About Brown Owl

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

Brown Owl's dedicated 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 the 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, help with packing or have an important idea to share, please contact us at operations@brownowl.nz

Team Brown Owl

Nikki Lorigan

Operations Manager & Shop Manager

Hello everyone, My name is Nikki and I am excited to be part of the Brown Owl team. A bit about me… After time overseas and then a few years in Auckland, I decided that it was time to return home to Rotorua. My fiancé and I left the big smoke in search of a life full of adventure (as opposed to traffic jams), and to be closer to family. In 2020 we welcomed our son Arlo and by six months old, he already had his first bike and helmet… It's fair to say you might find him in the forest someday soon! I was raised on a farm, have a passion for sustainability, and spent the last ten years working in Finance. 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


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

Treasurer and Operations Support

My name is Mitch Fox and I am currently the Treasurer and Operations Manager Support person for Brown Owl Organics. 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 – Secretary (Minutes)



Lynne Jones

Secretary (Correspondence)



Anja Telfer

Anja Telfer

Bagging & Packing Manager, Committee



Anne Cobb

Anne Cobb

Committee member

Formerly of Auckland, with Tasmanian heritage Anne says she feels privileged to live in this beautiful corner of the world. Since first learning about organic and biodynamic food and practices back in the 90s, she believes that with everything else we are exposed to it’s increasingly important to not only avoid pesticides etc. but to eat nutrient-dense food. This comes from growers that are using sustainable practices to regenerate the soil. Anne sees Brown Owl not only nourishing our bodies and minds but also creating a market for increasingly local and affordable healthy food, which is truly an investment for the future of our tamariki and the whenua. Now in her fifties she says she’s found staying well is a balancing act but certainly having lovely fresh/organic food in the fridge and pantry makes it so much easier. Other passions include freeform crochet, up-cycled textile crafts and genealogy.

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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