About The Kiwi Importer
Kia Ora! I’m Sarah the owner of Kiwi Importer. I don't import brown fuzzy fruit! I'm a 'Kiwi' meaning I'm a New Zealander. Kiwis are New Zealand’s (unofficial) national bird. Unlike the American Bald Eagle which embodies majestic beauty and great strength, our national bird can’t fly, is nocturnal, partially blind and because it has so many predators, it’s endangered (fortunately there are a lot of great human Kiwis that work tirelessly on their preservation). Despite the Kiwi’s shortcomings, our national bird is unique, super cute and a loved symbol of New Zealand and I’m importing unique, high quality and much loved products from New Zealand, hence, I'm The Kiwi Importer.
Before moving to the USA I was in the fruit and vegetable industry and exported fresh produce from both New Zealand and Australia to some of the world's largest supermarkets. I bought, sold, exported, formed collaborative grower groups, worked on export protocols, managed large supermarket accounts, and ate millions of melons, mangoes and bags of salad in the process! I'm a big salad fanatic and the fast pace of the industry suited my personality.
In 2011 my husband was offered a position based in the USA. Always up for an adventure we decided to make a go of life in the US along with our then 18 month old daughter (our son was born here in the US).
Unsure of what to do with myself away from a country and career I loved, I enrolled (and completed in 2016) my PhD in collaborative international agribusiness chains. During my research in 2014 I connected with a manuka honey producer and a few conversations later, I was flying in 50 cases of manuka honey and selling it to local shops by literally going around shop to shop. By the end of the year I had brought in more (still small sized shipments) and in 2015 launched on Amazon. I enjoyed it so much that before the ink was dry on the final submission to my thesis, I was expanding my product range and distribution network.
From that first part pallet of manuka honey, imported by airfreight and transported around in my car as a one woman show, we now operate out of a 2500 sq ft warehouse in Richmond, TX distributing brands from over 20 New Zealand producers on our own website, to small and large retailers (including Big Lots, SPECS, Phoenicia Specialty Foods and others) and also in third party platforms such as Amazon.com and Walmart.com
Please enjoy looking around our site. I love what I do and I hope you can feel the passion that myself and my small but mighty team have for bringing a little piece of New Zealand to your kitchens here in the USA.
Sarah – The Kiwi Importer