticed a gap in the market when it came to yeast for brewing beers in New Zealand. Before them, there was… no one! Before Froth Technologies, New Zealand beer brewers were forced to buy their yeast from overseas. Which, due to its need for refrigeration, was a costly thing, and not great for the planet either.

Froth Technologies | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Why did they come to Ventell for Business Coaching?

Froth Technologies, despite being based in Wellington, chose Debra Chantry in Auckland as their business coach for two primary reasons.

  1. Debra has a lot of experience with both startups and established businesses.
  2. Debra has a food technology background – making it an ideal choice for someone in the food industry.

When choosing a business coach, it is important to take a page from Froth’s book and pick one that has experience in your field, or has the same philosophies and mindset as you do.

Froth Technologies 2 | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Froth placed within the top five contestants within the MYOB head start for startup awards but unfortunately fell short on the top spot. Out of 280 entries, Froth’s idea managed to standout allowing them to attend the MYOB awards to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Simon and Ryan started their pitch off with a bang, with a great, interactive pitch that had the whole crowd laughing, applauding and enjoying the journey they were taken on when learning about their idea. They even sipped some of their own beer crafted with their yeast throughout the pitch.

“The next steps for Froth involves finding a site that will house the larger tanks and equipment we’ve just ordered on the back of our successful PledgeMe campaign. We’re also starting an R&D project next month where we’ll be working to unlock the flavours of Aotearoa by isolating previously undiscovered strains of yeast.”

Forth started with Debra over 12 months ago and came to her because of her background in food technology and startups, she was recommended by MYOB to help the guys at Froth really kick start their idea and help them really push their idea to the next level.

Once finishing their MYOB head start for start-ups journey, Ryan stated that “ We are stoked to have the opportunity to pitch in the finals, and loved the opportunity to level-up our pitching skills, tell the audience and the judges about Froth, and receive really wholesome feedback” as well as talking about the event and attendees “It was great to be surrounded by (and competing against) a cohort of such exciting, impactful new business ventures.”

Ventell is a business coaching service that helps entrepreneurs and business owners a like rediscover their passion for their business as well as make it grow. People like Simon and Ryan choose Ventell due to Debra and her team of coaches and their vast knowledge of a range of industries, including their own. These coaches help business owners and entrepreneurs on their business to help them in ways only coaches can, by looking at the business from a different perspective, offering advice, guidelines and forms of feedback that help boost any business to its next level.

If you are ready to scale up your business, Call us on 0800 332 007 or get in contact today.

Prep: The award-winning start up

Award winning, business coaching, success, start up

start up business, business awards, business coaching, business success

Meet Natalie Richards, a down to earth ex-truck driver who used to work 60 to 70 hours a week. Having early starts and late finishes along with spending most of her time on the roads, food options were often limited and unhealthy. So, Natalie decided it was time to change her eating options by cooking her own meals. However, Natalie went beyond just home-cooked meals, she took classic recipes and transformed them into plant-based versions. Natalie then immersed herself with food and spent her time experimenting and creating new recipes.

Natalie made it her mission to offer a wide range of plant-based meals that are both nutritious and delicious. In 2016, this was the beginning of Prep. Prep offers healthy and delicious plant-based meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prep meals are made from scratch using only whole natural ingredients. These meals are frozen soon after to lock in all the nutrients and flavours in biodegradable bamboo containers. So, it’s good for you and the planet!

As part of Prep’s journey, Natalie utilised business coaching from Debra Chantry at Ventell to help guide her in the right direction. Business coaching challenges Natalie to go further and achieve better results not only for Prep but also herself. Business coaching at Ventell is tailored to the needs of a business and generally consists of three steps.

Step One: Deep Dive Coaching Session

The first step consists of sharing everything about your business and utilising business tools such as the SWOT analysis, competitor analysis, prioritisation matrixes and more.

Step Two: Strategic Planning Session

This step uses information gathered from the deep dive to develop a detailed set of goals and vision, along with developing your business and personal plan.

