John and Jan McIntyre were local dairy farmers with a developing Blueberry orchard in Waharoa. Like the milk, the blueberries left the farm gate for export and that was the job done. The couple wanted to be closer to the people that brought their berries, so that they too could enjoy fresh export quality blueberries.
Blueberries are a summer fruit and like many other orchards throughout NZ, Jon and Jan wanted to offer real fruit ice creams as well as the fruit. They needed a point of difference so decided to hand craft their own ice cream from local jersey cow milk and their own orchard berries. The ice cream is made in their creamery on the farm and they had a purpose built trailer made. Just like that, Kowhai Creamery was built! In December 2015, production began the team would travel daily to Waharoa township loaded with fresh berries and ice cream, and boom! It just took off.
Over summer the colourfully branded trailer is a real attraction parked up under the trees on the reserve at Waharoa, and is also available to hire for events. People love the ice cream and blueberries, the whole idea of it being handcrafted and local has real appeal, especially to overseas visitors. After so many compliments, it gave John and Jan the encouragement to enter the NZ Ice Cream Awards, walking away with two awards for the Blueberry and Salted Caramel flavours. Six months after making the first batch of Kowhai Creamery ice cream they were award winners!
“The Matamata-Piako area offers a great deal of support to small businesses like Kowhai Creamery. Our choice to start up in the area was fresh sustainably farmed ingredients, but also talented local people and businesses. Our passion is to keep it local and every aspect of our branding reflects this. It is the land of milk and honey and now blueberries and ice cream.”