December 10, 2020

Many of you helped us last month by taking the Kiwi Welfare survey, which checks in on how our Te Atatu Toasted community fared in 2020 and what the next 12 months will bring. We will be sharing all the results of that survey soon but, spoiler alert, one message that came through loud and clear is that you want to keep supporting local retailers and producers. That’s music to the ears of small businesses everywhere.

Naturally, we are hoping you will be giving the gift of Te Atatu Toasted to your friends and family this year. Our mueslis make a great base for a festive breakfast cereal that would be a perfect present and our recipe section is full of yummy sweet and savoury treats that can be baked with love and given as a thoughtful homemade present. Get inspiration from the Christmas recipe collectionblog.

But if you need a bit more variety in your gift giving, here are just a few of the local businesses we love that would be very grateful for your support this year.

For the little ones

If you are shopping for the little people in your life, you can’t go past Squoodles. Husband and wife team Dean and Tracy Morgan saw a gap in the market for reasonably priced, but high quality educational wooden toys and created this online business in 2013. Their range has expanded and now they have something for all ages and all budgets. Browse the online catalogue to check out books, puzzles, games, craft ideas and toys for the bath, the garden, the kitchen and everywhere in between. www.squoodles.co.nz

Bigger kids, teenagers and those who’ve never grown up will love SharperThinker. Run by in-laws Sophia and Stefan Sharpe, this business sells quality kits that teach STEM hands-on. Buy a kit to make a wooden torch, a marshmallow launcher or even a DIY Bluetooth speaker. Not only do these kits teach electronics and science, they also help develop fine motor skills and focus. www.sharperthinker.co.nz

Love your skin

Agnes & Me offers beautiful, natural New Zealand products made in small batches using plant-based ingredients, which are organic and Fairtrade where possible. The essential oils smell lovely but they also serve a purpose: to lift the mood and emotions and work with the body to nourish, replenish, regenerate, soften and smooth the skin. There are a range of skincare products for your face and body, including lip balm, beauty balm, face and body oil, body cream and a clay face mask. www.agnesandme.co.nz

Master the mess

Cleaning products might not be everyone’s first choice as a Christmas gift but we promise these gorgeous dishcloths will make housework better. Ecovask founder Viv Kohlenbach-Wilson discovered the cloths when visiting her husband’s family in Europe and loved them so much, she decided to bring them into New Zealand to sell. They come in fabulous colours, are generously sized and they are made from 100 per cent Eco-Tex certified cotton, which essentially means the cotton growing and production process is more environmentally friendly and they are free from a myriad of chemicals often used in manufacturing processes. And because you wash and reuse them, you are not throwing more synthetic cloths into our landfills. You can also get hand towels and tea towels from the website. www.ecovask.co.nz

Edible made easy

If you are out of time to make lovely edible gifts using Te Atatu Toasted mueslis, check out these New Zealand food producers who have done all the hard work for you.

The Chocolate Tour offers New Zealand-made chocolate treats from a range of local chocolatiers and chocolate makers. There are sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and keto options as well as chocolate tasting boxes in different sizes. www.thechocolatetour.co.nz

For the health food lovers in your life visit Snack Pack. These mouth-watering, natural foods and snacks are designed to boost your health and wellbeing and they even have some special treats for Christmas. www.snackpack.co.nz

Or check out the curry sauces, chutneys, pickles, teas and snacks from Banu’s, another business born in Te Atatu. They have beautiful gift boxes for Christmas and you can even buy an Indian cooking class for the spice lover in your life. www.banus.co.nz

You can support several local food businesses at Foraged and Curated – they have a range of gift boxes containing food and other items that have been handmade or produced by a small New Zealand business. www.foragedandcurated.com

Thanks for shopping with a local business this festive season – they will truly appreciate it!