Pomegranate Kitchen started in 2016; a Wellington-based not-for-profit catering company with strong values at the heart of the food we serve. Our mission is to help realise the potential and improve the social and financial outcomes for people from refugee backgrounds who bring with them new dreams and perspectives, along with life histories, traditions and recipes — all of which add to the vibrant depth and diversity of Aotearoa.
Food is a great mechanism for overcoming difference. Finding work is one of the most challenging aspects of resettling in a new country. Language barriers and the lack of local experience or references means it can be very difficult for former refugees to find the right training or job opportunities. Some of the best ways to help former refugees integrate into their new homes and communities is through employment, a safe place to learn, and a way to determine their future. Pomegranate Kitchen provides all three. Former refugees who are now Wellington locals are involved at every level of our business - from writing menus and preparing dishes, helping with admin and design, and sitting on our Advisory Board.
Pomegranate Kitchen also has a training and development programme to train home cooks in commercial catering in order to upskill them and improve their social and financial outcomes. This includes English language, health and safety, and kitchen skills training, as well as on-the-job catering experience. It is also the goal of Pomegranate Kitchen to be a self-sustaining social enterprise where proceeds from the food sales go directly back into supporting the business and eventually eliminate the need for grants and other fundraising efforts.