2/12/2011 - 3/12/2011 - Newsletter # 4
Hello to all you people out there who have taken a minute to have a peek at our website. We hope you find some awesome products grown or made right here in NZ.
Well, it’s nearly Xmas time again, the year has been eventful and relatively crazy for us, and even with all the doom and gloom that the media seem so keen to shove down our throats, I think NZ has done pretty well on a global scale to keep its head above water. We still have so much to be grateful for and I count my blessing everyday that we live in such a beautiful country with such great opportunities.
I know it has been tough for retailers in general but if you have a great product, consumers out there will support you and your local community will benefit from your success. So keep plugging away and you will be rewarded in the end.
Whenever the opportunity arises I try to keep up with the current trends and issues related to food and its production. I find Twitter and Facebook have a really good cross-section of views and information. The Food Bill that is currently before parliament is one of those issues that has come up again and again. People are very concerned that the right to seed-save, share and sell small amounts of produce has inadvertently been covered in the Food Bill as an activity which requires more monitoring and regular review. Now I’m no expert, let me make that quite clear, but it is really important that these issues are researched and discussed further before this law is passed. There are some great articles out there and if you wish to know more see our Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Produce/130618333654964 or just google it. It will be interesting to see what happens will this issue in the New Year.
Another interesting site I have come across is Transition Towns (thank you David from Mangatawa Nursery) which, in a nutshell, is a local movement discussing ways which people can do more within their community to feed and sustain themselves. Obviously, this is the goal of our website as well, but it is great to see kiwis promoting the benefits of keeping it local and fresh. Have a look here @ http://www.transitiontowns.org.nz/
The ‘myproduce’ Family
P.S. Here is a great recipe for some yummy biscuits to make for the kids over the holiday season, I don’t know any kids that don’t eat them!
Jam Drop Biscuits
Cream butter and sugar. Beat well one egg and add to creamed mixture. Sift flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to creamed butter and egg. Take spoonfuls of mixture, shape into balls and place on greased baking tray. Make a dent in the centre. Put a drop of jam in each dent. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
Try these links for our variety of Jam and Preserve sellers;
For the adults we also have some fantastic ‘freshly roasted coffee bean’ sellers, which would compliment these yummy homemade biscuits;
7/06/2011 - Soup Season Is Upon Us
Just thought I would add this simple recipe that gets a thrashing over winter in our house,
Curried Kumara Soup
Melt butter in a large saucepan and add crushed garlic and curry powder. Peel kumara and slice 1cm thick. Cook kumara in the butter, without browning, for 1-2 minutes, and then add the water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Stir in the chicken stock, and then puree soup mixture, thinning with the milk. Add the cream and reheat soup without boiling.
Serve with freshly baked bread.
If you are looking for kumara, check our link here http://www.myproduce.co.nz/Seller/64, these guys deliver nationwide and provide an awesome service.
8/05/2011 - Newsletter # 3
Hi everyone and welcome to our latest newsletter,
A crappy thing happened to me the other day and I wanted to share it with you all because, 1) it’s relevant to our website and 2) it was just really crappy.
For the first time in ages I decided to use an auction website to buy our daughter some books to read for the holidays. I haven’t used an auction website for a while because I just haven’t had the time to trawl the pages, and, once I get started, I find it difficult to stop.
Auction websites are a great idea and often have lots of amazing bargains (and plenty of rubbish) for sale and prior to our development of our own website, I could easily lose myself for a couple of hours at night searching one thing, to the next.
Upon purchasing a couple of books from a local seller, I then proceeded to wait for the goods to arrive. This should have taken a couple of days, or so I thought.
After 2 weeks, I sent an email politely asking when the goods would be delivered, no reply was received. After three weeks, I sent a pointed email explaining my disgust at the lack of goods received or contact from the seller once the money had changed hands. I did not abuse, swear, or ridicule the seller in my email trail, I just stated the facts as I saw them and tried to not further disrupt the transaction.
