Inspired by traditional forms of remedial medicine as well as the desire to create a sustainable business, Aotea Tonics was named after the Great Barrier Island (known as Aotea in Māori), where its founder Tama Toki grew up and where all the native ingredients for their tonics are harvested.

What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“During the winter months on the island, Tama’s kuia (grandmother) would always be sure to have a pot of Kawakawa or Kūmarahou simmering on the woodstove. These tonics became a regular part of the whānau diet, as without access to conventional medicines they became the natural remedies for winter ailments.
Aotea Tonics are a culmination of these traditional Maori herbal remedies alongside Tama’s desire to create sustainable business for whānau on Great Barrier Island.”

What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“Our current product collection includes four organic tonic flavours – Kawakawa, Horopito, Kūmarahou and Tea Tree. They are unique in that they each possess wellness aspects due to the health qualities of the native herbs. Recently, each recipe has been updated to enhance and complement these curative qualities. We now brew the native leaves with traditional herbs and tea leaves known to support the desired functions.
Kawakawa, known to aid digestion, is brewed with Peppermint and Chamomile which are also proven to help the stomach. Tea tree leaves, also called Mānuka leaves, were brewed to make a febrifuge to clear the head, and so we combine this with Ginseng root and Ginkgo leaf known to provide clarity and focus. Our Horopito tonic is brewed with ingredients known to help chill and de-stress, including Liquorice root and Lavender. Lastly, our original wellness tonic Kūmarahou is brewed with Ginger and Turmeric root to help clear the lungs.
Additionally, each tonic is naturally sweetened with Mānuka honey, known for its micro bacterial qualities.”

Has there been any recent company news?
“After lots of hard work, we’re stoked to roll out new bottles and evolved product recipes. As of this month, our four tonics are packaged in glass bottles with fresh new label designs. Equally exciting is our updated recipes. We wanted to enhance and strengthen the wellness qualities of the native herbs, so have extended to include traditional (non-native) flora such as Chamomile, Peppermint, Ginseng and Ginkgo. These new additions complement and enhance the health qualities of the native herbs.
We’ve also recently been lucky enough to team up with the awesome crew at Karma Cola, who are helping distribute our tonics throughout NZ.”

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We’ve recently made some significant changes to the brand, products, production and distribution and so our current plans are to see how these updates are received by customers throughout NZ.”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“We distribute throughout NZ and are available in eateries and specialty food stores. Most notably, our tonics can be found in Farro Fresh, Bin Inn, Commonsense Organics and Huckleberry stores.”