Step Three: Regular One-on-One Catch-Ups

The final step is to start putting those strategies into action. There are regular catch-ups with your business coach to ensure you are on the right track and to re-evaluate any strategies if needed. 


Natalie has been working together with Debra since the birth of Prep to where they are now. Natalie has driven Prep to success with the help and support from Debra’s business coaching. As Natalie’s coach, Debra has provided honest feedback, assisting to implement improvements on Prep and Natalie as a person, expose Natalie to greater networks, and more. The most important part was that Natalie had someone to talk to and receive support from as being a business owner is often very isolating and lonely.

“I also have a business coach, Debra Chantry, and swear by having one. She has been valuable to building my business.” – Natalie says in an interview with the NZ Herald.

Natalie has continuously pushed herself and Prep with the help of Debra which has resulted in her winning not one, but two awards at the 2019 Network NZ Awards. Natalie took home the “Best Start-Up Award” along with the “People’s Choice Award”.  Alongside this, Natalie has been recognised as a finalist in the NZ Maori Business Awards.

Natalie has recently expanded her product range by introducing the Prep Fitness Packs and is sponsoring Geovana Perez, New Zealand’s reigning WBO light heavyweight champion in preparation for her upcoming fight. Being a true entrepreneur and believer in her product, these fitness packs were first tested by Natalie herself which helped her lose 10kg in eight weeks alongside F45 training (see photos below). She has also recently won the F45 Training New Lynn’s “People’s Champion” title.

Every business owner needs someone who will encourage, inspire, and strengthen you to reach your full potential. Being a business owner means taking risks and making big decisions to try and generate business growth. Throughout Prep’s journey, Natalie has had Debra on her side as a mentor to consistently check-up and make sure that goals are being achieved and that Natalie enjoys what she is doing.

If you are ready for some real support, guidance, and knowledge it’s time for you to get a business coach. Ventell has a range of business coaches with different skills, experience, and specialties, check them out here. If you feel inspired by Natalie’s story, call us now to see how business coaching can help you and your business grow.

Office Administrator / Production Coordinator Role

One of our amazing Business Coaching clients is on the hunt for an exceptional…

Office Administrator / Production Coordinator

to be part of our team.

If you worked for us, THIS is what you would have done last month…

  • Wowed our clients and suppliers with your outstanding customer service whilst being courteous,responsive and resourceful
  • Juggled concurrent multiple tasks like a Cirque du Soleil clown – with style, ease and perfection
  • Exercised your elephant memory daily knowing where items / jobs are at all times
  • Washed the dishes and tidied the kitchen occasionally
  • Had some fun and a good laugh every day
  • Worked a few extra hours
  • Taught yourself some new skills and had a few beers/wine with your colleagues!

    Please DO APPLY if:

  • You are TRUELY passionate about organising – it isn’t a job, it’s what you do and you areexceptional at it
  • Your friends and colleagues love your awesomeness and attitude
  • You can self-manage and take responsibility
  • You love to come up with better ways of doing things
  • You want to work in a fun environment with great people in a great company

    Please DO NOT apply if:

  • You are just after some money
  • You take lots of selfie’s – there is no I in TEAM
  • You have less than 2 years experience within an office / sales coordinator (or similar) role
  • You can’t get yourself to the North Shore

    Why YOU would want to work for us:

  • We work in a fun industry – see our name on the big screen
  • We pride ourselves on excellence, we are industry leaders
  • We have fun and are building a great company with great people

    The following are PREFERABLE but not essential:

  • You are a Microsoft Office Ninja
  • You have Super-human attention to detail
  • You are the secret twin of Pepper PottsThis is a fixed term maternity cover contract for 5 months. However, as the company is going through huge growth, there may be a permanent role at the end of the contract for the right person & you will have the opportunity to grow your role as the company grows. Please send a copy of your CV that is no more than 2-pages and include a 2-paragraph low-down on why you are so awesome to: organising.genius@gmail.com Applicants for this position should have:
  • NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit.
  • Clean, full drivers license (and can drive a manual)

Nelson Investment Opportunity

“Imagine, Nelson as New Zealand’s Premier Outdoor Concert Location”


If you have a soft spot for Nelson, then this investment opportunity could be for you…

A closed group investment proposition opportunity exists through one of our clients for you to invest in Showcase Nelson.

