Gia's Grab & Go: From Food Allergies to Food Awareness
31 Oct 2023

Gia's Grab & Go: From Food Allergies to Food Awareness


In this newsletter

  • Pinktober: Recognising Breast Cancer Awareness

  • Storytelling Workshop - Book Now

  • Gia's Grab & Go: From Food Allergies to Food Awareness

  • Join PBT Service Provider team

  • We Mana - Cashflow Webinar Series

  • Mark Your Calendar - Upcoming Workshops

Pinktober: Recognising Breast Cancer Awareness

This year, PBT participated in Pinktober, a month dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer aiming to educate and promote early detection. It's also a month to remember and honor those affected by breast cancer, and to encourage regular breast examinations and screenings.

To find out more and how you can help click here.

Storytelling Workshop - Book Now

Respond to the new normal and identify opportunities to reach customers in new ways with this digital marketing workshop. This storytelling workshop is designed to help you develop your compelling business story. You’ll be supported with how to tell your story so that it captures people’s attention and is impactful with your customers, buyers, funders and stakeholders.

Create your business pitch with confidence and reduce the common discomfort many Pacific business owners experience when they think about networking. Go from surviving to thriving. You’ll learn: 

  • How to become a better leader and inspire others through storytelling

  • How to create your business story that gives meaning and impact

  • Build and share your business narrative

  • Tips for your successful elevator pitch And much more!

This workshop has been developed with Pacific experts for Pacific businesses and shares expert advice, tips and techniques. At the end of the workshop there is an hour opportunity for networking over dinner which is provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

When: Thursday 4-6 pm  9 November 2023

Where: Level 2, 45 O'rorke Road Penrose, Auckland

Register Here

Gia's Grab & Go: From Food Allergies to Food Awareness

Business owner Ana Ma'ilei's journey was inspired by a unique blend of personal experiences and a love for Pasifika cuisine. Her vision for the future was not only to create a thriving business but also to pass on her culinary expertise to the younger generation while making an impact on her community.

Ana's popularity among our workshop events is a testament to her passion and skills. When asked about the reasons behind starting Gia's Grab & Go, she said it was a result of her daughter's food allergies and her own health journey. She truly wanted to find a way to balance her career as a chef with a healthier lifestyle and more time for herself and always felt a strong desire to start her own business and knew it was time to make her dreams a reality.

Her dream was to run her business independently, with the ultimate goal of retiring someday. Her primary objective wasn't just about making money; she aimed to share her culinary skills and knowledge with younger individuals. Her unique approach of combining Tongan and Samoan heritage with European cooking methods to tell her story highlighted the incredible diversity of Pasifika cuisine.

Throughout her business journey, Ana had to overcome challenges in explaining what her business stood for and who it was meant to serve. Meeting her clients' needs while staying within their budget was like walking a tightrope. She discovered that to succeed, she needed to work hard and stay resilient. Ana realised that it was vital to remain true to her goals and not let others shape her narrative, meaning staying true to her principles and her vision for long-term success.

Gia's Grab & Go made a significant impact on the local community. She educated her community through her unique dishes and raised awareness about food allergies. Her menus not only highlighted ingredients that could trigger allergies but also used Pasifika words to describe traditional dishes. She also offers free cooking classes and is the founder of The Pasifika and Maori Chefs Health & Allergy Awareness Kai Series, serving as a Pasifika representative for Allergy New Zealand.

Her commitment to Pacific culture was evident in her business, with a menu inspired by Pasifika and completely plant-based or vegan options. Adapting to the ever-changing business world was crucial for Gia. She adjusted her corporate Pasifika menus to match her clients' budgets and engaged them in a talanoa about the ingredients and food allergies. She always aims to keep her customers satisfied and loves interacting with them on her platforms.

When asked about her vision for the future, Ana plans to grow her business by opening coffee counters in Pasifika and Māori-focused areas, with the goal of offering a wide range of meals, not limited to Pasifika-inspired dishes but also including allergy-friendly, vegan-friendly, and healthy, balanced and nutritious options. In doing so, she wants to give back to the Pacific community by providing much-needed food education and choices. To follow Ana's journey click here.

Join PBT Service Provider team

Are you a skilled Service Provider looking for an exciting opportunity? We want you to be a part of our team at PBT. Our recruitment window is open for just 2 weeks! Don't miss your chance; reach out to us today to kickstart the application process. 

All applications close 5pm 14 November – seize the moment and become part of our dedicated team at PBT. Your skills are valuable and we're excited to hear from you. Apply now or get in touch with our team via email for more. 

Apply Here

We Mana Cashflow Webinar Series

Join the WE Mana team this November for a FREE Cashflow Webinar Series.

The team at We Mana have been talking with many business owners and they know times are tough out there. So, they've decided to share their own insights, and bring in some experts to be able to help you navigate these trying times.

Spanning over the course of four weeks, these webinars will be a mixture of panel discussions involving industry leaders and interactive workshops focused around overcoming the key causes of poor cashflow and how to effectively grow your business. Wednesdays 12pm to 1pm

  • 8th Nov: Navigating economic storms - Panel Discussion

  • 15th Nov: Overcoming the key causes of poor cashflow

  • 22nd Nov: Raising Capital - Panel Discussion

  • 29th Nov: Helping you to grow your business

Each webinar promises to equip you with the tools, knowledge and inspiration to drive your business forward. Whether you're looking to navigate economic challenges, improve cash flow, raise capital or grow your business, their series has something for every ambitious business owner.

Investing just an hour in this webinar series equates to a mere 4% of your day so whether you tune in during your lunch break or while you're hands-on with your tasks, don’t miss out on this opportunity to elevate your business to new heights.

Register Here

Mark Your Calendar - Upcoming Workshops

AUCKLAND | Risk Management | 16 Thurs 4-6 PM

This session covers key risk management concepts and techniques to help your business identify, analyse and respond to risks, with a catered Pasifika dinner included. Secure your spot now for an opportunity to elevate your business!

AUCKLAND | Understanding Tenders & Contract | 23 Nov Thurs 4-6 PM

This workshop teaches you how to identify and assess construction opportunities, how to prepare and submit tenders, contract negotiations and making sure your health and safety compliance in all areas of your business

Monuina e aho (Have a great day).

The PBT Team

Ph 0800 287 7526


Fast-track your business growth and success with the right support behind you.

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PBT Team


PBT News team bringing you the latest news in the PBT community


Fast-track your business growth and success with the right support behind you.