WildTomato magazine, December 2008 issue
Founder Murray Farquhar launched WildTomato as a 16-page local magazine in Nelson in July 2006, aiming to create an "essential lifestyle magazine" for the Nelson region. His initial plan was for a weekly printed magazine, before the magazine eventually shifted to a larger monthly publication. The magazine targets a readership of people aged 30-plus in the middle-to-upper socio-economic groups.
The current majority owner of the magazine is Jack Martin, an immigrant to Nelson from the United Kingdom, who initially became editor of WildTomato in December 2007. Martin oversaw a substantial evolution in the scope, size, print quality, and regional coverage of the magazine, which is now published as an 80-plus page high quality glossy magazine that focuses on the entire Top of the South Island of New Zealand. In March 2008 Martin began the process to buy WildTomato from Farquhar, eventually completing the sale in September 2008.
In November 2009, WildTomato changed formats, becoming a perfect-bound standard-sized 100-page magazine, shifting from its traditional oversized saddle-stitched format. Earlier in 2009 the magazine's website was also revamped.
The magazine has quickly become involved in its local communities, sponsoring and otherwise being involved in many events including featuring several on a monthly basis in its "Snapped" pages, and creating the annual reader-voted Dine Out Awards to highlight the best of the best in terms of Top of the South food, wine, and hospitality. The magazine is further entwined with its local regions by predominantly using a wide range of local writers and photographers as its contributors.
The content of WildTomato reflects the neighbouring regions it covers, which are renowned both in New Zealand and internationally for their sunny climate, stunning natural beauty such as the Marlborough Sounds, thriving arts community, diverse national parks such as the Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson Lakes National Park and Kahurangi National Park, excellent food and wine, and wide range of adventure activities. Many of the columns and regular features in the magazine focus on one or more of these aspects of the area.
The magazine includes larger feature articles highlighting some of the issues, personalities, and landscapes of the regions, including famous people who are originally from the area, such as Nobel Prize–winning father of nuclear physics Baron Ernest Rutherford. Famous or notable people that have been interviewed by the magazine include sports stars Simon Mannering and Phill Jones, internationally acclaimed Cloudy Bay Vineyards winemaker Kevin Judd and Neudorf winery owner Judy Finn, pioneering cafe owner Eelco Boswijk, professional dancer and 2009 Dancing with the Stars winner Samantha Hitchcock, and former Prime Ministers Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Jenny Shipley.
Each month WildTomato includes a variety of themed interviews, focusing on people in or from the region, who are involved in certain things that are considered strongly associated with the Top of the South, or are simply fascinating in other ways. Currently the three interview columns are Creative Ones (Nelson is well known as a creative arts centre), The Great Outdoors (the Top of the South has a rich natural landscape and a strong sporting culture), and A Life Less Ordinary. The Great Outdoors interview column replaced the Locals Abroad column (people from the Top of the South living fascinating lives overseas), which had run for the previous 18 months, in July 2009.
Previous interviewees featured in these columns include acclaimed Golden Bay muralist Chris Finlayson, world championship motocross star Josh Coppins, Tall Blacks basketball coach Nenad Vucinic, author Marguerite van Geldermalsen, children's educational DVD creator Emma Heke and NZ Open surfing champion Angie Koops.
Food, Fashion, and Health
As a lifestyle magazine, a significant amount of WildTomato's content is also devoted to food, drink, fashion and health. The magazine includes regular monthly columns on food, recipes, reviews of local eateries, and issues relating to the local wine industries. Marlborough is the major wine-growing region in New Zealand, and Nelson is also increasingly well known for high-quality wines. Internationally trained chef and nutritionist Nicola Galloway writes the monthly food column. Fashion also features heavily, with the magazine increasingly known for high-quality multi-page fashion spreads in each issue, often shot by English lifestyle photographer Daniel Allen.
Use of Images
WildTomato is noticeably visual and image-centric – packed with large, high quality photos – as Martin believes quality photos are crucial to any magazine. On occasion, the magazine also includes photo essays over several pages, highlighting happenings in the region, such as some large forest fires that burned the hills behind Nelson earlier in 2009.
- Official WildTomato website
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- "Official website". Wildtomato.co.nz. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- Official Nelson MarchFest website Archived 9 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Peacock Promotions Ltd. "Women's Lifestyle Expo 2008 Official Website". Peacock.co.nz. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- Dine Out Awards 2009 website
- "artist Basil Steele website". Photoartist.co.nz. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "writer Charlotte Squire website". Happyzine.co.nz. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
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- Bill Goldridge Wealth Management website Archived 30 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
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- Kiwicraig. "writer and book reviewer Craig Sisterson website". Kiwicrime.blogspot.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Unconditional | What's really going on in realestate". Voices.realestate.co.nz. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
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- "''"Photographers' favourite work goes on show"'' ''Nelson Mail'' article, 20 August 2008". Highbeam.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Born to be Wild – WildTomato – The magazine for Nelson and Marlborough". WildTomato. Retrieved 12 January 2012.