Showcase Nelson Proposition Document


The Core Purpose of Showcase Nelson:

  1. Deliver ROI for the investors and repay the bank loan each and every year.
  2. Stage profitable, high quality events that solely focus on the customer experience, events that attract a 30-55 year old to Nelson.
  3. To operate in a state of constant innovation in everything we do.
  4. Establish sufficient working capital to enable the self-funding of future events.
  5. Play the long game, remain open minded but don’t lose sight of the vision, the venue, the act and the overall Nelson experience — all need to be special, the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.

The management team and advisory panel will agree upon the strategic and operational KPI metrics.

We will operate with total transparency and develop a sustainable company from day one.



Is an event/entertainment company (5038582)

  • Showcase Nelson will be run by Stuart Allan together with contracted consultants, who are specialists in their respective elds
  • Showcase Nelson will be totally accountable for the implementation of the events, reporting to an advisory panel
  • Governance – Julian Raine will Chair the advisory panel comprising of four additional members (yet to be appointed)
  • Key advisory partners, include Gary Stocker Lawyer, Ross Strawbridge Accountant, Tony Pratt Westpac Bank Manager
  • Showcase Nelson Ltd is registered with NZ Companies O ce and the Constitution has been lodged.

Showcase Nelson

Showcase Nelson







Showcase Nelson Proposition Document


Debra Chantry is a Business Coach with The Icehouse and is working with Stuart Allan in a Business Coaching capacity.

Helping Wendyl Nissen get through the ‘Poo’

Today Wendyl Nissen from Wendyl’s (one of our favourite clients) launched a new product… And I got to feature in her blog / newsletter…I think I’m ok with being the ‘Poo’ lady 🙂 Debra Chantry – Business Coach Read the full article, in situ here – http://wendyls.co.nz/last-week-loo-ease-just-idea-week/ I am so excited to announce the launch of our wonderful new product called Lou-Ease. It’s a little bottle of essential oils which you drop into the toilet bowl before going to the loo to get rid of odours. As we say on the bottle it “takes care of your business”. At first Daniel and I were a bit reluctant to create this product when our wonderful mentor Debra Chantry came up with the idea six months ago. We listened to her politely as she outlined the reasons why we should create it: 1) Women are apparently self-conscious about going to the toilet at the office or at a friend’s house and stinking it out. 2) Men aren’t self-conscious about it and women who live with them find the smell drives them mad! Daniel and I drove away from Debra’s office and agreed that we didn’t think Wendyl’s should have anything to do with poo. Then we laughed our heads off and forgot all about it. Debra brought it up again and again and each time we claimed we were too busy, too distracted, too anything we could think of to start experimenting. Then at our meeting last month Debra did something no one should ever do to me. She challenged me to create it before Christmas as it would make a great stocking filler for our customers and it was about time Wendyl’s had a bit of fun. “It’s a fun way to end the year. Just do it,” she said smiling sweetly. So I found myself that weekend getting out my essential oils and dabbling. Before I knew it I had blended together peppermint, eucalyptus and bergamot and the job was done – so to speak. Paul came up with the name after we considered other suggestions such as Poo-fume and Eau de Toilet. And he even created a little poem you can put in your toilet if you like: Please, please, If it’s not just wees, Make life a breeze, And use Loo-Ease! As you can see, we have been having quite a lot of fun and the best part is that it really does work. It comes in a small, discreet 5ml bottle so that it can happily live in a purse, be taken to the toilet in the palm of your hand, or left on top of the toilet cistern. And at just $25 it’s a great price for making life a breeze, or making someone laugh on Christmas morning. We’ve already had heaps of orders from friends and family who have all been very enthusiastic and Daniel (reluctantly) and I have had to come to terms with the fact that Wendyl’s does indeed have something to do with poo! And I’m very grateful that with a family business decisions can be made quickly and something which was just an idea last week is now on sale. Thanks to Daniel and Sam who worked hard to get the labels, bottles and ingredients ready in time. To buy now click here and join in the Christmas fun.    

