Everyone loves a good success story.

Especially one where a small-town lad is making it in the big city, and this case, making it big in the world.

Working at ski chalets and private super yachts in the South of France, looking after corporate sponsors in Spain for six months during the America's Cup and spending seven months in China showcasing New Zealand cuisine to the rest of the world are a few of the opportunities Tim Tracey has had since leaving his home town.

Growing up in Ōtaki on his parent's orchard, Tim Tracey dreamed of being a chef.


Working each summer in the fields picking apricots, pears and other fruit from a very young age, Tim developed an appreciation for fresh produce, sustainable business and the food chain.

"I wanted to be a chef forever.

"But I got talked out of it at high school because the guidance councillors and teachers didn't think that it was a way to earn a living."

So Tim went to university and studied maths and science.

But at the end of it his desire to work with food was still burning strongly.

"I went to university like everyone told me to do but when I finished university I went and trained as a chef.

"I worked at Ruth Pretty Catering in Ōtaki for about seven years.

"It was there that I learnt all the tricks of the trade and got my professional qualifications."

Travelling extensively with Ruth Pretty, Tim was involved in showcasing New Zealand cuisine to the rest of the world at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China and service for VIP guests at the Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup campaign, in Valencia, Spain.

"When we were trying to win the America's Cup in Valencia we looked after the VIP guests and all the corporate sponsors, showcasing New Zealand cuisine to Spanish people.

"It gave me a great sense of pride about New Zealand ingredients and where our produce comes from, and how we can convey New Zealand culture through food."

Travelling to France with his fiancée, cooking on private super yachts around the Mediterranean and cooking at the Courchevel, an exclusive ski resort in the mountains of France was also an eye-opening experience for Tim.

"We had crazy clients that fly in with their helicopters, heaps of people with too much money and no sense."

Through this time Tim crafted his trade and explored different cuisines and ways of operating that have all lead to his newest adventure — opening a New York-style deli in the heart of Wellington City with his fiancée Mia Freeman.

Two and a half years ago Tim and his fiancée were shown plans by a property developer who was helping turn Lombard St which links Manners and Bond Streets from a dingy alley into a thriving laneway as part of Wellington City Council's plans to revamp Wellington's 72 laneways.

What exists now is Pickle & Pie, producing breakfast, lunch and dinner service along with coffee and cake in between.

Not only inspired by the food in New York deli's, Pickle & Pie breaks down the barriers between the chefs and their customers by having the chefs out on the floor during service, able to interact with customers, which is proving successful so far.

"In September 2017 we opened the doors to Pickle & Pie, smack-bang in the middle of the city and we've been going from strength to strength," said Mia.