However, to date the books have not arrived, the holidays are over and I am $30.80 down the toilet and as it turns out, I was the second person at that time to not receive the advertised goods from this particular seller.
Now I can hear you all saying, ‘caveat emptor’ (let the buyer beware) and you’re right, auction websites are a risk, but the question is, should they be? I checked the feedback of the seller and it looked okay when I made the purchase. But every time I have made a purchase from an auction website, it always has that ‘cloak and dagger’ feeling about it. The only information you have about the seller is a username name and a regional location, which doesn’t necessarily have to relate to anything.
After approaching the auction website’s management about this issue, they stated that my two courses of action were to contact the Police (but that they would probably not have time to do anything) or lodge a complaint with the Small Claims Court, which isn’t really worth the hassle for $30.80 now is it?
In the end we were left with no money, no books and no trust in using an auction website again.
So, getting back to how this relates to ‘myproduce’ is easy really, trust and transparency. With ‘myproduce’ you can find out all the details of a seller before a contract for purchase is made, we have no financial interest in each transaction, and as the site is promoting buying and selling produce locally, it is not a seller’s best interest to provide substandard products or service, because ‘word of mouth’ soon gets around.
What do you think? Am I just a big sucker? Did I not follow the correct process? Should one bad egg spoil the whole lot?
I think the moral for me is that I need to develop a ‘trust’ relationship before I buy my products and I want to know that a seller is trustworthy, transparent and legitimate.
We hope that our site promotes the establishment of trusting relationships between buyers and sellers. Our sellers are certainly keen enough and provide some pretty outstanding local produce. We are constantly amazed at the standard and variety of goods listed from all over New Zealand and these days it only takes an email to start a relationship, so what are you waiting for!
On a different note, its Feijoa season and in this part of the country they are prolific. That being the case, I set our daughter Rose on a mission to use up some of the Feijoas in our back yard and she and her friend Sophie, decided to make Feijoa Sorbet, so I’ve included the recipe below with a couple of pics of them making it. I have to say it was delicious, well done girls!
So until next time, best wishes,
Theresa, Andrew, Rose and Crispin
P.S. If you are looking for ingredients for the Feijoas Sorbet
Or, if you can’t be bothered, you can just buy Frubay Frozen Desserts from http://www.myproduce.co.nz/Seller/33
Rose and Sophie’s Feijoa Sorbet
250gms caster sugar
In a saucepan on a low heat, gently dissolve the caster sugar into the water to make sugar syrup. Set the syrup aside to cool. Cut the Feijoa’s in half and using a spoon, scoop out the middle and place into a food processor. Add lemon juice and whizz until the Feijoa’s are pulped.
N.B. Rose and Sophie had 2/3 cup of sugar syrup left and used the same process to make Nashi Sorbet with three medium sized Nashi (500gms) and 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice.
10/04/2011 - A Quick myProduce Update
Just a quick update to let you all know that we have now extended our offer of a 'free one year subscription' to our website to our first 100 sellers.
Andrew and I have discussed this at length and decided that to provide the sort of website that we wished to bring to the New Zealand public, we needed to provide a larger cross-section of sellers available. In doing so we all benefit with lower costs and more selection, and that's got to be a good thing!
So, if you are a seller and needed a little more encouragement to join us, now's the time. If you are a buyer, there are already some fantastic produce on our site available through-out New Zealand, and the list keeps growing, so keep checking back to see our new listings.
For those of you who don't know, we are currently running a small competition, the next 50 people to 'Like' us on our Facebook page go into the draw to win a pair of Skellerup 'Red Band' Gumboots valued at $75.00. Here is the link; http://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Produce/130618333654964
A big thank you to the sellers that have already joined us and the great feedback that we have recieved, we appreciate your support,
Theresa, Andrew, Rosemary and Crispin.
25/03/2011 - Newsletter #2
First of all, we wish to send a big hug to you all in Christchurch after that horrific earthquake on the 22nd February 2011. We are thinking of you and send our condolences to the families who have their lost loved ones. Our love also goes out to our friends in Japan, we hope you all can remain strong during this terrible time.
