About Brown Owl

Brown Owl Team members standing outside Brown Owl Shop and branded retro van.

Brown Owl's dedicated staff and committee members work hard to bring you the organic food you love.

We are a non-profit organisation that began as a co-op over 12 years ago, and are still served by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about organic food and community.

Our Annual General Meeting happens in winter each year, and we ask all members to please make an effort to attend. We need your input and it's a great chance to meet other members.

If you would like to get more involved, volunteer a few hours a week or have an important idea to share, please contact us at operations@brownowl.nz

Team Brown Owl

Te Aroha Goodwin

Operations Manager & Shop Manager

I hope to see you instore sometime, or you can email me on operations@brownowl.nz

Vicky Armstrong

Vicky Armstrong

Senior Retail Assistant

After long-time volunteer work with us, we're pleased that Vicky is now the main face of Brown Owl in our retail store, where she brings her mindfulness of the importance of wholesome food, grown organically, and the nutritional benefits to our health and well-being. Vicky says she feels fortunate to be part of the Brown Owl team, and we certainly feel lucky to have her putting the sunshine in customers' days as she 'goes the extra mile' for them – and for us.

As a qualified herbalist, Vicky has a background in natural health and herbal manufacturing. She is equally passionate about animals (especially dogs) and is an advocate of raw feeding. She believes good nutrition is not only integral to our health, but our pets' too. When she's not organising the shop Vicky likes to spend time in nature exploring the forests and lakes: "This is my happy place and offers time to reflect."

Janine Cotter

Chairperson & Shop Volunteer

Brown Owl founder, mother, small farm-holder, former Rudolf Steiner kindergarten teacher, Janine has always been attracted to everything natural. She believes that there is a real need in Rotorua to enhance our health and wellbeing through eating safe, nutritious food, so in 2010 she formed Brown Owl in order to make it affordable to do so. She has been deeply inspired by the permaculture movement.

Mitch Fox


I am passionate about healthy eating and looking after the environment and therefore the production and sale of organic food within the community. I really enjoy being part of Brown Owl and among like-minded people who want to make a difference. My other interests include mountain biking, pilates, tramping, snow skiing and travel.

Sally-Anne Christensen

Committee Member – Funding



Johnelle Hosking

Committee Member – Secretary



Anja Telfer

Anja Telfer

Bagging Manager, Committee Member



Olga Milliken

Olga Milliken

Committee Member

When looking through my photos to find something for the Brown Owl website, it was obvious that I am passionate about family, friends, biking, squash, having fun, and of course organic, healthy and delicious food. I joined the Brown Owl Committee this year (2022) after being a volunteer for a while and also being on staff for a short time. As I also work as a Science teacher I decided that the best way of staying involved was to join the committee!

Organic & Local


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