The Start Up Files is a series that aims to find out where good ideas come from and how they happen. Each fortnight we chronicle the journey of someone who brought their idea to life through the Renew Adelaide program. In this article, we chat to Robbie & Andy about Nice & Sunny’s, a collaboration between Nice Pickles & Sunny’s Pizza.
“He’s dough boy, I’m pickle boy”
Robbie Mather of Nice Pickles introduces himself and Andy Nowell of Sunny’s Pizza. The pair share a commercial kitchen space located in the basement of Lion Arts Factory, a venture they call ‘Nice & Sunny’s’.
For Robbie, the kitchen is a place for him to develop ideas and work on new products for Nice Pickles. Coming from a background of graphic design and video game design, Andy started Nice Pickles because he wanted to build something of his own.
“I wanted to have complete control over a product of my own and watch it scale up. I wanted to get away from computers and fluoro lights and office space and everything that comes with that.”
In contrast, Andy has been in hospitality since he was 16. For him, Nice & Sunny’s is a place to grow the catering arm of Sunny’s Pizza. While the kitchen space serves as a prep area, its location in Lion Arts Factory has proved to be a valuable source of event catering opportunities.
Robbie and Andy met for the first time at the Renew Adelaide inspection. At the time, Robbie happened to be working in an office in the same building. He’d been researching commercial kitchen spaces so when he discovered there was one downstairs being offered rent-free he decided to investigate. Andy had been following Renew Adelaide for a while, when the kitchen space became available he saw it as his chance to get involved with the program.
“There are people with big ideas but not necessarily big budgets that can’t make those ideas come to fruition because it’s just not possible. I love the model of Renew Adelaide making the city more vibrant by activating disused spaces so I’ve always wanted to be involved in a project because I think it’s such a great great thing.”
After hitting it off straight away, they decided to team up and put in a joint application. It’s now been 6 months since the launch of Nice & Sunny’s and in that time they’ve achieved a lot. However for Robbie and Andy, the real value has been the experiences they’ve gained and the people they’ve met along the way.
For anyone starting a business, Andy advises “Don’t quantify your success based on economical return, there’s a lot of other things you can get from it that aren’t just money based. Enjoy the interactions you have with people and the experiences you get.”
Robbie adds, “On a more selfish level, don’t waste your life doing something you don’t want to do. If you want something just do it and find a way to make it work.”