Andre Wike, who won the 2011 New Zealand Food Awards Westpac Best Bakery for Ginger Cookies, talks to Gill South about taking the plunge.

It was just under two years ago when I was working as a private chef for a retired businessman, who I had known since I was a child. I knew the time was right around the two-year mark and decided to take the plunge and continue the dream I had put on hold four years ago to get back on track and start my own cookie making business.

Once I made the decision I quickly had the logo and packaging designed, created our first website, had the kitchen set up and certified by the Auckland City council and got baking my first batches of cookies.

I had pre-developed and trialled cookie recipes, which were ready for production, and from there it was just a case of scaling up the amounts to fit in my 20 litre commercial mixer.

When are you ready?


I knew that I was ready, when all I could think about was my own business, continuously pondering through issues such as problems and opportunities; plus my research uncovered the lack of homestyle high end cookies and crostini in the market place; that added to my motivation and courage to take the plunge!

The thought of no longer having a regular income scared me but I knew looking forward was always going to vital to success.

Within 10 months of being in business Andre's Kitchen won the 2011 New Zealand Food Awards Westpac Best Bakery for our Ginger Cookies and this year we have been nominated in the 2012 New Zealand Food Awards in the Convenience & Meal Solutions Category for our Garlic Crostini.

Some couples would never set up businesses together for fear of the pressure it would put on their marriage or personal relationship. But every day business entrepreneurs are doing it and surviving. Tell us your secrets of staying together while going through the daily pressures of running your own business. Email me, Gill South at the link below: