Former Ruakaka-based Kumara Fusion, now operating in Auckland, had begun selling its products in Whangarei.
The business produces three kumara-based spreads; Kumara Fusion Original, Kumara Fusion Honey and Kumara Fusion Chocolate, which includes a layer of dark Whittaker's chocolate. The spreads can be eaten with cheese platters or on crackers, toast or in sandwiches.
Kumara Fusion founder Olga Martinez says she and husband Carlos made the decision to shift to Auckland to grow their business - but professes to missing the Northland lifestyle.
However, the move last year gave them access to the Callaghan Innovation Foodbowl facility in Auckland as well as a taking them closer to their major market.
The industrial facility has allowed the operation to up-scale from 5kg cooks of kumara to 80kg industrial trials and now a massive 600kg production cook. They contract six staff for the cook which takes a full day, including packaging.
Kumara Fusion have been operating for four years, and started selling at the Whangarei Growers' Market as well as other markets around the region.
But last week they began selling in Kensington New World while their Auckland points of sale include Victoria Park Market and other stores.
They source their kumara from Turiwiri Produce in Dargaville. Turiwiri clean, peal and dice the kumara for Kumara Fusion, which Mrs Martinez acknowledges is a huge saving in time and energy to the business.
Mrs Martinez said she developed the product after learning that her husband was gluten intolerant.
"We quickly discovered that there wasn't much choice.
"What was available was full of preservatives, which we've learned, from looking at research, isn't great for digestion," said Mrs Martinez. "After some trial and error, I realised that blending the superfood Beauregard kumara, with just a few other natural ingredients, resulted in a delicacy that melts in the mouth and leaves you wanting more."
One of the benefits of Kumara Fusion is its versatility.
"It can be enjoyed as a dip, a spread or simply on its own off a spoon," says Mrs Martinez. "We've found that it can also make other Kiwi ingredients sing.
"It pairs beautifully with a wide variety of fruits, nuts and cheeses.
"It also works well with bread and turns a simple sandwich into something nutritious, delicious and exciting.
- If you have any business news, tips or ideas contact me at biz@north ernadvocate.co.nz or (09) 470 2838.