The My Food Bag concept is based on the home delivery of food parcels containing all
ingredients needed for a week’s main meals together with simple, healthy and
delicious recipes. Carlos was introduced to business and entrepreneurship when
he participated in the Young Enterprise Scheme at high school. Carlos is a
firm believer that business should be taught in schools and is hugely supportive of Young Enterprise.
First off, what sort of student were you at school?
I was an all-rounder, one of those kids who’d do very well across all classes,
however never excelled in one specific subject. I studied everything from history
to horticulture and economics to English. I craved variety and learnt best when
I understood the practical application
What was your YES team at James Hargest and what
did you guys sell?
We sold handmade Rimu bookends – made from recycled timber shaped
into a koru with a paua shell insert. We aptly named ourselves ‘Paua to the People’.
To be fair the product looked beautiful and sold well, it just proved
terribly labour intensive. Had we not roped in various friends and family to help on
the production line (free of charge), we’d never have produced enough.
This failing was potentially the biggest learning; to be successful a project has to
be both viable and scalable.
What did you enjoy most about doing YES?
I loved the course from start to finish, it was quite possibly the best thing I did at school.
I loved selling product and talking to customers, I got a kick out of watching the team bond.
Most of all I loved the thrill of watching all the planning come together.
What did you learn through doing the YES programme?
The most important thing I learnt was that I enjoyed business. We had an
excellent teacher, she’d drill us on business planning and she really did inspire us and
give us confidence in our own ideas.
Tell us about your role at My Food Bag?
During the start-up phase and as a small group of founders we rolled up our sleeves
and did anything and everything required to get the business launched. However,
the company quickly grew and under the clever leadership of Cecilia and
James Robinson (our partners) we went about employing an amazing team
with a diverse range of skill sets to help continue the growth. This allowed me to focus
solely on overseeing and implementing the marketing and advertising strategies.
How did you end up working in marketing?
Studying marketing at university felt like a natural choice. I paired my
Commerce Degree with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology as
I wanted to learn more about consumer behaviour. After university I learnt the
marketing ropes at a corporate before taking the plunge into self-employment.
Has your experience with YES influenced your career path and
where you are now?
Undoubtedly yes. I think I’d have found my own direction over time, but YES helped
fast track this. Through the programme, I was given confidence in myself and my ideas
at an early age. I grew to have an avid interest in business concepts and models, in
people and industry. I doubt I’d have been exposed to this until much later otherwise.
What are you working on now?
As we’ve grown the My Food Bag team, I’ve been able to step-back
from the day-to-day operations within the company. While I continue to
help manage Nadia’s publishing and digital channels I am extremely fortunate
to be able to spend time on a range of projects that interest me (from agriculture
to ecommerce). Likewise, I’m a hands-on Dad to our two-year-old toddler.
In your experience, what do you think is the most important
skill to have in the business world?
Remaining customer focused and concentrating on what the market
needs and where the market is heading!
Any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Focus on providing a (scalable) solution to a genuine market pain.