Pomegranate Kitchen By Rebecca Stewart

Pledgeme projects

About Pomegranate Kitchen

Project 2016-05-19 13:07:46 +1200

Who are we?

Pomegranate Kitchen is a new social enterprise that will be cooking delicious food for Wellingtonians, while providing training and work for former refugees.

Why are we doing this?

Refugees face major hurdles when they arrive in New Zealand, and finding a job is one of the biggest.  Our research tells us getting a job will make a significant difference for how well former refugees integrate into our Wellington community.


What will we be doing?

We will deliver lunches to workplaces, provide catering services, and run pop-up food events, starting in October this year.

Check out our website here: http://www.pomegranate.org.nz/


How can I help welcome and support former refugees into our city?

Helping us get underway is a great way to make a real difference - it sends a message of support as well as money to get stuff done.


What will my money be used for?

You will be supporting our first 3 months costs to help us get up and running, including:

  • On-job training and coaching - practicing English in the kitchen, health and safety, food hygiene, knife skills, food preparation, food presentation
  • Coordinating a more formal catering skills training programme
  • Coordinating an “English for Cooks” language course
  • Renting a commercial kitchen
  • Buying kitchen equipment, aprons and knives
  • Menu design and testing
  • Core ingredients
  • Liaison with restaurants and chefs around Wellington to expand work experience
  • Coordination and administration work.


Our team


Rebecca Stewart - General Manager, Co-founder

Rebecca is a Wellingtonian who loves to eat! She has a background in not for profits, particularly program evaluation, in New Zealand Australia, India and Fiji. Most recently she worked for New Zealand Red Cross.



Ange Wither - Co-founder, Board Member

Ange is an incredible cook and food obsessive with a background in organisational learning and development. Her favourite thing to make is sourdough.



Hajar Mazraeh - Supervisor

Hajar is originally from Iran and ran a pita bread business as a refugee in Indonesia while awaiting a visa.



Muna Al Naser - Cook

Muna is originally from Syria. Recently she was asked to help design a menu and share her cooking skills with Logan Brown restaurant.


Genet Seyoum - Cook

Genet is originally from Ethiopia but has spent some time in Egypt.


Fatima Qasim Ali - Cook

Fatima is originally from Afghanistan.


Hawa Kusama Fitzgerald - Board Member

Hawa is a Kiwi originally from Indonesia. She currently works for New Zealand Red Cross providing support in refugee resettlement. In a former life Hawa ran a large catering company, and still makes elaborate cakes and traditional Indonesian foods from time to time.


Scott Barrett - Food Advisor, Board Member

Scott is originally from Australia but is now fully integrated into Kiwi life. He was the owner of the popular Elements cafe in Lyall Bay for many years, and now operates the Eat Street food truck.


Please share our campaign, pledge for some delicious treats, like us on Facebook, and use us for your catering needs.  


The People Behind Pomegranate Kitchen

Logo Rebecca Stewart Project admin


    We made it!!

    03:16PM Wed 23/11/16 on Pomegranate Kitchen

    First of all, a massive THANK YOU to our crowd! It’s so heartening to know that you believe in what we are doing and in the futures of our former refugee cooks - what an amazing welcome to New Zealand after all the things they have been through. We really couldn’t have done it without you. Already we have been able to purchase a bench top deep fryer for the falafel which is much safer and more precise. The cooks hadn’t used one before but took to it well!

    For those of you who ordered individual lunches, we are still working on the website to be able to take your orders, and this should be up in the next two weeks. We will email you with a code which you can then use as and when you wish.

    We loved the fact that so many people wanted to meet the cooks. After all, this is why we are doing it! We were thinking of having a few morning tea events so as not to overwhelm them – you can come along, try some new menu ideas, and have an informal chat.

    Some people just wanted to Pledge, which is especially generous, and a special shout-out to three friends of mine who pooled together and purchased the reward for corporates to have their logo on the side of our food carrier. I was a little worried about who would purchase that as some companies are more aligned with our values than others! I have offered to put these three peoples’ faces on the side of the food carrier so we will see how it goes.

