With a company name and two brands that include the word ‘love’ it is fitting that I Love Food Co. recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Valentines Day.
The business officially started on 14 February 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,” says 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 at the farmers market, 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 other gourmet food stores, then the 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.
Jessie says that one thing the company will not compromise on is quality and including beautiful New Zealand ingredients in their 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. 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 around here, 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,” says Stanley.
“We are both so proud that we have grown the company to the stage it is now, while sticking to our original vision,” say Stanley and Glading.
“Both being mums has meant we have key insights into the meal offerings that busy parents are looking for when they need to get dinner sorted,” says Glading. “We also developed our range of I Love Baking cookies with our ‘mum hats’ firmly on our heads.”
“The ‘made by mums’ is a concept we have truly brought to life with our products,” says Glading. “This is something our fans really value and because of our dedicated social media followers, we feel like we have a truly genuine relationship with the people who buy our products. We are incredibly grateful to the consumers who have supported us along the way.”
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’ products are available at Eden Park and at 30,000 feet in the air 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,” says Ms 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.