Roy McFarlane

Roy McFarlane loves making people happy with food. That simple passion is the beating heart behind his new venture, The Canteen, a modern take on a canteen serving delicious food to hungry Wellington CBDers. Roy grew up all around South Africa and is a self-taught guru of anything he’s turned his hand to, including helping to construct hotels and mansions on the Maldives, build restaurant brands from SA to London, as an interior designer for private homes and projects in Dubai, and as a cook. He moved to Wellington last December, launching his own line of sauces under the moniker Mabel & Mack before opening The Canteen. His favourite meal he's ever cooked is Brisket with red wine. Get down to 8 Bond Street in Wellington to savour the soul food for yourself.


What’s happening in the world of Roy McFarlane for 2013?

In the nine months that I've been living in NZ (I'd never even been here before I moved!) I've started a small sauce business, Mabel and Mack sauce emporium and recently a restaurant, The Canteen @ 8 Bond street, Wellington.

It has been a crazy time, and since I'm no longer in my 20s or even early 30s it takes a lot longer to get the ol' engine running. But then, once my engine's up and running it's all good and is built more for comfort than for speed anyway. As for what else is on the go? Expansion, catering, more sauces, something in Auckland, weddings in Mexico and Istanbul (if I can get out of the shop!). Basically work, work, work. It's going to be awesome! 


Describe the most generous person you know and how they influence you.

Hands down the most generous person I know is my wife, Nyree. She has stood by me regardless of my many many mini meltdowns (bit of a handful) and always inspires me to be a better person. When we got married I read out a list that I had made of the 10 things that she has taught me over the years, that list is increasing every day.


Name an everyday action that makes the world a better place, yet is underrated. 

Being nice to an animal. It's largely ignored, as some people consider them to be a nuisance more than a gift. Don't get me wrong, I'm no tree hugger but not much beats hanging out with a pooch or a cat at the end of a long hard day who want nothing more except your love and affection. My in-laws have an outstanding pooch named Purdy she's refills my soul when it's empty.


Tell us three things that inspire you and why.

This is going to sound crazy, but Grand Designs inspires me. It's extraordinary the lengths that some people will go to realise their dream home. Home is the most important place for me, and when I'm big enough and old enough I want to be able to build exactly what I want. is a fantastic website for home and store ideas, and seeing as I have one of the two it's a wealth of inspiration and design.

People who pluck up the courage to try their own thing. As we all know life is short and spending it doing things you don't like is not the way. We create our own happiness.


Be generous and treat a friend to a free coffee at The Canteen every Tuesday with your One Percent Collective Snapper card as part of their 2 for 1 offer on coffee. You can even purchase your card there!