What a whirlwind week! Headed to Castlepoint in the Wairarapa for the first time and had an awesome stay at a friends home right on the beach, with views to die for of the lighthouse. The sunrise was worth stammering out of bed for, but the proposed walk down to the beach had to wait until my eyes and mood were brighter later on in the day! Being brought up by the beach on Toru Road in Paraparaumu, being back on a beach is really calming and I tend to feel centred and this visit did just the trick.
I asked my host if I could pick from their 'garden' around the house and came back with a kete full of kawakawa and dandelion which was just the best. There is nothing like getting amongst it. The best thing was coming home and making myself a kawakawa and ginger tea. I'm sure I drank a whole teapot just because. I did share some with our niece Tallulah-Belle who popped in to pick up some Toru Road goods. She probably thinks I've turned into a hippie, specially when I got her to taste the dandelion pesto I made from the tall dandelion growing around the whare and pushed it to her to take home. It's just amazing what nature has available for us. I dried most of the kawakawa so that it will keep for later. The smell of the leaves drying made my house smell like a herbal spa. Keenau came around and said it smells not serene, nor gorgeous, his words were "medicinal". I'll take that as a positive.
Finally my Toru Road pesto jars arrived and its great to have them. My Toru Road granola bags arrived, and they are a lot bigger than anticipated so am pondering whether to just make them 1kg instead of 500grams, what do you reckon? They are the enviro-friendly sealing bags that you tear the top off, just like the dukkah bags, but unexpectedly much bigger. I'm just glad I now have some packaging. This get on and do it stuff even though you haven't got yourself together keeps you on your toes. I could still be dreaming about it if I didn't start.
Finally the Toru Road logo is done, and that means I can work on some labels for my packaging and jars. Can't wait to make them all pretties.
Best news is that my SHOP function now works online, so from a customer viewpoint its much more friendlier to purchase. I haven't worked out delivery yet but just email or message me and I can always work something out if you are in the region. I am working on chill-boxes so that I can deliver further afield - I have had a few whanau up the line asking me when they can try my products, good things take time aye Uncle Howie lol.
I'm off to bake a cake, for another September birthday tomorrow - in our busiest birthday month for the whanau. It's a dark chocolate sumptuous cake which Nigella says is by the way vegan - somehow when things are gluten free, or dairy free, they just don't turn out like a regular cake, I'm hoping this one is different. Wish me luck...
Yesssss my domain name for my website has now been changed to .nz Super excited. Makes it easier to remember www.toruroad.nz than what I had before. Took a lil bit of time to get sorted given I am not high on the IT providers list of to do's, but not to worry all good things take time and this was one of them. Finally I have a website with a proper name lol.
And bonus new email addy to boot, email@example.com - starting to get pretty flash here. Who would have thought.
Another great thing happened this week and that has been the arrival of my packaging for my dukkah. I know, its not everyone's cup of tea but its big moves for Toru Road. Yes Horopito Dukkah is now in a nice enviro-friendly lil brown paper bag, with a little window so you can see the deliciousness inside and they are sealable with heat, loves. My pesto jars are on their way as well and should be here any day now and I've ordered my granola packaging as well - I so can't wait for them to arrive.
Next on the to do list is my branding. Still messing around with the logo. I could be there for a while but I need something soon so that I can get my labels done - my next big push. Nothing like keeping myself on my toes.
Made a gorgeous Horopito Dukkah yesterday and loves. Been really nice to read some facebook comments on others enjoying. Love my mahi and love knowing that others are enjoying my kai.
My new mantra 'Imperfect Actions' has got me moving forward with Toru Road. I've always wanted to get a business going, be it event management, making pestos or hummus or anything related to food, opening a deli, a deli/cafe, or going big with a deli/cafe in a warehouse (dreams right?!), whatever it was going to be I wanted it to be something that brings my whanau together - and ideally bringing my tamariki back here to their roots in NZ!
Everything has to start somewhere and my imperfect actions have forced me to get going. Sold some pesto at a pop-up market, got orders from my website, heck I actually have a website. What an amazing start! Super super grateful for everyone that is/has/will be soon lol supporting me on this Toru Road journey.
And boy have I made some progress this week. I now own the domain name for toruroad.nz which I feel is more recognisable and more friendly to remember than the weebly.com address, and this comes with a toruroad email address which I cant wait to use. Once those are set up properly I hope to transfer over this website - fingers crossed for that to occur, and then I can get my online purchasing going so you don't have to fluff around finding my email addy etc. to order.
Big news is that my pesto jars, along with my granola and dukkah packaging is on its way. I soooo cant wait for them to arrive, cos I love for things to look pretties. And I'm researching packaging (ice packs) and delivery avenues so that I can courier around NZ (sorry not overseas yet whanau). I can't wait for that to happen.
I'm also encouraging our girl Ashlee to help me take the twinnies logo to the next level of design - Ash is super creative and clever and I wish she was here in NZ to help me with this stuff. Once I get the logo done then I can work on the rest of my branding and it will then mean I can get some proper business cards, and the all important labels for our kai products. I loathe my current business cards which I did whilst listening online to a business school lecture, frantically ordering just 50 of them so that I had something in place for the pop-up market which was the following week. Now every time I hand out a card I apologise for the size 6 font, the colour, and placement of the pesto jar on the blinken card. I give fair warning when handing them out that a magnifying glass is required. Imperfect Action means at least I have a business card to hand out right, better than nothing? Doesn't stop me from not handing it out though lol. I plan to give them a good send off into my compost once I get my new cards.
As I go to get a photo of my business cards I realise I don't have any in my phone cover. Need I say more, the limited edition of this business card follows ...
Toru Road Kale & Kawakawa Pesto was a hit today at the PopUp Business Aotearoa trade show at Hutt City Events Centre. Cool to get my very first sales, woohoo. Converted lotsa people into buying kale pesto lol. Who would've thought it was gonna be so popular, or was that my sales skills?!!
New website is up now as well. Its an imperfect action, something I've learnt these past few days that means that there's still work to do, but it's better to have something up instead of nothing! Believe me there would be nothing if I hadn't had the push from the PopUp Business School. Still lots to do but a magnificent start. And this is my first blog. Outta my comfort zone for sure. Loves.
Thanks to Augie who was my sous chef, promoter, driver, and biggest supporter on the day, and the one to spot (hmmm and taste) all the other goodies at the trade show. The winner of the day was my confidence and knowing that I have a product out there that people are moving towards. The other winner was of course our moko who is about to receive a lil hoodie with Ataahua written on it, that Augie purchased at the trade show - cant forget the bubbas.