Louise Spear can be found selling her turmeric and ginger tonic at the market on Sundays.
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 M-aori medicine - I use it instead of black pepper. This makes a smoother drink and gives my tonic a unique Kiwi twist. Kawakawa provides piperine 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 New Zealand 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!