Stratford born-and-raised, Vaughan’s returned to Taranaki with his family after 20 years of developing his career.
Embracing challenges is a signature of Vaughan’s career, and one of the reasons he’s been so successful in achieving to date – constantly pushing himself into new zones and developing his skill base. Driven by self-set goals, he is a definite achiever.
“I’ve come from a grass-roots beginning as a qualified baker and will never forget when, as a donut boy, the first Bakels representative I’d ever met came into our bakery – I loved what he was doing, and decided then and there that I wanted to be in ‘Sales’ one day for Bakels!”
Sure enough, Vaughan’s first sales role was at Bakels New Zealand. All sales technicians had to be qualified bakers, so it was a seamless step for Vaughan after managing and baking in some of New Zealand’s major bakeries, including the main Auckland-based manufacturers – Pastry House, Pandoros and Quality Bakers.
“I was utilising a whole new skill set and in a really supportive environment. We had test kitchens so you could practice and really get to know the product you were selling,” he says.
From Bakels, Vaughan moved to Davis Food Ingredients as a bakery specialist, and Key Account Manager. His success saw him invited to Australia to expand the business there – travelling monthly he worked with another colleague to increase sales via deals to a range of large bakery manufacturers supplying to supermarkets.
“Developing Davis in Australia went really well – There were a lot of direct container sales from EU, India and China. I was looking after the team there for a while too which I enjoyed. On returning to New Zealand I moved from Auckland to Taranaki working remotely. It was a change of pace, and now with Taranaki Bio Extracts, it’s a change of ingredients!
Asked what he attributes his goal achievements to, Vaughan says it all comes down to hard work and firm focus on what he’s doing.
“Succeeding is easy when you have a good group around you – I felt this when I joined TBE. I’m always focused on growing the business for whoever I’m working for – when it comes to relations with people I’m quite friendly, but when it comes to business – ‘business is business’ and people respect you for it.
“I’ve maintained all my relationships right back from when I was baking – they’ve carried throughout all my roles and provided a strong foundation to my career,” he says.
It’s those relationships that put Vaughan in good stead with his interest and success in supporting Start-ups, and there’s been a few of them – from The Caker to The Midnight Baker and Cathedral Cove (yoghurt).
When I was at Davis Food Ingredients, we were the agents for Kara (coconut milk) – we offered Cathedral Cove our product and it was a great success. There was The Midnight Baker as well with their seeded Freedom Loaf. My first meeting was at Yeshe Dawa’s house, and the next minute she had a café and wholesale area, and had gone from buying from supermarkets to purchasing pallets from us – it all grew from there.
The Caker was another super success story. Vaughan worked with Jordan Rondel to develop her line of luxury make-at-home cake kits while at Davis Food Ingredients.
“She had a vision of creating cake kits, had started, but hadn’t maximized the potential of her idea. When I took over the account, I suggested she look at Davis manufacturing it – getting our QA team to assess the ingredients, make sure they were binding together correctly, and supplying samples so Jordan could test them,” he says.
Vaughan helped with the whole process, including sourcing specialist ingredients for their premium product.
“It was a great project to be a part of, and then see how they took off,” he says.
Vaughan was drawn to Taranaki Bio Extracts as an interesting industry with its’ export focus – the ‘grass fed’ proposition, and the New Zealand Difference.
“I enjoy the upcycling approach – the fact we’re making a product out of something that was previously considered ‘waste’. It’s great in this industry because there are a lot of start-ups when it comes to bone broth brands. Many have developed a company because they initially had health issues and found bone broth was beneficial, so decided to share it as a product.
“I’m really looking forward to sharing what I have to contribute to the growth and success of TBE,” says Vaughan.