The third of our Boss Ladies series profiles Lisa Booth, a food systems innovator, entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of Kete Kai, Aotearoa’s most accessible food box.
Booth’s passion for people, community and learning are what drive Kete Kai’s core values, which are based upon redesigning food systems within New Zealand and creating a more affordable, sustainable, and accessible option for families on a budget. Her long-term vision is to be part of the change that accomplishes Kete Kai’s Kaupapa which is to end hunger in Aotearoa by 2030.
Here, we chat to Booth about her entrepreneurial journey, purpose beyond profit, and her thoughts on the industry’s representation of women.
How did Kete Kai come about?
We as a team were curious about the food system, driven by high food prices in a country which we know produces enough to feed us all ten times over. When we unpicked what was creating the high prices, it seemed that there was a lot of economic leak through bad system design. When you look at people who are struggling to feed their whanau it is hard not to feel moved, angry, and passionate about pushing for change: this now drives us and our Kaupapa to end hunger in New Zealand.
How do you juggle managing your business and looking after three children?
My children are incredible, they understand the drive and passion behind my work. We make our moments count and find space to connect – currently, we are learning Te Reo together. Balance is a constant work in progress for me, but I’m grateful for their caring inquisitive minds keeping me accountable: “Mum, we are doing family time now”.
What stage is your business at now?
We are still a start-up; our philosophy is to co-create followed by research and development. In saying that, we are already revenue generating and have a great product live with our affordable meal kits, our Cambridge Community House meal kit, and our partnering project with Papakura Marae.
Do you think there should be more women in leadership roles?
Absolutely, not only women but I think diversity as a whole brings more viewpoints and lenses too. We have come a long way, from getting the vote, but there is still much work to do with women and indigenous people being such a small minority in our sector or business and tech, funding is hideous and discrimination we need to do more!
Read more: Boss Ladies Part One
Read more: Boss Ladies Part Two