Working at Pic’s with Caitlin

In 2021, Nayland College Alumni, Caitlin scored herself the unique and exciting opportunity to be Head of Marketing at Pic’s Peanut Butter, New Zealand’s market-leading peanut butter company.  The role was a huge career move for Caitlin while still allowing her the lifestyle that living in Nelson provides.

For Caitlin, choosing to live and work in Nelson was not part of her career plan.  Having left her marketing role at Whittaker’s with the intention of moving to Europe, her plans changed due to COVID and she returned to Nelson for lockdown.  Upon her return, Caitlin began working part time for Chia Sisters, a sustainable beverage company as their Chief Marketing Officer alongside her job working remotely for Whittaker’s.  However, when coffee with the Head of Marketing for Pic’s turned into a job offer and ultimately one of the best career decisions she would have made, Nelson quickly became the best place for her to be.

In her day job she runs a team of marketing and new product development whizzes.  Each day is different, whether she’s planning (and featuring in) a video about climate positive business, helping a colleague create a new flavour of nut butter or attending a strategy meeting with the senior management team.  She says:

“in marketing, there is no ‘typical‘ day”

The food and beverage industry is an exciting area to be in, and due to its fast-paced nature it’s easy to try new things and new products.  Finding a slightly crazy way to do something and then moving on to the next project is something Caitlin finds exhilarating in her role.  Highlighting the well-connected community and supportive environment that the food and beverage in Nelson promote, Caitlin got over 100 business people together to work on a pledge to help the whole region be early adopters of zero carbon business, helping to push Te Tau Ihu forward environmentally.

Caitlin describes one of the biggest benefits of living in Nelson as the outdoors:

“Living in Nelson I don’t even need a gym membership.  Every day I bike to work along the railway reserve and when I get home in the evening I often catch up with friends; go for a mountain bike ride and we sometimes go straight from the bike trails to The Freehouse for a drink.  This lifestyle is something I never had in Wellington and it’s awesome!”

The lifestyle that allows her to make the most out of her working week also allows Caitlin to make some pretty incredible memories in her weekends.  Emphasising the beauty and accessibility of the Abel Tasman National Park, Caitlin mentions how she and her partner enjoy running into Apple Tree Bay, cooking up some nachos, soaking in the sun and then running back out again.  The bonus is that it’s an activity that can be done all year round!

Caitlin explains that working for a slightly smaller, young company that’s experiencing a lot of change and having different opportunities because of this has been awesome:

“I wasn’t coming here expecting to do the Head of Marketing role, but when it came up I thought about it and I decided that it was a good challenge.  Was I nervous to have a go?  Yes, but I think it’s paid off.”