Keen – Lightning Lab Team of 2014

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of introducing the Keen (www.keen.to) team to a room over around 300 investors and people in the start-up / entrepreneurial business environment.

The event was held in the auditorium at Te Papa and was a sell out event.

Here I am introducing Laxman Popli keen.

Debra Chantry - Business Coach & Mentor - introducing Keen at Lightning Lab Demo Day 2014

And this is Laxman, wowing the audience:



I prepared my speech at 5.30am yesterday morning and had around 5 hours to get it right – I wanted to be sure that I did the best job ever of introducing this amazing team.

At the last minute I realised it was too long and had to dramatically cut it back. And then I spent an hour or so in the Te Papa Cafe talking out loud, practising my speech, while people looked at me as if I were a mad woman 🙂


Here is the final speech that I gave:


My name is Debra Chantry & I am passionate about growing the New Zealand economy.

 I am a Business Coach, specialising in the start-up and owner managed business space.

 I help businesses to commercialise their ideas and take them to the next level.

 It is my great pleasure to be introducing you to the Keen team, whom I have worked with over the last 13 weeks.

 Laxman will paint the picture & tell you the business story but I would like to first tell you a little about the process that they have been through to get to where they are now & why I believe that they are worth investing in.

 It started it with an idea, that came from a real life problem.

 However, we all know that good ideas don’t always make great businesses.

 What Keen did do was follow sound market validation & business planning principles to validate, test & launch this idea.

 Their pain point has proven to be Urgent, Pervasive & Compelling enough to make people open their wallets & change their behaviour….

 They clearly defined their target market, identified the low hanging fruit and established the best channels to get this to market.

 Keen then launched a Minimum Viable Product & tested it with the marketplace. Their 2nd iteration, based on customer feedback is ready to launch.

 Keen’s vision is to use the online environment to help friends connect & have better experiences in the offline & real world.

 They have the passion, the drive, the skills & the ability to work effectively as a team to make this happen.

 They have been a pleasure to work with, remaining committed to that vision whilst being open to feedback.

 Developed from New Zealand for the world, I am very proud to introduce you to the Keen team representative – Laxman Popli.


And here was my original speech:


My name is Debra Chantry & I am passionate about growing the New Zealand economy, through helping Kiwi businesses grow profitably!

 I am a Business Coach, specialising in the start-up and owner managed business space, utilising the combined knowledge that comes from years of Corporate experience along with owning a number of my own companies.

 I help businesses to commercialise their ideas and take them to the next level of profitable growth, either through my own private coaching and consulting practice, Ventell, or through the Icehouse in Auckland and the Lightning Lab in Wellington.

 It is my great pleasure to be introducing you to the Keen team, whom I have worked with over the last 13 weeks.

 Laxman will paint the picture & tell you the business story but I would like to first tell you a little about the process that they have been through to get to where they are now & why I believe that they are worth investing in.

 It started it with an idea, that came from a real life problem – to use the online social environment to connect people into offline, real world experiences.

 However, we all know that good ideas don’t always make great businesses.

 What Keen did do was follow sound market validation & business planning principles to validate, test & launch this idea.

 Their pain point has proven to be Urgent, Pervasive & Compelling enough to make people open their wallets….

 They clearly defined their target market, both on the end consumer & business side, identified the low hanging fruit and established the best channels to get this to market.

 Keen then launched a Minimum Viable Product & tested it with the marketplace. Their 2nd iteration, based on customer feedback is ready to launch.

 Keen’s vision is to use the online environment to help people connect & have better experiences in the offline & real world. help the world spontaneously connect with friends locally in the online environment to allow them to have better offline, real-world experiences.

