Producing authentic Texas BBQ flavours in Taranaki was not without its challenges, but a Business Mentor has been able to help one rapidly emerging company to overcome these, and set its sights on growing beyond the region.

Producing authentic Texas BBQ flavours in Taranaki was not without its challenges, but a Business Mentor has been able to help one rapidly emerging company to overcome these, and set its sights on growing beyond the region.
 
“We have faced so many challenges, from bringing a new product into a crowded market to having to develop new types of packaging, navigating all the necessary certifications and coming up with a brand new business model,” says the company’s founder Ash Peters.
 
“Every process and procedure we have to create, learn or teach ourselves, and it’s been a very steep learning curve!”
 
The business, Texas BBQ Foods, produces a range of barbecue-inspired small goods spanning beef, pork, cheese and butter. It’s family owned and operated from a rurally-located, purpose-built facility near Inglewood. While this may seem about as far from the plains of Texas as you can imagine, the flavours have been honed to be authentic, and are passing the taste test in a growing number of international markets.
 
“We want to produce some of the world’s best Texas BBQ products with some of the best beef and pork in the world. Our methods are authentic and our raw ingredients are the best we can find which creates a flavour that’s getting rave reviews.”
 
Wanting to build market profile, Ash turned to Venture Taranaki’s business mentoring programme, a service he had used previously in a different role.
 
“Teaming up with a mentor has enabled us to better identify, connect with and reach our target markets. One of the big areas was product placement to ensure we maintain our position as a premium product, a simple thing that impacts our bottom line both now and well into the future.”
 
“Having a mentor has given us fresh eyes on what we are doing and provides another perspective to our business. Their knowledge and experience is different to ours, and that has really helped us to look further into new opportunities,” Ash says.
 
Fully exploring these new opportunities will be critical to the company’s ambitions, which should see it scaling up both production and its customer base to engage the global marketplace. With amazing and authentic flavours, and support from the business mentoring programme, that looks like a given.
 
“A business mentor brings so much to the table, regardless of whether you’re a brand new business or an old one.”