GO LOCAL: The flavours of Mauke

Saturday 10 October 2020 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Hot on the Rock

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GO LOCAL: The flavours of Mauke
Mauke Moments have 30 products comprising jams, jellies, chutneys and sauces now on sale. 20040607

A tiny business, making small batches of chutneys and jams by hand from fresh naturally grown produce is taking the taste and flavour of Mauke to the world.

Mauke Moments has its own charm. The locally produced jams, jellies, chutneys and sauces using home-made vinegars and sundried fruits are a hit among those who have tried them. But Andrew and June Hosking, the owners of the Mauke-based business, have long endeavoured to find ways to reach out to those who haven’t had the moments with their tantalising products.

They now have a medium through which they can tempt their taste-buds. The idea of creating an online platform was discussed in the past but quickly put into the “too hard basket”, says the Hoskings.

But through some encouraging from Rarotonga businesses who have supported the Pa Enua growers in buying their products during these Covid times, the Hoskings finally decided to set up their own website: www.maukemoments.com. June Hosking says the website is not a selling platform but it directs interested customers to where they can purchase their products.

“This website is a platform to give people an insight into the creators of the product. This is not just a way to earn a little living, it’s a part of us.”

Accessing internet on remote places such as Mauke is a challenge for the Hoskings.

Without easy internet access, a poor cell phone signal and having the cheapest internet plan possible (3GB per month), it is not viable to get into an online business requiring daily checks and communications.

At this stage, June says sending small orders to individuals from Mauke is costly and not practical. She says, that as the website is brand new, they have much to discover and will learn if this works over time.

“I guess all I can say is that the idea was to have a website that is clean and simple, with not too much data so that it doesn't take forever for the page to open,” June says.

“There are plans to add another tab to the website like the ‘The Bigger Picture’ to show what we are about in general like our efforts for Creation Care, planting the seed for Maukeans to come home knowing that it is possible to live happily perhaps cash poor, but rich indeed on our little island paradise.”

It’s still early days but June Hosking says the website has helped sales as couple of people have ordered online from Island Craft.

June accepts creating a Mauke Moment Facebook page would complement well with their website but intermittent internet access, poor phone reception and high cost doesn’t help. She says being on a tight budget during the Covid period, they rarely go online except when checking emails and when checking in with family.

Hosking acknowledge Prime Foods staff who told them it would be a good idea if people could learn about their products via a website.

“We have a webpage with Island Craft, but now having our own website means that we can give a personal touch and add more when we can.”

The entrepreneur couple began their business through experimenting with local produce to make jams, jellies, chutneys and sauces used their very own homemade vinegars and sundried fruits. They now have 30 different products selling under the banner of Mauke Moments.

“The name Mauke Moments’ was my husband’s idea after mmmming and ahhing over a cracker with a tasty spread on it saying something like, ‘I’m really enjoying this moment and declared … that’s what we should call this business. And so, it is!’”

June says one of the best things about their products is they are organic.

Their products are made from plants grown without the use of pesticides or fungicides, just ongoing mulching, composting and vermiculture.

“We take pride in producing quality without compromise.”

June Hosking says there would have been no Mauke Moments without the encouragement from those with a heart to support the Pa Enua. June acknowledges Prime Foods in Rarotonga who opened the way for bulk production in the early days of Mauke Moments and have faithfully purchased ever since, Tuakata Cafe and the National Council of Women’s stall at the Punanga Nui Market.

Island Craft also offered a big hand to reach a market now via online and Beluga Café who purchases turmeric paste and uses the product in their cooking so people get to taste Mauke Moments.