Who we are


Paul Lups
Managing Director

Paul, like Emma, is a bit of a cross breed. He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand but holds dual nationality as the Dutch blood runs strong through him, with his parents immigrating from The Netherlands. Paul started his working career in hospitality, always with an attitude of ‘just do it’ and quickly became a tutor for major hospitality schools in the country, before starting his own consulting and training company; especially looking at coffee production. The itch to fly never left him though, so after obtaining his pilot’s licence he was quick to head abroad, starting in agricultural flying on one of the largest Merino stations in the world. With wanting to further his aviation education, he obtained an Air Traffic Control Licence which finally brought him south to Queenstown. Paul can still be found in the control tower, or behind the controls of aircraft flying overhead!

After pursuing different business opportunities; he finally brought together the idea of two products that are both sweet, enjoyable, natural, beneficial and sustainable. 

Emma Lups

Emma was born in Denmark, with an English passport and then moved to New Zealand at a young age, with Danish being her native language. The locals call her a mixed breed. Her father Glenn worked in the wool industry, and naturally he took the family to Christchurch, New Zealand to further his investments and education in the exciting industry. Emma has worked previously in education, and now actively pursues a fascinating career in Real Estate, based in Queenstown New Zealand. Emma has ‘Golden Retriever Syndrome’ where she will eat her body weight in chocolate given half the chance. So be careful purchasing… she may be watching!

Yin Yin
Arrowtown Store Manager and International Marketing

Our Arrowtown store manager has been living in New Zealand for a few years and originally comes from China. She has a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is super excited to be implementing her knowledge in combination with the cacao and honey products we stock. Prior to joining us, Yin Yin has had experience in New Zealand retail, and selling health products and honey to all corners of the world as well as being the top sales agent in her field and company. Yin Yin loves New Zealand, our lifestyle, healthy living and fantastic views. She calls it the purest and most beautiful country in the world! We are very excited to have Yin Yin and her expertise on board with us and she will be there to assist you with any of your needs. Yin Yins specialty is in Manuka Honey, where she aims to prove its known benefits and establish it as a valuable part of any household. 

Mel Haarer
Corporate Sales and Strategy 

Mel has lived in the Wakatipu for over 10 years so qualifies as a Queenstown local now (she hopes!).

Originally from England Mel studied tourism management at University.   She has worked in a broad range of industries including youth and care work to include young people with challenging behaviour.  She recently left St John to explore this new venture at Honey and Cocoa and is delighted to be part of the team.

Mel has a natural affinity with people and laughing is her chosen tonic.  She's a keen yogi and more recently is (trying) to maintain a regular meditation practice.    Other interests include hiking, snow boarding and good food......obviously honey and chocolate.

Mel is working towards delivering a community initiative to encourage people to reach out and show their vulnerability during tough times. Through her own experiences she identified a lack of support for people and wants to change that for others. Mel is connecting with local Queenstown employers aiming to formulate a community strategy for them and their staff, making appropriate  information more easily accessible to those who may need help through stressful times. 

Mel would love to help assist you in delivering top quality Honey and Cocoa delights to your staff, clients, guests, friends and family and through the properties and powerful benefits of Theobroma Cacao work towards releasing any stress, anxiety or depression that life may bring.