Airport food contract awarded

A Dragons’ Den-style application process has seen Orton Tailored Cuisine win the retail food business contract at Hawke’s Bay Airport.

The airport company plans a multi-million dollar terminal expansion that will showcase the region as passenger numbers approach half a million annually.

Aeronautical and Infrastructure Manager Olivia Pierre said Orton Tailored Cuisine was the successful tender from 16 applicants, with a shortlist of operators interviewed by a panel of food experts.

Managing director Sam Orton said the Airport opportunity added another strand to his established Orton Catering business of wedding and event catering and the Black Barn Bistro in Havelock North.

He said the airport facility would offer a cafe-style menu along with take-home meals for busy travellers.

“We will be doing our best to showcase the very best product our region offers,” he said.

Eight full-time staff would be employed, based at the airport.

“We will be looking for friendly, knowledgeable people who will share our commitment to quality, they will be great ambassadors not only for our business but also for our region.”

He said after 33 years in the food service industry, the airport diversification was “an exciting time” while remaining true “to our catering roots”.

“When you are able to look at new opportunities and employ new people, it makes all the hard work worth it.”

The Airport called for new food operators when its contract with Australia-owned Spotless Services ended in October last year, after more than a decade of Spotless operating a cafe.

Ms Pierre thanked the team for its valued contribution.

Orton Tailored Cuisine will start in October this year.

“The company’s managing director Sam Orton brings a wealth of hospitality experience and together with his team has earned a very respected reputation for delivering food excellence,” Ms Pierre said.