OPINION: Your old mate has long argued Landcorp’s farming business – Pamu – is a bigger dog than he is.
Based on the Ellis family’s Hawke's Bay farm, Harvest to Hand is the brainchild of Holleigh Ellis, a food scientist who grew up on the farm.
Ellis says inspiration struck amid the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020.
“Lockdown loomed last year, we got our thinking caps on and I ran with the idea of starting a food brand, but we didn’t know what,” she told Rural News.
Ellis says there were many ideas, but hemp seed was what they had to hand as her father, Ian, had previously been contracted to grow it on the farm.
“I love natural and health foods and hemp ticked all the boxes.”
Ellis says the business has been somewhat of a family affair.
“Currently, I wear several hats when it comes to developing and launching and growing the brand.
“Dad is busy running the family farm, which is a cropping farm during the summer and finishing stock during the winter.”
Ellis says her partner, Dylan Pearce, runs two businesses of his own as well as working on Harvest to Hand; one is a beekeeping business and the other is a trucking business.
“Dylan and I catch up on the business when he gets home from work each day.”
Ellis says that both Pearce and her father are mentors to her because of their experience in business.
“I love being around and involved with the farm and working alongside family. It’s so important to me. My grandmother is still living on the farm and it’s important to stick together, support each other.”
She says the business is always going to evolve and diversify.
“We have so many ideas of what’s to come, it’s just making them happen.
“We aren’t just a hemp company, we’re a food brand which will produce more products as we grow.”