Te Atatu Toasted founder Clare Robinson lives, as you might expect, on Te Atatu Peninsula with two cats, Smooch and Piggy.
Tell us when and why Te Atatu Toasted was born…my background is working in food manufacturing factories here and in the UK on my OE, and I found it was all about numbers and margins and so little about food for wellness. I just wanted to create food for wellness and do it simply to keep the costs down. I decided on breakfast cereals because I had made my own due to difficulty finding ones that were not too sugary or full of processed junk. Also, if you can get the first meal of the day right, you are off to a great start.
What does a typical morning at your house look like?Weekdays I’m up at 5am for a 5k walk with my walking buddy, then I usually read for an hour or so, then breakfast, get ready for work and start the working day.
Do you have a favourite Te Atatu Toasted product or would that be like having a favourite child? Ha ha, yes! Often for breakfast I have the Original with Paleo sprinkled through, sometimes I’ll swap the Original for the Healthy Blend, the one I’m less likely to have is the Gluten Free, but I sprinkle that on salads or vegies ………..though maybe I’ll have it for breakfast today for a change! I have it with yoghurt and chopped fruit – usually a kiwifruit. If I am going to a market I always take a breakfast in a jar.
What are you favourite cereal toppings?Plain yoghurt with live culture and kiwifruit or any seasonal fruit.
If you’re not eating cereal for breakfast, what are you having?If I do markets on the weekend, I go out for breakfast on Monday and read the weekend papers for a couple of hours. I have eggs with salmon or hashbrown.
What are the best things about running Te Atatu Toasted cereals?Creating good food, meeting amazing customers either in person or virtually online, the challenge of creating a business and being able to do it by my values. Also getting feedback from happy customers is pretty cool too!
And the worst things?In the beginning it was really hard financially, really hard. But as my biz is growing, it is getting better. Sometimes it is all-consuming so it is hard to switch off; other than that, it is all pretty good.
What’s next for the Te Atatu Toasted brand?Maybe another couple more blends but really I want to keep things simple and spread my business far and wide. If we can get as many people as possible starting their day with a simple, good healthy well-balanced brekkie, what a difference that will make to individuals’ health, their whanau and the health and productivity of the wider community.
What other boutique NZ food brands do you love?Ooooh, so many, KC Kombucher, Vitality vege wraps, Whitestone cheese, Fudge Farm Fudge, Whittakers chocolate, Artfleur flowers, Last jar, Wild Delicious Kimchi, Cyclops Yoghurt, there’s lots more, it’s not only the great products but the passion behind them.
Do you have any holidays planned in the next six months?Recently I went to New Plymouth with friends, which was fab. I would love to go back to Solscape in Raglan to escape for a few days!
What are your favourite cafes and restaurants?Cafes - One Sip Coffee, The Domain Eatery, Demo Deli, Fuze Café, and further away but worth the drive Blue Rose Café, Puff Café and Fleids Café. Restaurants – our local Et-tu is always good for dinner.
What are your top health and wellbeing tips?Enjoy the moment, savour the little things, get exercise daily, eat simply mostly and decadently occasionally!What’s the thing you are most proud of in 2021?Getting the Covid jab, being happy and not running out of