Wise Boys started eight years ago when Luke Burrows, a corporate lawyer, founded the company with his brother Tim, a mechanical engineer. The pair were passionate about starting an environmentally friendly business, so they quit their jobs and built a food truck out of recycled pallets and scrap metal, selling vegan burgers.
"The retail sauces followed soon after, as everyone kept asking if they could please take home the vegan aioli we were making for the burgers," said Burrows.
Burrows said that the food scene in New Zealand was an exciting place to be, with a great range of diversity and a generally high standard, which has meant that some old favourites, such as the classic tomato sauce, might not be as popular as they used to be.
"But I think most people would agree that it is hard to go past the classic kiwi (vegan) barbecue on a hot summer's day."
However, the desire for exotic and exciting flavours has driven these summer entertaining events, such as barbecues, to look for various innovative sauces and dressings to accompany the burgers, sausages and salads.
Wise Boys aims to cater to various cuisines and food preferences, which means they tailor their sauces to satisfy the desire for nostalgic, classic flavours such as garlic aioli or Caesar dressing while catering to consumers' increasingly adventurous palates.
"We've had a great response to the innovative flavours, like our Horopito and Lime dressing. It's a versatile and simple dressing, but the Horopito gives people just the right amount of excitement and interest."
Similarly, Burrows has noticed an increased uptake and interest in Wise Boys' vegan retail patties, such as its award-winning mushroom and hemp option, which mimics the classic savoury burger flavour profile with a great texture, bite and umami hit.
Innovating new flavours is at the core of Wise Boys' philosophy, and the brothers keep an eye out for new trends and recipes for their burger shops and supermarket range. This agility and adaptability have been key to Wise Boys' success, as the brothers are committed to continuously evolving and improving.
In the area of summer entertainment, Burrows said that the brothers saw a gap in the market for high-quality dressings, which prompted the brothers to make a dressing range that was locally crafted. Some of these, such as the classic ranch, were already being used in the Wise Boys takeaway shops, so refining recipes and readying them for shelves around New Zealand was a matter of refining recipes and readying them for shelves.
Burrows said the brothers are looking to franchise the Wise Boys takeaway stores and increase the availability of their patties in stores across the country. Personally, Burrows said he hoped to bring a vegan truffle aioli to market or a vegan buffalo sauce, but these innovations are still undergoing testing. For the summer season ahead, Burrows suggested exploring some innovative flavours, such as their jalapeno ranch dressing, which is sure to spice up any salad and is now available in every New World on the North Island.
Read more about what's hot in Summer Entertaining in the latest issue below, starting on page 20.