Yvette Brooks from The Red Hot Kiwi Company is easy to spot at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market and not just from her striking red hair
Why the red hair?
I’ve been colouring my hair since I was 13 and it seems to suit me. So red seemed an obvious element to include in our name - The Red Hot Kiwi Company is meant to be playful. I wanted to use our national mascot, the kiwi, but to make a difference. He's shaggy with feet! I'm the 'red', the salsa is 'hot, kiwi' - we are made in New Zealand, and my darling husband Chris is the 'company'!
What attracted you to salsa?
I have strong nostalgic associations with Mexican food from a trip to San Diego with my nieces. We found an extraordinary Mexican restaurant that was alive with vibrant colours, smells, flavours and sizzling sounds. As we shared this delicious feast, I had an epiphany, “this is what food should be like.”
But why make it a business?
The real push was my beautiful niece, Danielle, who just passed away at the age of 26 from cancer. About two years ago, she was visiting us and found me up to my eyeballs in tomatoes and chillies. She told me she thought I was so brave and how proud of me she was. She is my reason that I make every batch with love, integrity and the finest New Zealand ingredients.
Her motto - and now mine - is: “do what you love,” and I love making salsa and great food that people love to eat.