Our Stories: Lizzie Gurr

Written by Anna Fitzgerald.

Lizzie Gurr bw with name compressLizzie and her husband James are the power couple behind bringing Ozone Coffee Roasters to London five years ago. Although always ambitious with a desire to explore the world, Lizzie never anticipated she would be where she is today.

She describes her New Plymouth upbringing as fairly typical and filled with lots of extracurricular activities and the odd entrepreneurial venture. Later, at university in Wellington, Lizzie began to wonder where her Art History degree would take her and worked almost every night in hospitality (or “hospo”) to avoid feeling like a poor student. It was during this time that she met her future husband, James – an Englishman and a coffee roaster.

Although James initially swore he would never live in London, the two started to crave an adventure and to start their own business. Wellington in particular felt small so they started exploring overseas opportunities.

Our Stories: Rosemary Coldstream

Written by Linda Rose.

Rosemary Coldstream BW gimpRosemary Coldstream’s husband thought her timing was seriously off. She had decided to make a change from a long career in fashion to landscape design at a time when the TV programme ‘Ground Force’ had brought garden design into popular consciousness and new landscape designers were popping up all over. Lovingly he told her, “You’ll never make it.”

Presumably he has since eaten his words as Rosemary has gone on to design award-winning gardens, including a delightful trade stand for the Chelsea Flower Show which featured a Morris Minor set in a lush 1950s picnic scene, as well as receiving a prestigious Society of Garden Designers’ award (‘the BAFTAs of garden design awards’). When not developing high end garden plans for a range of clients, Rosemary also writes and lectures on garden design.

Our Stories: Rae Parsons

Written by Eleanor McIntosh.

Rae Parsons finalIn an industry characterised by glitzy premiers and celebrities, film financier Rae Parsons has had her fair share of brushes with fame having met Matt Damon, shaken hands with Jude Law, and waved at Gwyneth Paltrow on the red carpet, and wistfully recalls two of the latest biggest blockbusters as “the ones that got away”.

A Hawkes’ Bay girl, Rae had no specific career aspirations at school but was strongly encouraged by her mother and step-father to pursue nursing upon completing high school. Gifted academically and with a strong work ethic, Rae quickly rose through the ranks to Charge Nurse at Hastings Memorial Hospital. However, after 10 years she felt that it was time to change direction particularly as she didn’t want to pursue further roles in management.

Our stories: Anna Hansen MBE

Written by Emma Bell.

Anna Hansen bw rev 567x800Having been born in Canada, raised in New Zealand and with Danish grandparents living just a stone’s throw away, it’s no wonder that London based chef, Anna Hansen takes her inspiration from cultures and cuisines around the world.

Her approach to food uses modern ingredients to liven up every day dishes and has won her not only critical acclaim, but has also seen her awarded an MBE. Anna’s love of being a chef stems from the creativity her approach allows her; not being confined by any particular cuisine or region means she can cherry-pick her favourite flavours and combine them in new and innovative ways.

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