 They have the passion, the drive, the skills & the ability to work effectively as a team to make this happen. They have been a pleasure to work with, remaining committed to that vision whilst being open to feedback, both from end customers and their coaches.

 Developed from New Zealand for the world, I am very proud to introduce you to the Keen team representative – Laxman Popli.


And finally, here we are celebrating afterwards:

Debra Chantry - Business Coach & Mentor with Laxman, Nelson & Peter from keen.to at Lightning Lab Demo Day 2014

A life saving business…

From Stuff – 19/04/14 – An article about one of our clients – Heart Saver – http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/9958015/A-life-saving-business

“Working with our super business coach Debra Chantry has been instrumental in helping us fill the knowledge gaps and target the areas of our business that require focus.”


Defibrillator supplier Heart Saver launched on April Fools day but the market it services is certainly no joke.

Started by Mike Mander and his wife Helen two years ago Heart Saver supplied Automated External Defibrillator (AEDs), first aid training and community education throughout New Zealand.

After being made redundant from his senior sales position in the finance sector, Mander, decided to enter a niche market where he saw a demand.

With 20 years experience as a volunteer firefighter Mander had witnessed the consequences of not having AEDs at hand.

The goal in setting up the business was to make AEDs more affordable and therefore more accessible to more New Zealanders, he said.

Heart Saver now have more than 600 clients who either leased or outright bought AEDs starting from $1895 plus GST to $2995 plus GST depending on the model.

Why did you start your own business?

We had always talked about wanting to use our combined experience to start a business together, and felt there was a real niche in the market for a specialist AED company. We also wanted to build something from scratch that we could be really proud of and passionate about.

What have been the biggest obstacles in starting up your business?

Launching the business during a recession was always going to be a big ask. There is also no legal requirement for companies to invest in AEDs, so it was tough trying to sell a product that was often seen as a nice to have as opposed to a need to a must have item.

Name one thing you’ve learnt in your business journey so far and from who?

Listen to the advice of others, learn from their experiences and don’t be single minded. Working with our super business coach Debra Chantry has been instrumental in helping us fill the knowledge gaps and target the areas of our business that require focus.

What are your business and personal goals?

Business goals are to continue to build a profitable but socially responsible company which represents great products and services that make a difference to Kiwi’s. Personal goals are to ensure a successful work life balance

Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

If you have a product or service you are passionate about, stop talking about it and get on with it.

What have you sacrificed to be an entrepreneur?

We started this business with no Plan B. I had been made redundant and Helen was a stay at home mum so there was no other form of income. I guess we sacrificed the security of a weekly wage – and time.

What would you do if you weren’t running your own business?

Looking for the next opportunity to run our own business.

What has been your biggest disappointment since you started on your journey of establishing your business?

No disappointments, just challenges.

Where is your favourite place to relax?

At home with the kids, or camping in places with no cell phone coverage.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Small business: Mentoring – Lufi Rasmussen and Icehouse

NZH - Business Coaching | Business Section

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: NZ Herald Business Section

Carollyn Chaplin - Business Coach | Icehouse | Lufi Rasmussen - Business Coaching Client | Debra Chantry - Business Coach | Icehouse

Lufi Rasmussen, owner of the Misiluki Day Spa in Apia, Samoa, is developing a luxury natural skincare range under her brand. She is being mentored by Carollyn Chaplin and Debra Chantry, who are executives in residence at the Icehouse.

The mentee: Lufi Rasmussen, Misiluki

Can you tell me a bit about your business?

I opened Misiluki Day Spa, a small business in Apia, Samoa, in 2008. Due to the size of the population in Samoa and the limited disposable income of locals and tourists Misiluki’s growth is limited. So I had the idea to develop a signature boutique luxury skincare business, which led me to ask: how can I showcase the uniqueness of Samoa through Misiluki on the world stage? I saw this as a new challenge in my career.

Why did you seek a mentor?

I had researched and developed my idea, product and brand on my own since 2009. Now I’m in the final stage of product and brand completion, I felt I needed to get unbiased feedback on what I had achieved to date, to see whether I was going in the right direction or not.

