I am Blanche Morrogh, the CEO of Kai Ora Honey, a Māori owned business that creates a variety of natural products using manuka honey. The Manuka plant is native to New Zealand and Australia.
The business contributes to the community by producing its products sustainably.
From tourism and farming to fisheries, my father had tried various businesses in his lifetime. But when he stumbled upon the ways in which we could make use of manuka honey, he asked us to never let go. We sell our products through our store, stockists, Facebook, Instagram, and website. Our target audience is women between the age of 30 and 65, who are dedicated to ensuring that only quality products are brought home.
Changing the business strategy during COVID-19 was the need of the hour.
We were seeing a smooth run until COVID-19 shook the world. Our business was greatly affected. The smaller niche stockists closed, the freight costs increased, and the value of honey dropped across all supermarkets. This business is a family dream and we had to do everything in our might to make it work. So, we adjusted our strategy. We began focusing on target distributors, developing an even stronger online presence, updating our website, adding value, and increasing connections. It took a while, but gradually, we were able to get past the bad times. Currently, we are still climbing out of the impact of the pandemic.
She believes that focusing on one thing at a time helped her tide over the pandemic.
Eventually, my dream is to increase my wholesale capabilities through Facebook and Instagram while having the ability to connect as an indigenous business directly with consumers. My siblings and I were living in Te Hapua and didn’t have all the luxuries in the world. But, with persistence, we were able to showcase the beauty of our region to the world. That’s what I would want to tell other women and the youth. It’s all about courage. We must never forget our roots and never be scared to take the plunge. If I can, you can.