Well, here we are again. It’s hard to believe that we have now entered March 2011, the festive season seems to have raced by, the kids are firmly ensconced back in school and kindy and the work seems to be piling up.
We at ‘myProduce’ are looking forward to a successful year, not just with our website but with business in general. We feel it’s better to be optimistic about the future (glass half full and all that) and to be honest, the best thing us kiwi’s can do now, is to keep on working, investing and growing our businesses for the betterment of all New Zealand.
We have had some fantastic feedback about the site, with most people stating that it’s a 'great idea'. We have also had some great suggestions and we encourage you to keep providing feedback so we can make the site even more user friendly and easy to navigate. We have been thrilled to have had some great publicity about the website as well (a radio interview, Facebook promo’s and articles) and are working hard to get the word out there about our service.
A number of new sellers have joined us over the past few months with varying produce from blueberries and macadamias to sparkling elderflower juice and natural insect repellent. We hope to continue to recruit the best producers that New Zealand has to offer and we encourage you, the public, take up the challenge to ‘sell local, buy fresh’.
As you may have noticed, we have concentrated on recruiting sellers from the Tauranga region initially and to date most of our sellers are from this area. We will continue to expand our business as time permits, but if you know of anyone who may benefit from our site, please let us know or refer them to the website.
We are now on Facebook (My Produce) and Twitter (myproducenz) and are building communities on both these sites, referring people to new sellers and products available. Either of these sites can be used as great ways to keep up to date with new events on ‘myProduce’.
We wish to thank everyone who has given us such great support so far and look forward to continued growth over the next year,
Kind regards to you all,
Theresa, Andrew, Rosemary and Crispin
25/03/2011 - Newsletter #1
Welcome to the very first ‘myProduce’ newsletter, we hope you like our website and can make the most out of the services that it offers.
Firstly, a quick introduction to our team; My name is Theresa, and I am the ‘dog’s body’ of this website, in other words, I handle all the non-programming stuff. My husband Andrew is the website developer. Andrew has around 15 years experience in information technology. Our daughter Rose is 12 years old and she is the ‘foodie’ of the family and is also Mum’s helper in getting information about our site out there in the community. Lastly, there is Crispin who is 2 years old and is the general lay-about (every business has one).
In any case, for our first newsletter, I wish to share a bit of background as to how ‘myProduce’ came to be and to give you some insight as to what we are trying to achieve with the site. At the end of last year, some good folk down the road decided to open a road-side stall to alleviate some of the burden from the prolific growth of vegetables in their home garden and orchard fruit. They set up the stall and Rose and I quickly became regular customers. The home-grown fruit and vegetables looked great and tasted even better, the prices were reasonable and the stall became extremely handy when the kitchen cupboards were looking a bit lean.
However, as with all these types of stalls, you never knew what was going to be supplied from day to day and I would often turn up to the stall, only to be disappointed, as the produce that I was after was either sold out or not available. I would then drive away empty-handed and having to mentally plan out a whole new meal for the evening that was not based around that particular purchase. One evening, after this had happened a number of times, I said to my lovely husband, “It would be really great to know what the folk down the road had available in their stall each day, maybe they could email a group of regular customers with their impending supplies or take orders, so that we don’t miss out all the time.” I could actually see that little idea light come on in Andrew’s head. He said “that would make a great website”, and for the rest of the evening we discussed the pro’s and con’s of the idea. After a bit of research, we decided to have a go and here we are launching the website, which is pretty exciting for us!
It has been a steep learning curve but we hope that it’s worth it and that you people as buyers and sellers of amazing locally grown produce will reap the benefits. As a side note, the stall down the road ended up having to close due to ongoing problems with theft of produce and money from the honesty box (another good reason why you should use our site), and we are very much missing their amazing fruit and vegetables. We hope they will consider opening the stall up again and use our website as it was intended.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read our newsletter, until next time,
All the best,
By the way, if you like our website please let your family, friends and colleagues know about us, cheers.