    For all the rest of you, we will be in touch! Thanks again!

    Rebecca, Ange, and the Pomegranate Kitchen team

    Comment on this update:

    Halfway and Halfway!

    07:27PM Wed 26/10/16 on Pomegranate Kitchen

    Hello supporters of Pomegranate Kitchen!

    First of all, a massive thank you for pledging to our project. It's been so mind-blowing to see the support we have received already. Your pledges will go towards much-needed equipment and ingredients, as well as venue hire and staff salaries - so we can pump out delicious goodies to you, made with love by women from a refugee background! I have been reading out some of your messages to the women in the kitchen on our coffee break - they are amazed and touched that so many of you want to help us get going.

    Now, we are halfway there in both senses, only 15 days to go and 7,200 till we meet our (first) goal. Can you help get us over the line? You could:

    • Share our project on your social media pages or around your office, using the photos and links below;
    • Order a morning tea from us (through this page http://www.pomegranate.org.nz/contact-us) and promote us to your workmates or your company; or
    • Donate a reward for us to share to other Pledgers - this could be an item, skill or event!

    We have just finished up two weeks in the pop up pods at Moore Wilson's (see blog here: http://www.pomegranate.org.nz/blog) and it was great to see some of your faces down there. Let's keep this momentum going!

    Heartfelt thanks again to all of you,


    Rebecca and Ange


    The link to our campaign: http://pldg.me/pomegranate

    Our website: http://www.pomegranate.org.nz

    Our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pomegranatekitchennz

    Our Twitter (NEW!): https://twitter.com/Pomegranate_NZ

    A photo for you to share

    Social tile Pledgeme


    Comment on this update:


      Anthony Cabraal
      2016-10-10 22:04:20 +1300

      Anthony Cabraal has pledged on 10 campaigns

      Kate Beecroft
      2016-10-10 22:03:21 +1300

      Kate Beecroft has pledged on 15 campaigns

      “This is the coolest thing ever. When I get back to Wellington I can't wait to use you for all my events!!!!!! Love it. ”

      Anne Heins
      2016-10-10 22:00:33 +1300

      Anne Heins has pledged on 7 campaigns

      “This is an excellent idea! All the best :)”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-10 21:17:55 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

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      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-10 21:17:15 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

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      Matt Dodd
      2016-10-10 20:57:19 +1300

      Matt Dodd has pledged on 2 campaigns

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      Sharon McIvor
      2016-10-10 20:49:03 +1300

      Sharon McIvor has pledged on 1 campaign

      Donna Miles
      2016-10-10 20:25:28 +1300

      Donna Miles has pledged on 6 campaigns

      “Great initiative. Well done all.”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-10 20:25:20 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      2016-10-10 19:08:57 +1300

      Ben has pledged on 13 campaigns

      Connor Boyle
      2016-10-10 17:49:28 +1300

      Connor Boyle has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 ”

      Natalia Lombardo
      2016-10-10 17:47:06 +1300

      Natalia Lombardo has pledged on 2 campaigns

      Christian Williams
      2016-10-10 17:13:07 +1300

      Christian Williams has pledged on 25 campaigns

      “Yum. See you at Moore Wilsons in the next week or so too! ”

      Anake Goodall
      2016-10-10 13:48:05 +1300

      Anake Goodall has pledged on 146 campaigns

      2016-10-10 13:36:24 +1300

      Gina has pledged on 21 campaigns

      “Go team! ”

      Michelle Burke
      2016-10-10 13:33:16 +1300

      Michelle Burke has pledged on 26 campaigns

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      Jean Copland
      2016-10-10 12:34:23 +1300

      Jean Copland has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Jaimee Burke
      2016-10-10 12:31:21 +1300

      Jaimee Burke has pledged on 6 campaigns

      “Mmm baklava! ”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2016-10-10 11:44:17 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Luke Fitzmaurice
      2016-10-10 11:22:25 +1300

      Luke Fitzmaurice has pledged on 7 campaigns

      Followers of Pomegranate Kitchen

      This project was successful and got its funding on 10/11/2016 at 1:00 AM.