- Our Story
Farro is the brainchild of founders and directors, Aucklanders James and Janene Draper. They started Farro in 2006, stemming from a desire to create a retail space that showcased the very best and finest of New Zealand food.
Farro is all about creating and sharing good food. We’re passionate about the quality of ingredients, produced in New Zealand and how our local, food loving communities have used them to create some of the most unique and exciting products in the world today. We are proud that as we’ve grown, the food community around us has grown too. We are a home for passionate cooks and chefs to come and be inspired, indulge in tastes, talk food, find something new or revisit an old forgotten favourite.
Farro actively encourages and assists small producers into the market. The passion and drive of these producers is the cornerstone of what makes Farro such an exciting place to shop and to work.
Starting with a team of just 12 back in 2006, we now have 450 food loving individuals who create an environment that is fun, knowledgeable and exciting. As the business has grown, we have helped staff develop new careers within the business, and we now have a dedicated core team working between the stores making sure you get the best experience at whichever Farro store you call your local.
We pride ourselves on providing fantastic service coupled with top quality and value. We play host to our extended Farro Family – the amazing producers who are the foundation of our business – through tastings and in-store events. If you are a regular, you’ll know every week at Farro is different and offers an opportunity to meet another new passionate producer.
As the Farro family has grown, so has our selection and desire to feature the best quality in the best environment for our shoppers. We work very hard to keep our pricing at a level that is both competitive and enticing, helping you buy and make outstanding food at everyday prices. Our head office team take the job of selection for the Farro shelves very seriously and work to provide food that also reflects our own desires – that is, free from artificial ingredients, of a high quality and, of course, exciting and delicious.
The entire team at Farro love to cook and are constantly being inspired by new ingredients, new ideas and exciting recipes. We commit to sharing that inspiration with our shoppers. We provide seasonal recipes, across the store, that tie in with our monthly themes and through Feast – our in-house-designed magazine, which is a showcase of everything great for the month ahead at Farro. We also endeavour to stock those hard-to-find ingredients, be up on trends and new styles and act as a resource for you.
As the years have passed, we’ve been able to really focus on what it means to be Farro Fresh. It feels like we’ve learnt so much from the past and can put that into daily practice. As a small family-run business, decision making doesn’t have to be delayed by bureaucracy, so when our head office team comes up with a crazy (brilliant) idea, we can action that quickly with the aim of benefiting our customers and producers.
Our drive is, and has always been, supporting artisan producers and we do this through playing an active role as an adviser to start-up food businesses who need our knowledge and assistance to simply get their product onto the shelf. We love cooking and sharing food, so part of our vision is inspiring others to take the time to cook something new, try a new ingredient or just serve up something different on a Wednesday night at their place. We see Farro as a community – a place to come and talk with like-minded food lovers; a place to get inspired, meet artisan producers, try something new and to be excited about the very act of food shopping.
From day one, we recognised that New Zealand producers were on the up, and we wanted to create a place for them to truly shine, after many years of being regarded as second-tier to imported lines. Now we deal with more than 500 individual producers every month and that is no small feat. Creating this dialogue means we work directly with our producers and, in many cases they will create interesting and exciting new products just for the Farro audience.
We are so humbled by their exuberance, skill and passion. But supporting local, for us, doesn’t just mean local producers and artisans, it also ties in with our commitment to our actual, physical communities and our drive to help raise funds for local charity groups and make donations to some of the groups we see making a real difference in our community. For more information on our charities, go to: Charities we support.