After making a surplus of lemonade at home, and giving some to her neighbours, Marleen Suy, also known as Mrs. Pete, was advised to commercialise the product.
Mrs. Pete wanted the product to be completely natural, using fresh and local fruit to help domestic growers. She wanted to create a healthy drink without preservatives, additives, and making less than 5% of a bottle sugar.
A lot of the designs and ideas come from Mrs. Pete’s husband, Peter, who watches trends to try and pinpoint the next popular drink. With an added interest in healthy alternatives to fizzy drinks, they created a hemp drink, a switchel drink, and even a beetroot drink.
The duo make sure that their products are sourced locally as much as possible, with their limes, oranges, and lemons coming from Kerikeri, Gisborne, and the Hawkes Bay.
Mrs Pete’s philosophy is one of ‘no fruit wasted’, and the business maintains a low carbon footprint. The only thing that Pete’s Natural can’t get locally is the raw sugar in their drinks, and so they buy it off of Trade Aid.
Another big advantage of Pete’s Natural is giving pubs the opportunity to have a much nicer base for their drinks:
“The bars go for the high quality alcohol, but then they go with a cheap base like a Cola or a Sprite.”
Pete’s Natural has had great success as a healthy brand with flexible options.
Beginning locally, their products have made their way into cafes, and with last year’s quarantine, the website offered them good sales because more people were buying products from local companies.
To get new customers, Pete’s Natural used to attend events, but as time has gone on, they’ve decided to up their social media game, and do other things such as cold calling and switching to ActiveCampaign.
Pete’s Natural also has its own bottling facility, which makes for much more flexibility.
Although they are focused on New Zealand, they’ve been exporting to Australia and Hong Kong, and have set their sights on Asian countries like Thailand.
Mrs. Pete stresses the importance helping other businesses and people out.
Often, the pair sell their products at fundraisers and help out at a local school fair, with all the profits going to the people they are helping.
They also do little runs for other businesses in their bottling facility to help others make progress in the beverage industry.
Pete’s Natural is also a very sustainable and low-carbon company.
Their glass comes from Auckland, with up to 70% of it being glass that’s been recycled. They’ve also switched to an electric vehicle for deliveries, and have put solar panels on the roof of their factory.
Pete’s Natural is a healthy business that loves to give back to the community by aiding in fundraisers and working to support other businesses, whilst also being environmentally friendly.
Mrs. Pete says she enjoys giving back to the community, and is proud to be a supporter and backer of New Zealand businesses.