I found that when it comes to business and a project such as this, living in Samoa is very isolating. International business is new to me; I don’t have the knowledge and experience to be able to take my product to international markets and it was difficult for me to find a mentor in Samoa with international experience in retail I could connect with and who understand what I was trying to achieve. So I started searching outside of Samoa to New Zealand.

How did you find your mentors here?

I found the Icehouse on the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website. I had previously been told about business incubators and read through the recommended list of incubators. I went though a few of the websites and found the Icehouse was the most relevant to my product and me. My husband, Michael, and I attended their Idea Validation Workshop in January and this confirmed we needed to team up with the Icehouse to move forward with sound advice. The Icehouse allowed me to select my mentors, Debra and Carollyn, and I am thoroughly impressed with their level of skills and experience. It’s important to me that I connect with them and vice versa.

How does the mentoring relationship work, particularly given you’re based in Samoa?

Due to the amount of work I have completed to date they have tailor-made a programme that will cover a three-month period. I have committed to being in New Zealand once a month for one-on-one meetings at the Icehouse and other communication will be via skype, emails and phone calls. My mentors have set me tasks that cover research on target market, competitors, costing and distribution channels, as well as short and long-term goal setting. I definitely have my work cut out for me.

How is this process helping your business?

As an entrepreneur you are so connected to your dream project. What you need is an external party that has no connection with you or your project to provide positive criticism as to whether you’re facing a red light – that you should stop the project because it won’t work – or, fingers crossed, that you’ve got a green light – that they can see where your product will sit in the market and that it has potential to do well if you work with them. So far, this process has helped validate what I have done and to know I am on the right path.

What advice would you have for other small business owners looking to take on a mentor?

It is important you connect with your mentor and have fun with them. It is about learning from this person who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and about your own self-development. From this perspective you can’t go wrong.

The mentors: Carollyn Chaplin and Debra Chantry, executives in residence at the Icehouse

What needs did you see in Lufi’s business that you could help meet?

Lufi has done some excellent thinking around her vision and brand that now needs to be translated into a business proposition. We will help her build the structure and its foundations and provide her with the guidance to explore her market and develop the commercial model.

In our first session we were able to take the research and thinking she had undertaken to date and put it into a framework to enable the robust building of the business strategy.

What insights have you yourself been gaining from the process of mentoring this business, as well as more generally?

Mentoring is a two-way relationship; it takes commitment from both parties. She not only has business experience and energy but the ability to listen and take on advice, which is an important aspect in the mentoring process.

Specifically in terms of Lufi’s business we have gained insight into the opportunities for Samoan businesses to use New Zealand as a hub – a place to manufacture and develop their products, utilising the business skills and the expertise offered at the Icehouse.

What do you think makes for a good mentoring relationship?

Honesty, two-way communication, expertise, mutual respect and shared values, clear expectations, perseverance and a good dose of shared humor.

A startup journey has its ups and downs but as a mentor it is our job to help our clients meet their milestones, help them pick up the pieces when times are tough and encourage them to focus on the bigger picture.

Lufi has all the things we look for in a successful entrepreneur: she is a visionary, a big-picture thinker who thinks outside the square. She believes in herself and the end vision. We picked up her passion for this business right at the onset and that’s the key.
Coming up in Small Business: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer may have been down on it, but remote working – or teleworking – is becoming a more viable option as technology improves. So how does it work in a small business? If you’ve got a story to share, please get in touch via the ‘Read more by Caitlin Sykes’ function below.

NZ Herald



Wendyl Nissen – A Confident Start

When I heard Wendyl was coming to The Icehouse, I was quite excited – I have to admit that I do enjoy reading her articles in the NZ Herald.

So, when I heard that I was going to be her lead Business Coach, you could barely contain me!

Dan & I spent some time with Wendyl & Daniel and got to know her business and immediately we could see opportunities.

We did our first business strategy and planning session and now we’re into the good stuff – the ‘low hanging fruit’ that can often make quite a difference to a business, almost immediately.

