Celia Robinson - Founder Tend
Mar 09, 2021
Celia Robinson - Founder Tend
Celia Robinson - Founder Tend

Cecilia Robinson is most recognised as founder and former CEO of My Food Bag but the experienced entrepreneur founded her first business Au Pair Link in 2007, aged 21, with husband James Robinson.

Cecilia’s work as a Swedish au pair inspired the business, which became Australasia's largest and the first global agency to license au pairs. Au Pair Link transformed the ECE sector and was sold to Evolve Education Group in December 2014 contributing interest to its NZX and ASX debuts.

In 2012, the Robinson Duo founded My Food Bag, bringing on Theresa Gattung, and chef Nadia Lim and Carlos Bagrie as co-founders, launching consumer meal kits in March 2013. Within three years, My Food Bag amassed more than 50,000 customers with revenue exceeding $100 million, transforming the online retail food sector and Kiwis mealtimes.

In 2016, the founding team sold 70 percent of the company to Waterman Capital. In 2018 Cecilia and James retired as CEOs remaining as directors.

Since inception, MFB has delivered more than 60 million meals, has become the third largest food retailer in New Zealand, is the largest, most profitable food kit in the world, and reaches 90 percent of Kiwis through its delivery network.

MFB is committed to the wellbeing of Kiwis and alongside delivering 10,000 meals each month to New Zealand charities, during COVID lockdown 2020, it launched the Back-up Bag, a world-first product. It was designed for charitable deliveries and as a home “safety” food box, and delivered 35,000 meals during Easter.

In 2020, motivated by a vision that “our children and the children of New Zealand don’t deserve to inherit our healthcare system”,  Cecilia and James founded Tend Health to optimise every Kiwis’ healthcare experience.

The digital-first primary healthcare platform brings together formidable New Zealand leaders, including PushPay CPO, Josh Robb, and Harvard educated Dr Mataroria Lyndon as Clinical Director. The remaining team includes 20 extraordinary health professionals, technologists and entrepreneurs committed to transforming healthcare for all generations.

In 2013, Cecilia won the EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and in 2017 she won the Business Enterprise Award and the Supreme Award at the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards.

As a mother of two young children and passionate advocate for women and mothers, Cecilia launched one of the most generous private company schemes in NZ with provision for 18 weeks paid parental leave. She is an avid mentor of women in business and the community. She is currently mentoring two startups and established business women juggling a post-COVID lockdown economy.

Cecilia is founding Trustee of The Prince’s Trust New Zealand focussing on Youth Entrepreneurship and the Environment, and supports multiple NZ charities and social enterprises.