Support local hospitality
Visa believe in using the power of their network as a force for good, which is why they've created #WhereYouShopMatters, an initiative encouraging people around the world to think about the positive impact their shopping can have on local communities.
Meet the Merchants:
Meet the heroes of our #WhereYouShopMatters Visa Wellington On a Plate Campaign.
Peter Gillespie – Brewer
Head Brewer and one of the founders of Wellington Brewery Garage Project. Peter worked as a brewer in the UK, at Brakspears and Hepworth & Co, then at the Malt Shovel in Sydney, before moving back to New Zealand to start Garage Project. GP has grown from brewing 50 litre batches in an abandoned garage in 2011, to being one of New Zealand’s largest independent breweries, while continuing to produce a huge range of innovative and exciting beers.
Margaret Gabriel — Head Chef
Margaret’s career as a Chef started 20 years ago at Hotels in Auckland, Taupo, and Mt Ruapehu before finally working her way down the country and settling in Wellington 6 years ago, where she was introduced to Visa Wellington On a Plate. A Samoan national, and the Head Chef at Lulu Bar for over 2 years, her experience allowed her to play with a lot of seafood and pacific Island flavours. Margaret loves Wellington's Hospitality scene with all its flavours and people who make every experience unique. She loves how Visa Wellington On a Plate helps showcase businesses with friendly competition.
Maciej Zimny – Sommelier
Maciej’s adventure into the hospitality industry started 15 years ago. Before arriving in Wellington in 2012 he completed a 5-year Masters Degree in Hospitality & Management traveling to Poland, Italy, and Australia. Maciej has held several roles in his career including Manager & Head Sommelier at Hippopotamus Restaurant at the Museum Art Hotel. He also played a crucial role in the 2016 opening of Noble Rot Wine Bar and has continued to be instrumental in its success. Amongst many awards, Maciej also won the 2018 Family of XII Tutorial Institute of Masters of Wine Prize for his tasting.
Beka Malone — Bartender
General Manager of Wellington’s newest cocktail lounge, Lovebite, Beka Malone specialises in cult classic cocktails that tantalise. Originally from Whangarei, Beka honed her craft over many years up and down the country, before learning about cocktails from a Czechoslovakian mixologist and truly finding her passion. Beka's approach to cocktails is simple – take the nostalgic cocktails we all know and love, then give them a distinct Kiwi twist. This approach has held her in good stead as she steers the ship of one of NZ’s best cocktail bars.
Dominique McMillan – Front of House
A trained lawyer and comms graduate, Dominique has had one foot on the restaurant floor since the age of 15. Having worked for the likes of Michael Meredith in Auckland, Tony Stewart in San Francisco, and Neil Perry and Andrew McConnell in Australia, Dominique and her husband, chef Hayden McMillan, opened their own restaurant, the acclaimed Etta, in Melbourne in 2017. After returning to NZ in early 2020 with their young daughter, Dominique and her husband joined Floriditas as co-owners, where Dominique runs the front of house and wine program. The South-African native says hospitality is in her blood, and says after years spent living abroad, she feels lucky to call Wellington home.