Volare was founded in 2009 by school mates Ed Hemming and Ryan Simmons. Their goal was to bake and sell the highest quality sourdough breads and pastries. Volare is now the Waikato and Bay of Plenty’s premier artisan bakery, distributing to restaurants, cafes, food stores and with five of its own retail stores and 100 staff. Volare applied for Regional Business Partner programme funding and has sent its retail manager on a leadership course. We asked co-founder, Ed Hemming, a few quick-fire questions.

What does a typical day or week look like for you?

A blend of financial reviews and staff management.

What is your favourite part of being a business owner?

The ability to carve our own path.

What’s a business highlight you’re most proud of?

Watching staff grow and excel with new responsibilities.

What’s one (or some) of your biggest business challenges?

Recruitment, ‘knee-jerk’ Government policy, supply chain restrictions.

Why did you apply for RBP funding?

Most of our management staff have grown through the ranks, we are stoked to be able to offer additional external training for them and the fact that an organisation like Soda exists to help facilitate this is amazing.

What training did you do?

Amy Jeong, our retail general manager (who manages all five of the retail stores) is doing the Everest Group's Leadership Development Programme.

Amy said: "This course is already helping me in my role with managing staff in my department. To be able to learn alongside people in similar roles, from different industries, is an opportunity I’m so thankful for and it has already got me out of my comfort zone, thinking outside the box and learning about myself personally and as a manager."