Jason Pearce

Jason Pearce


After working in the Wellington Hospitality industry for over 15 years, I have spent the last 18 months gaining an understanding of sales and marketing in the liquor industry. With a goal of gaining a better understanding of the wine and beverage business, last year I set about working in the winery for Rod McDonald. This role has developed into a sales role throughout the Hawkes Bay region and expanding into Wellington and wider territory's. I have gained a great understanding of the liquor industry, from the other side of the fence and have dealt with all sectors of the industry including grocery and traditional liquor.

My hospitality career saw me working primarily on the creation and development of high quality sites with an emphasis on growing profitability.  Practical experience in this highly competitive area has enabled me to develop a strong skill set and broad industry knowledge.  It has also allowed me to develop a unique perspective on brand management - in particular, the success and failure of brands through distribution approach, brand presence and strategic alliance selection.

While I have seen many trends come and go in the liquor industry, my focus areas have remained steady throughout my career:

·quality products

·creative and effective marketing & sales strategy

·relationship building and nurturing

·exceeding expectations

It is my passion and experience, which will allow me to make a transition to many different fields including management, sales and marketing, project management and development.  I am excited about the prospect of using my creative approach to generate fresh ideas in any venture I am involved with.

I am driven by the opportunity to create initiatives and achieve goals, I feel my management experience and skills lend themselves to many sectors of industry, including but not limited to the wine and beverage industry.

I am originally from the Manawatu and my wife Anna is from Hawkes Bay.We have two boys Reed (14) and Hugo (11). In 2012 we settled into the Hawkes Bay and enjoy our new home town.

Work History

Work History
Apr 2013 - Present

Hawkes Bay Territory Manager

Rod McDonald Wines

After working a vintage with Rod McDonald at the Hawkes Bay Wine Company, I began picking up two days per week selling to the hospitality trade within Hawkes Bay. As this role developed I began to step away from the winery and focus on the sales and brand development in New Zealand. Along with trade sales I have been integral in development of the Te Awanga Estate Cellar Door for summer 2014, including a redevelopment and new outdoor extension. I have also developed and worked on events in support of Rod McDonald Wine brands, including brand events and FAWC (Hawke's Bay food and wine event). I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity  to work on the development of new wine brands and branding, including Quarter Acre, Te Awanga Estate, Two Gates and One Off to name a few. In an extension of this role I am working on a commission basis for Red + White Cellar, who have an extensive National and International beverage portfolio. 

Jan 2013 - Jun 2013

Cellar Hand

The Hawke's Bay Wine Company

With view to going deep within the industry that I had grown to love. I left hospitality and rolled up my sleeves to work with Rod McDonald and the Hawkes Bay Wine Company and work a harvest/vintage. This was a challenging, enlightening and exhausting few months, but I felt it gave me a thorough understanding of the wine industry and a wine education like no other. I developed within the company into a sales / area management role with Rod McDonald Wines. In my current position I still work one day per week in the winery and thoroughly enjoy the hands-on involvement. 

Apr 2012 - Dec 2012

General Manager

Black Barn Bistro

I moved to Hawkes Bay for the role of general manager of Black Barn Bistro. This was a role that I thoroughly enjoyed and achieved much success with. I was responsible for initiating and implementing a Friday evening dinner service, which has been a great success and has become one of the most profitable periods of trade for the business. I developed and worked on several successful events as part of the inaugural Hawkes Bay food and wine event F.A.W.C Nearly all of which sold out and generated good profit for the company. In December 2012, due to the bigger picture within the company, I left Black Barn. 


  • Attained a good understanding of Hawkes Bay hospitality market
  • Working with the catering and function arm of Orton Catering
  • Have developed strong relationships within Hawkes Bay industry
  • Gained an understanding of a boutique winery operation while working along side it
  • Worked closely with the events manager at Black Barn and gained a good insight to larger scale event management
Sep 2006 - Apr 2012

Owner/General Manager

St Johns Heineken Hotel

For many years I had admired this Art Deco Wellington building, which sat vacant for over 10 years awaiting earthquake strengthening and a willing tenant. So when in 2005 DB Breweries approached me to buy into and develop the concept of a Heineken Hotel for them and told me they had secured the lease on this building, I jumped at the opportunity.

I opened St Johns Heineken Hotel the following year and since then we have firmly established it as the premium Wellington waterfront food and beverage venue. St Johns has received many accolades for not only its stunning setting and concept, but more so for it's outstanding restaurant, delicious bar food and superb wine list consisting of over 180 wines.

In 2009 I sold St Johns Bar to the Trinity Group and they employed me as a general manager of the business. Which is the role I still am in currently. 


  • Recruiting, nurturing and retaining industry leading staff of up to 45 people at any one time.
  • Creating and maintaining the number One Heineken venue in New Zealand.
  • Proving all the naysayers wrong that the venue was too far off the beaten track to be successful, especially with Wellington's notorious weather.
  • Five Stars - David Burton, Dominion Post, 2007
  • Deploying fresh and unique promotion concepts which grow the business - Death by Oysters, Beers of the World, "When it Rains we Pour"
  • Utilising and embracing Social Media and business networks to augment sales.
Jul 2004 - Dec 2011

Owner / Manager

Hope Bros

Responding to changes in the market, in 2004 The Fat Ladies Arms made way for a radical overhaul into what o became a renowned Wellington live music venue and bar/restaurant, Hope Bros. Here we developed a strategy for creating repeat business and solid trade on all days of the week through carefully crafting our live acts, focus on good food and a high quality fit out of the site.

