Kaye and Bernie Crosby founded Prolife Foods in 1984 from
their home garage by selling nuts through vending machines.
Thirty years later the company produces some of the most
well-known food brands in New Zealand including Mother Earth
and Alison's Pantry.
The husband and wife team have both been made officers of the
New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and
The set up the food company after selling out of a real
Initially Kaye handled the administration while looking after
two young children and Bernie weighed, packed and sold the
Three years later they had three employees and began to
diversify into hospitality supplies tapping into the Rotorua
In 1993 they developed the Alison's Pantry brand with the
backing of chef Alison Holst and found success through
selling it to the New World and Pak' N Save Stores.
In 2008 the company bought Mother Earth from Cadbury.
In 2005 Kaye stepped back from a management role in the
business and Bernie withdrew from day to day management in
2006. They both remain on the board.
The Hamilton-based company employs more than 600 people.
Bernie received an honorary doctorate from the University of
Waikato last year (2013)
He has also held directorships at several other companies and
contributes to the community through his support of the
Hamilton Gardens, the MESH Sculpture Trust, the New Zealand
Painting and Printmaking Award and the Coromandel Westpac
Rescue Helicopter Trust.
Last year he initiated a campaign to raise $1 million over
five years to fund neurological research into Parkinson's