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CUP book

Sure to Rise: The Edmonds story

16 November 2023

By Peter Alsop, Kate Parsonson, and Richard Wolfe


May 2023
304pp + gatefolds (total 310pp), casebound
250 x 210mm
ISBN: 978-1-98-850331-8

Longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2024: Illustrated non-fiction 

Winner of 2023 Gourmand World Cookbook Award ‘Best in the World’ for History & Cookbooks.


Edmonds is one of New Zealand’s best-known brands – its radiant sun and ‘Sure to Rise’ promise have embellished baking powder labels and the much-loved Edmonds Cookery Book for over a hundred years and are now embedded in our popular culture.

The man behind the company, Thomas Edmonds, came to New Zealand with his wife Jane in 1879. While running a modest grocery store in Christchurch, he expanded into making baking powder. As his most famous product took off, he built new premises, the last of them the Art Deco factory with its nationally admired gardens. Thomas embraced new advertising and marketing techniques and ensured progressive working conditions for his loyal staff. A generous benefactor, he gave his city some of its landmark buildings.

This is the story of a man from humble beginnings who, thanks to hard work, creativity and persistence, and with considerable support from his wife, created an iconic business. Richly illustrated, Sure to Rise is a fascinating slice of New Zealand’s social and culinary history.

Peter Alsop is a keen collector of New Zealand art and design, including vintage ephemera and hand-coloured photography. His 10 previous books include Selling the DreamMauri Ora – Wisdom from the Māori World and Hand-Coloured New Zealand.

Kate Parsonson is a great-great-granddaughter of Thomas and Jane Edmonds who began researching for this book in 2018, curious to discover more about her family history, and the iconic Edmonds Cookery Book. This is her first book.

Richard Wolfe is an art, design and cultural historian whose 41 previous books include most recently Footprints on the Land: How Humans Changed New Zealand. He has also written a large number of articles, covering diverse aspects of New Zealand art, history and popular culture.

Listen to Kate Parsonson and Richard Wolfe being interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ Nine to Noon.

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