Side business helps Samoan achieve N.Z. property dream

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 29 December 2020, 3:00PM

A Samoan family in New Zealand has achieved their dream of homeownership thanks to what they say are the successes of their side businesses and successful social media marketing. 

Samoan small business owner, Reesie Mose, started her Polynesian catering business ‘Nesian Bites two years ago to earn extra money with her eyes on the goal of getting on Auckland’s property ladder. 

And this year she achieved the goal. 

She told local news site that she created a lucrative “side hustle” by turning one of her favourite pastimes into a money-earning small business that could run on the weekends. 

Mrs. Mose spends her evenings preparing and cooking after clocking off from her full-time job.

Social media has proven invaluable to her success. 

When she started in 2018 Facebook and Instagram were the only marketing platforms Mrs. Mose used to promote her business. 

“I seriously wouldn’t have done it without these two media sites,” the Samoan-born Mrs. Mose told the New Zealand outlet. 

“They pretty much pulled in all my customers, and there have been a lot.”

Mrs. Mose said that although COVID-19 lockdowns had stopped her side-weekend business in its tracks, she and her husband were able to fall back on their full-time jobs for financial security. 

To her great surprise, business is busier than ever for Mrs. Mose post-lockdown. 

The catering business shifted its customer base from young professionals celebrating weddings towards businesses and corporations hosting events. 

Her specialities are Polynesian grazing platters and tables which include bite-sized mixes of vegetables, cheeses, cured meats, seasonal fruits, nuts, sweets and desserts.

But despite her knack in the kitchen, she found starting a catering business harder than it appears including meeting regulation requirements of Auckland Council. 

Those difficulties pushed Mrs. Mose towards The Kitchen Project. The programme is the initiative of Auckland Council’s Panuku Development Agency and A.T.E.E.D. (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and helps indigenous and migrant communities create businesses. 

Mose had to be interviewed and present her products in front of chefs and council staff and was selected to join the programme. 

She attended the programme, which takes on between five to eight business owners at a time, three times a week for six months.

Mrs. Mose was interviewed and presented her products in front of chefs and council staff to become selected to join the programme, which takes five to eight business owners on at a time. 

It helps new small business owners set up a business, develop a business plan and subsidises the hiring of commercial kitchens. 

Instead of paying more than $100 an hour to hire a commercial kitchen, The Kitchen Project allows her to pay a reduced rate of $10 an hour. 

Various specialists from banks, accountants and digital technology companies also spoke to small business owners. 

“That’s been a blessing for my small business,” Mose told 

“It was like everything was meant to be because work was just around the corner,” said Mrs. Mose.

The programme also helped Mrs. Mose establish a business offering “grazing” food while successfully navigating regulations that imposed hefty fines on businesses selling food without authorisation. 

This August, she and her husband achieved the goal of buying a home in Auckland.

Now their focus has shifted toward building the businesses’ customer base.

Through online searching, she applied for a business coach through A.T.E.E.D. who is helping her set goals and a business strategy, revamp her website and scrutinise her profit margins. 

“You just have to do your research,” she said. 

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 29 December 2020, 3:00PM

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