Date: 25th September 2013
New Zealand has the second-biggest diaspora as a percentage of population (behind Ireland). For every million of us here, there are 250,000 overseas. So when we hear about Kiwis succeeding in business ‘over there’ by sharing a bit of our Kiwi culture, we get excited!
And that is exactly what Kiwi-New Yorker, Gareth Hughes, is doing. Ten years ago, while emotionally drained from managing the 9/11 disaster assistance centre in New York City, he was back in New Zealand for three months rest and had an epiphany while eating a pie. He returned to the big city to establish DUB (Down Under Bakery), a savoury pie and flat white cafe in Brooklyn. Once Americans got over their initial surprise at the meat filling instead of sweet fruit, the business took off.
He now sells 5,000 items a week and is supported by some rather well-known expats including The Topp Twins, former All Black captain David Kirk, as well as musicians P Money, David Dallas and Street Chant.
Ten years on, with cafes established in Brooklyn and also Manhattan and Greenwich Village, Gareth decided to expand his business by way of a food truck and hence avoid the extravagant rent of New York City. “Even with the petrol costs, permit costs and the cost of running the truck, it’s still a fraction of the brick and mortar rent in New York,” Gareth said. After navigating New York City’s strict permit conditions for such a food venture, he came up short of cash to fund his idea. So he asked the on-line community for help using the Kickstarter website.
Gareth received help from many sources including expat actress Melanie Lynskey of Two And A Half Men fame who tweeted about Gareth’s cause. “Do you want to support a delicious New Zealand pie truck in New York? Of course you do!”
On the 13th of March 2013 DUB made their goal of US$29,500 and by the chosen closing date of the 23rd of March they had reached US$36,368. Gareth is hoping that the extra amount raised will allow purchase of a second smaller DUB Pies Food Truck Junior.
The fit out of the former pizza truck has begun and we hope to hear more news soon. We’ll keep you posted!
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