Hello spice lover!
Let me introduce the Mama's brand to you......
Mama's was founded in a normal family home around the dinner table during the usual family conversation about who could handle the most spice (everyone discusses that right?). From there a plan was hatched to use the extensive family vege garden to grow a range of chillies that could be turned into some flavoursome sauces.
The first plants were randomly planted in the summer of 2019/2020 and from those few plants the sauces were created, to be fair it took most of the year to do this. Friends and family were reluctantly volunteered to taste test each recipe and the feedback given was used to enhance the sauces even more until the recipe was 'just right'.
So as you can tell, we needed a-lot more chilli plants than those first few, and as we have the garden space to grow a-lot of vegetables (I have always had a large vege garden since growing up on a market garden in North West Auckland), we thought it would be a good idea to use the space for this. I had already saved the seeds from my Carolina Reaper and Habanero plants, so I just needed to source the Jalapeno, Cayenne Pepper and Asian Fire to start the plants that I hope to keep for a few years yet. Overall I managed to plant around 80 chilli plants, but have lost around 5 along the way (if it shows signs of disease its gone). I also only feed with organic feed and chicken poo and if there is a need to spray then only neem oil or pyrethrum is used as they are natural. At one stage early I spent a few hours sweating in the tunnel house while I hand washed the chilli plants to remove an infestation of aphids!
So, back to the beginning again, 2020 progressed, Covid-19 hit the world and I found myself out of a job like so many others. To be fair I was already looking to move on from the corporate world, I had started studying Horticulture so I could gain the qualification needed to move into a role that suited me more. I was getting itchy feet being confined to a desk all week and needed something more physical and diverse (by the way I have also found this in another role outside the chilli business!).
During the time I was off work, and I was lucky to enjoy 4 months over summer in my garden, I decided to really make a go of the chilli sauces. I applied to my local market 'The Shed Collective' and was accepted there to sell my sauces on a Saturday morning. I have only been going the last few weekends and I already have a wee following which is fantastic! I will also never forget the man who generously dunked his cracker into the hottest sauce (Sneaky B!tch), ate it and then spent the next 5 minutes blowing steam haha!
Now of course Mama's is not only me, it is a team, or you could say my family. My husband, Julian, is my biggest supporter, he comes to the markets each week to sell our sauces and now helps in the kitchen. He wont touch the chillies but he does try each and every one of them. My oldest son, Matt, is the copywriter and creator of the website. He is also the one who really created this whole business, he is always thinking and challenging everyone around him to never settle for mediocre and always think outside the square. My youngest son, Dylan, does play a part in the business, but more of one of resistance haha. He does whatever he can to avoid trying the product but I still sneakily get it in his meals! My step-daughter, Bella, is the original creator of the Mama's brand. I sent her a drawing one morning and from that she created the graphics and labels you see today. And then there is Harry, Bella's boyfriend/partner, who tries every sauce and product with enthusiasm no matter how hot they are!
So what else is there.... as you can see, I am married and a mum of 2 plus 1, we live in West Auckland but hope to move to more land in a few years (to grow more chillies). We have 2 dogs, 1 cat and 3 chickens, and a good sized garden that not only has chillies but also a range of fruit, berries and vegetables. But really we need more land!
And if you got this far, thanks for reading..... and I really hope you love the sauces as much as we do, Lisa and the team.