Next steps will be developing a business plan with some measurable success indicators… it’s all designed to help businesses grow profitably 🙂

Debra Chantry – Business Coach and EiR at The Icehouse.

Read the original article here: http://www.theicehouse.co.nz/wendyl-nissen-and-the-icehouse-part-1-a-confident-start/

Wendyl Nissen and The Icehouse Part 1: A Confident Start

Written by Wendyl Nissen

When it comes to trust, I always like to take the advice of close friends. Which is why I found myself emailing The Icehouse the morning after having dinner with a friend who had turned his life, and business, around after the advice and mentoring he received from them.

My business, making and selling natural cleaning and beauty products, was nothing like his but I recognised a similar need. We both desperately needed someone to tell us what to do.

As a former magazine editor I was very good at telling other people what to do, but with Wendyl’s Green Goddess I had no experience of running a small manufacturing and retail business. I had grown the business with my husband and son organically over three years and, rather surprisingly, it was doing okay.

It had no debt, was covering its bills and staff costs and had a good, strong brand. But as my son, Daniel Ellison, who manages the business said: “we’re a start-up stuck in start-up.”

We had a lovely family-run business, with a strong following and good sales but we both felt it needed a kick along to get to the next level and start showing a better profit.

From the first meeting we had with Mike Stokes, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Icehouse, I knew we had come to the right place. He had the unique ability to draw from Daniel and I the information he needed to match us with the right mentors and to find out what our business needed in terms of advice and information.

We both left that first meeting feeling like a big weight had been lifted off our shoulders. We looked at each other, mother and son, and grinned from ear to ear.

“Well that feels better,” I said.

When we met our mentors Debra Chantry and Dan Meiklejohn we felt we were not only in safe hands, but professional and very knowledgeable ones. We learned a lot about ourselves, the misconceptions we had about our business, the systems we needed to set up and before long we were being firmly marshalled into making some changes for the better.

At this stage we are working on the “low hanging fruit” as Debra calls it but we are already noticing changes in our bottom line and can’t quite believe it has happened so quickly.

We have bigger challenges to come, including borrowing some money for the first time ever, which freaks us out. But with The Icehouse at our side, we know that money will be invested in the right areas and we trust their advice to make sure that, correctly spent, it will give us a return.

We have never felt this confident about our business and we feel a new energy and enthusiasm for the business which is now simply called Wendyl’s with a new website and product design being rolled out over the next few months.

We have an exciting and busy year ahead at Wendyl’s but I have a feeling my accountant will be telling me that 2014 was the year Wendyl’s came alive.

Operations Superstar required

One of our clients is looking for an Operations Superstar… interested? Read more and apply below…
Exporter of premium dairy based nutritional products to the world requires an Operations Superstar!


  • – Would you love a varied, stimulating and sometimes demanding day?
  • – Do you have a can-do attitude and can you ‘manage the lot’?
  • – Do you have Logistics, Accounts or Export administration skills?


Essential to have 1 of these skills, really good to have 2 of them, and fantastic to have all 3!


We want an experienced Administrator who will hit the ground running with exceptional attention to detail and awesome multi-tasking abilities.
What will you be doing? This is a busy role encompassing many different aspects – we need to keep you interested!  To name a few: Manage our accounts administration in conjunction with the Financial Controller; manage shipping, logistics and export documentation; oversee the daily running of our Albany based office.


What are we looking for?  You will be an extraordinary and all round superstar who is not afraid of work, is highly organized, has a multi-tasking mindset, great communication skills, exceptional attention to detail, and importantly, a team player – we are a small team who thrives under pressure, are deadline driven, and will roll up our sleeves to help each other to achieve our goals.


What’s in it for you? No day will be the same!  The opportunity to work with some fantastic people in a fast paced and constantly changing environment in an interesting industry, for a growing and dynamic company  – a true role of variety.


Please email your CV and covering letter to jobs@ventell.co.nz before Friday 11th October 2013.