Louise Spear can be found selling her turmeric and ginger tonic at the market on Sundays.
How have you been enjoying the summer?
I love summer. I grew up on the beach in Gisborne, so I like to go back there every summer and spend time with family.
How has your regional upbringing influenced you?
Coming from a small town has given me a “can do” attitude and I like to keep things simple. Often if we wanted something, we had to make it ourselves as we couldn’t just go out and buy it. This is how I ended up making my tonic.
What inspired you to start making your tonic?
A couple of years ago on a trip to Gisborne, I was introduced to a similar tonic. I really liked the idea of cold pressing the turmeric and ginger – products I was interested in as I have always had an interest in natural products. I got in touch with a tonic creator in Gisborne and we have been working together ever since.
What is in the tonic and how do you know it’s good for you?
It has three ingredients turmeric, ginger and kawakawa. The health benefits of turmeric and ginger are widely documented. Kawakawa is a native plant which is used in traditional Māori medicine - I use it instead of black pepper. This makes a smoother drink and gives my tonic a unique Kiwi twist. Kawakawa provides peperin which helps the body to absorb curcumin – the active ingredient in turmeric.
How did you go from making tonic for yourself to making it a business?
To begin I was just making it for myself and then I started giving it to friends, who gave it to friends who gave it to friends and so on. Suddenly it was more than just making small batches and I knew I had to make it into a business so that more people could benefit.
What has delighted you most at the market?
Those regular customers! They tell me their stories and I love hearing about their health improvements. It was wonderful to hear about a customer whose arthritic hands have become less bent and more mobile. It’s loyalty to those customers that keeps me coming back and I feel guilty if I have to be away for a weekend.
How does that fit with your family commitments?
I have discovered it is a good fundraiser for my 15-year-old daughter’s national and international travel - she represents NZ in In-line hockey and Ice hockey.
Do you have time for fun things?
Juggling juicing and hockey-mum duties, plus my day job, keeps me pretty busy. I also like to walk around our beautiful city most days. Recently, I have discovered binge-watching Netflix which is filling in any other spare time I may have at the moment!!!
As published in Ponsonby News : February 2019