Kiwi Kuisine pies find favour in US market

By Taiha Molyneux

No matter where you go in the world, you will find Māori working tirelessly in whatever they do. Ram Todd of Ngāti Kahungunu is one of those people who is following that example in America, Washington DC, and as a result the popularity of his business Kiwi Kuisine is soaring.

No matter where you go in New Zealand, you don't have to go far to find a good pie, but here it's a different story and they aren't on every corner.

Todd says, “Being the pie guy I get all the kiwis they come to me cos I'm the pied piper there's not many pies here and of course that's a very popular thing for the kiwis and I'm here for them but my biggest audience is the American people.”

The delicious pies of Kiwi Kuisine have seen its popularity soar.

“I've got just under 100 grocery stores that my pie gets distributed to and you know some of the popular ones are whole foods. I don't know if you know whole foods but it's a great brand. Those are great stores and then I've got farmers markets which I love to go to every weekend. Nine farmers markets, that's kind of my retail store. I serve every week you know 2-3 thousand people at a time which is pretty good.”

In the beginning, Ram and his whānau slogged long hard hours to get things off the ground. But now that has all changed.

“We've got like 26 staff we've got like a 12 in the kitchen and we've got another 12 out there as sales reps. our kitchen is from 7-3 every day, we produce about 3-5 thousand pies on a good day. A day when all the planets line and we get like 10 thousand go out each week mostly in the mid-Atlantic which is up to New York, New Jersey. We've got some in California now so that's it, it mostly goes out to the markets grocery stores and other distributors.”

The tireless efforts made by Ram, his friends and family have seen his business excel and no doubt it will continue to grow in popularity in the future.