Witty Tui

Vegan Deli Rolll

At the market: Every Sunday in the Main Hall

Contact: Shanshan Li

Call/text: 021 0246 8601    

Email: info@wittytui.co.nz

Website: wittytui.co.nz 

Instagram:  @witty_tui

Facebook:  @witty tui

Shanshan's Story

Shanshan Li recently joined Grey Lynn Farmers Market with her delicious Witty Tui deli rolls – meat alternative products.

How did you end up in New Zealand?

I came here for a six-month trip after friends raved about their experiences in New Zealand. My childhood was big city life in China, so I didn’t really have much interaction with the natural world. I was impressed by stunning views and easy access to nature … and I met my husband here.

So, you met Clifford here?

Yes, I met him early in my travels - he was a flatmate. I loved hearing stories about his great grandfather coming to New Zealand just after the gold rush. It was an easy decision to move here.

Tell me about your work and study experience

In China, I studied bioengineering and worked as a chemical engineer, designing factories and workflows for big food production. It sparked an interest in the food industry, so I studied food technology when I moved here and worked in a lab testing for food-borne pathogens – I know how to keep things hygienic.

Where did the idea come from for Witty Tui?

Lockdown was a great opportunity to experiment with new recipes and food ideas. Out of that, Witty Tui was born. My professional experience made it straightforward for me to navigate the process of getting council approval and creating tasty, safe, and reliable products.

What has Clifford’s role been in Witty Tui?

Clifford inspired the direction of Witty Tui – he’s plant-based and I have loved creating new recipes for him. Also, vegan foods are not such a big leap for me because of the Chinese culture that I grew up with – many Chinese dishes are plant-based. This plant-based deli roll is one of the things that I made for Clifford. He’s such a big part of my business – I couldn’t do this without him.

Is it a complicated process to make your products?

Not at all. The ingredients are simple things that many people have in their kitchen – it’s all about getting the correct ratios and temperature to create the best texture. The herbs and spices are all natural, and there are no preservatives – I don’t need them because my hygiene processes are sufficient for a long shelf life.

What has your experience of Grey Lynn Farmers Market been?

I love the market customers. They are so open-minded and interested in trying new products and meat alternatives, even if they also eat meat. I’ve been very impressed at how many people bring their own containers and return jars and bottles to stallholders to be reused. This commitment to sustainability is very important to me.

What does food mean to you?

I enjoy exploring new recipes and new ingredients. Cooking and food really is my passion. I love sharing food with family and friends, and always believe food is love. Every meal that I make is a hug of love for those who will be eating it.


How do you spend your spare time?

Mainly spending precious family time with Clifford and our young daughter. And I’m really looking forward to my parents visiting next month. It’s the first time we’ll be able to be with them since we were last able to visit China many years ago.

As published in Ponsonby News : September 2023