I Love Food Co. is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The business officially started in 2008 with a range of gourmet pies under the I Love Pies brand. When Maree Glading and Jessie Stanley, company co-founders, took their delicious pies to Clevedon Farmers Market, they sold out to rave reviews.
"We knew then we were on to something," said Stanley, who started the food company alongside Glading because they wanted to make food they would be proud to feed their families. Following the success of the farmer's markets, Stanley and Glading then set about having the pies stocked in gourmet food stores.
"Looking back, getting into Farro Fresh in mid-2008 was one of our turning points in the early days. We then quickly got our products into the other gourmet food stores, then supermarkets followed and we are now available nationwide." Many more pie flavours, a range of sausage rolls, two gluten-free pies and a range of I Love Baking cookies later, both co-founders still work in the business today.
Stanley said that one thing the company will not compromise on is quality and including beautiful New Zealand ingredients in its products.
"We use top quality NZ meat, free range chicken and bacon and lovely locally-grown fresh vegetables in our pies. Our I Love Baking cookies have proved extremely popular since launching last year. Twenty percent of the sweetness in the cookies comes from date puree, and the sugar we do use is unrefined organic sugar and they include the goodness of oats. We are also proud to say none of our products will ever contain palm oil, MSG, or artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. We like to keep things natural, and all of our products are still made right here in NZ with ingredients you can understand and can be found in your pantry at home."
The company has won awards at the NZ Food Awards, along with the Westpac Business Awards (Best Emerging Business) and the Canstar Most Satisfied Customers award in their pie category. I Love Pies' product are available at Eden Park and on Air NZ trans-Tasman flights. Products have also been exported to Australia (into Costco) and Asia. "China is also showing positive signs in terms of consumer demand for our product," said Glading.
I Love Food Co's focus continues to be creating truly innovative food. It is further broadening its horizons with the introduction of more delicious products this year.