In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and innovators working on our next generation of new business startups, social enterprises and small businesses.

At a glance

Founders: Ian & Sally Wastney, Tristan & Sylvia Wastney, Alexander & Kristin Wastney

Business: Little Beauties

Founded: 2018

HQ: Nelson

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

We are Little Beauties, a New Zealand-based startup that creates unique dried fruit snacks and ingredients from locally-sourced, premium quality produce. Our snacks are either 100% natural or paired with premium chocolate, making them as delicious as they are nutritious.

We use innovative drying methods that preserve the fruit’s natural goodness and flavour, and package them in resealable, soft plastic, recyclable packaging. We have recently developed NZ fruit purees & Juices, as well as Freeze dried and spray dried NZ fruit powders.

Our mission is to share the joy of distinct Aotearoa fruits with the world, while building a sustainable business model that adds value to New Zealand growers and creates a positive workplace for our people.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

Little Beauties was founded in 2018 by two generations of the Wastney family with a mission to share the joy of New Zealand’s distinct Aotearoa fruits with the world. The idea for the business came from the Wastney’s family, where they developed an innovative method of drying feijoas to send to friends and family overseas. They received great feedback on their product and started selling the dried feijoas at the local Nelson Farmers Market.

From there, the Wastney’s up-cycled blemished New Zealand gold kiwifruit by developing air-dried slices, and the business progressed to working with local berry growers to preserve whole fruit freeze-dried New Zealand boysenberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Today, Little Beauties is a sustainable business model that adds value to New Zealand growers, creates a positive workplace, and builds a global customer base.

What programmes, learning or mentoring have been of assistance so far?

  • We have had amazing support through NZTE, Callaghan, Nelson Chamber of Commerce and shareholders. NZTE offers great resources and different funding initiatives to support your export growth.
  • Networking and collaborating with other NZ food brands has been a fantastic way to learn new ideas and insights as well as sharing ups and downs.
  • A few good reads that have helped – The 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey, Good to Great by Jim Collins, Scaling up by Verne Harnish, $100 million offers by Alex Hormozi, The Psychology of money by Morgan Housel.


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