In 2008 I brought my business partner out and in 2009 I sold the bar as a going concern. Post sale complications on behalf of the purchaser meant I got the bar back under my control. In December 2011 I completed a sale of the business.

May 2003 - Jul 2006


The Occidental

In late 2002 I brought the famous Wellington landmark the Old Bailey. In partnership with a leading designer we  relaunched this prime Lambton Quay site. Leveraging my relationship with DB, and in partnership with my investors Trinity Group, developed what turned out to be the beginnings of the now ubiquitous Monteiths Brewery bar concept.

The Occidental was and still is a roaring success. We brought to the industry fresh thinking around the 'gastro pub' concept, offering quality tap beers and great food combined with an authentic atmosphere drawn from the rich history of the West Coast brewing company. Importantly the Occidental quickly re-established its links with the Old Bailey faithful, while drawing in a whole new segment of customers to grow the business. I sold my shares in The Occidental to Trinity Group in 2006, to focus on my new bar Hope Bros.

Memorable highlights of the Occidental days are:

  • Concept development from scratch in partnership with DB. This nationwide phenomenon still uses the key elements of my original concepts.
  • Developing and refining an appreciation of  wine.
Feb 2005 - Nov 2005

Owner / Manager

Atlanta Bar

I brought this bar / cafe when the opportunity arose because of its strategic location in the heart of Wellington's financial district. It had great sun and I could see by looking at the books that it was under performing. By streamlining systems and costs across the business I was able to accept an offer to sell the business within the first year for a tidy profit.

Dec 1997 - Jun 2004

Owner / Manager

The Fat Ladies Arms

The Fat Ladies Arms was an iconic bar franchise across New Zealand during the 90's. After getting to know the franchise owners through my previous furniture building business, I bought the Wellington franchise.  At the time this was the largest bar franchise in New Zealand. The key ingredients of the success of this organisation was the continual evolution of the marketing and promotion strategy they used and I gained valuable insights into effective targeted marketing.

A major part of the role also involved the management and growth of key supplier relationships with Dominion Breweries and other parties.

Highlights I value from this time are:

  • Growing the turnover of the already significant business by over 50% in the first year.
  • Gaining an appreciation of the benefits of comprehensive systems and systems management.
  • Learning how to evolve and shift business practices to continually meet the moving market.
  • Skills gained in the management of both key customer and key staff relationships.
Jan 1991 - Dec 1997


Colyton Country Furniture

My first business was in Furniture making. What began as a means of supporting myself during University blossomed over 7 years into a commercial enterprise employing three staff making bespoke furniture for clients across New Zealand. It was here I discovered my love of design, which followed me into my future bar developments. 


2009 - Present

Level 1

Guild of Sommeliers

Having been involved in wine since developing the first wine list for the Occidental, I realised  the more I learned about wine, the more there was to know! It was a natural progression to challenge myself with some formal training and develop my knowledge in this unique and highly specialised industry so when invited to undertake level one through the Guild of Sommeliers I jumped at the chance. I have been invited to be involved in several tasting panels and enjoy structured, and in particular blind wine tasting.

Feb 1988 - Oct 1990

Massey University

I embarked on a tertiary qualification at Massey in line with my practical skill sets and interests. However the competing time conflict with my burgeoning Furniture making business led me to a key junction where I had to choose between academic development or driving my business forward. I chose to focus on the business, secure in the knowledge that I can always return to this area of interest if the need or opportunity arose.



Concept Development

I pride myself on having a range of skills and the ability to develop and deliver new and exciting concepts. These have principally been within the hospitality sector, but I believe they are transferable to any product or brand. I was integral in developing the original concept of the Monteiths Bar with DB Breweries and went on to deliver the Heineken Hotel concept also in conjunction with DB Breweries. In more recent times I have implemented the Friday evening service at Black Barn Bistro, which has been a great success for the business and has generated excellent PR and increased its profile. In November this year I delivered four successful events for F.A.W.C (Hawkes Bay Food and Wine Classic) , with nearly all being sold out.  I thrive on the chance to create and develop new and exciting concepts.

Project Management

I have been involved in the project management of several bar and restaurant developments over the past 10 years. Including construction of The Occidental Bar, Hope Bros Bar & Restaurant and St Johns Heineken Hotel. I was responsible for costing and delivering these projects on budget.


Although most of my sales experience has been retail focused, I have spent the last year focused on direct sales in an extremely competitive market. With an emphasis on:   Relationship selling Maintaining and developing a customer base Knowledge of customers In depth understanding of the product Focusing product to appropriate channels Creating new channels Closing the sale  

Excel Spreadsheet

I have a good understanding of Excel and use it on a daily basis.

Management accounting and control

Being self employed for over 20 years, I have gained valuable skills and knowledge of business systems. Many of which I believe you can only develop under the pressure of business management. I have good knowledge of accounting systems such as Xero and Easybooks. I have used Ace payroll for over 10 years. 

Food and Beverage Promotion

I have spent the last 14 years marketing and promoting a vast range of products. I have worked with many representatives from all angles of the beverage industry, from French Champagne houses to Jamaican Rum producers and many of the NZ wine and beer producers.

Staff Recruitment and Management (HR)

The key factor for success in any hospitality business is your people.  Being able to find and retain great people is a significant challenge and I am proud of my success in this area.  I have had great success in managing small to medium size teams. At one point being the general manager of three Wellington restaurants and managing a combined staff of over eighty.