A new business selling unique cutlery and crockery made from coconuts and locally sourced woods has sold out on its first day of trading.
Called ‘Samoan Kitchen’, the enterprise is the brainchild of Cassandra Hart who moved to Samoa two years ago from New Zealand.
The business which launched last Sunday, sells handmade bowls, chopsticks, fork and spoons as well as salad servers made entirely of natural materials which are manufactured by local carvers and craftsmen.
Ms. Hart said she’s amazed at how fast Samoan Kitchen has taken off.
“We just launched and we’ve already sold-out on the first day. I expected it would just be tourists buying it but actually only 10 percent are tourists, it’s mostly local people,” she said.
The products are sold at gift stores Pacific Jewell, Janet’s, Duty Free Samoa, and Mailelani.
Ms. Hart said she’s taken back by the interest of the Samoan people in her products.
“It seems to me that the people of Samoa want to use their own products, they don’t want to buy from somewhere else. People of Samoa are so about supporting their own.”
Susanna Unoi said she was given the product and uses it all the time at home for oka, poke and cereal.
“I love the idea of the whole thing it’s very unique. I’ve seen salt and sugar holders in some hotels but eating out of a coconut bowl, I would say is very unique,” Ms. Unoi said.
The business idea kicked off a month ago after a friend of Ms. Hart’s wanted bowls made from coconut shells.
Ms. Hart said from there she had several ideas about the product as well as ideas on how to utilise the skills and creativity of local people.
“Being in Samoa, you look around and there’s so many different people that are working with all the different elements of nature. And when I moved here I was just so amazed at what I saw with the craftsman, the artist and people - I just wanted to be a part of it,” she said.
From there Hart sought some of the best carvers in different materials.
“For us we’re all about making the quality exceptional, and then people will be interested in it and know that it’s from Samoa. That’s also why I named it Samoan Kitchen, so people know it’s from here.”
She said the business is not just about her but all the people involved in it as well.
“We’re trying to work with as many different craftsmen as possible, you know the goal is to help as many families as we can, it’s not just about me starting something. That’s all I am just the face, nothing more.”
The price of the products range from $29 to $45 tala depending on which store you buy them from.
Ms. Unoi said she’s already recommended the product to everyone she knows.
“They’re very solid and very easy to use and carry around. I can defiantly tell it was made in Samoa,” she said.
Ms. Hart said other products made from coconut and local woods is already in the pipeline and will be ready for purchase soon.