Business ‘hemps’ its bets


hempy-bars-brad-lake-brendon-mcintosh-1aIn an age that sees Paddy Gower ‘on weed’ and certain politicians going for ‘toke’ in efforts to decriminalise or even legalise marijuana, it’s not surprising to see enterprising Kiwis keen to cash in on a newly-accepted cash crop. However, those keen to hit higher heights courtesy of new Hempy Bars may be disappointed.

“We want to educate the world about the huge nutritional and environmental benefits of hemp,” says Brendon McIntosh from The Brothers Green. “Of course, this has to start with removing the stigma from hemp and any association with THC.”

Free of THC (the psychoactive constituent of cannabis), The Brothers Green’s Hempy Bars (new to New World Supermarkets) are also gluten, dairy, and nut free, while being low in sugar.

“Our Hempy Bars were made for children and families. They really are a perfect superfood and snack for kids, and we’ve had a very enthusiastic response from all the children and adults who have tried them.”

A qualified pharmacist and nutritionist, Brendon joined forces with Brad Lake (a former rural banker) and agribusiness expert, Michael Burnett, to ensure The Brothers Green would become a growing business in more ways than one. In addition to its new bars, the company also produces hemp clothing and skincare ranges.

However, without support from Te Ōhaka’s (the Centre for Growth & Innovation) Ministry of Awesome (MoA), the business may have never even taken root.

“The Brothers Green were part of the first cohort of entrepreneurs to enter Te Ōhaka,” Marian Johnson from MoA adds. “We are proud to surround them with the start-up acceleration and support they need to get market traction and recognition.”

Entries for the MoA’s 2019 FoodStarter awards close on 13 October – see for details.