When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the borders closed in 2020, Aitutaki businessman Tearaia Maoate had to reassess his plans.
The island was
quiet and no one was travelling to Aitutaki for some time so Maoate looked at
other means to bring in an income.
Maoate grew up
familiar with his family’s businesses on the island.
looking for new ways of doing things… starting a business small that we want to
grow,” said Maoate.
“We started selling
bits and pieces online during Covid, testing the online market and that worked
Earlier this year, Maoate and his partner Mata Benioni officially created and launched their own business, Tavake Online Facebook page and website, with the help of Byron Brown, expanding on the number and variety of products.
“The website is
designed to sell more of our products and to make it easier for our customers
to access our services and view the products we have available.
“This has now
opened up the market for our products, it’s exciting,” said Maoate.
Tavake Online also
sells smart phones from a supplier in
New Zealand. For the phones and electronics “we can also do pre orders for
specific products that customers are after,” said Maoate.
The range of
products online include laptops, watches, jewellery, Bluetooth head phones, fishing
lures and more.
Last month they
brought in hooded sweaters to help keep locals warm during the chilly period,
and also offered free inter-island shipping for orders over $100.
Maoate has also completed
a little café, built a little bungalow, and a shop to properly display their
exciting products and sell stock. The shop is located in Amuri, Aitutaki on the
Not one to keep
still, Maoate has also been connecting with traditional voyages having
completed two ocean journeys on Vaka Marumaru Atua.
Maoate thanked his
family for their support and gave credit to his mother Paula who he says is
“really great” at sourcing products.
If you are visiting
Aitutaki, pop in to see Maoate and Benioni at the Tavake Restaurant, see the
online products on display and support young Cook Islanders in business.