Here at Aucklife, we are huge fans of supporting New Zealand producers, and especially those located in our beautiful city. We thought we’d highlight five well-known products that we are proud are made right here in Auckland.
Sistema storage containers
One of Auckland’s biggest success stories, Sistema started with founder Brendan Lindsay making coathangers in his garage. Over thirty years later, he was exporting plastic storage containers to 90 countries worldwide. Sistema’s most recognisable product is probably the blue-clip KlipIt range of food storage products.
The company was sold to American giant Newell (owner of Rubbermaid, Sharpie and Sunbeam) for $660 million in 2017, under the condition that manufacturing would continue in Auckland for a further 20 years.
The Chelsea Sugar factory was built in Birkenhead, on Auckland’s North Shore, in 1883. Perfectly-situated on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour, the factory began receiving ships full of raw Indonesian sugar in 1884, and production of Chelsea Sugar began.
Today, the factory is still operational on the original site, inside the beautiful and historic Chelsea Estate, producing a wide range of sugars as well as Golden Syrup, Treacle, Blackstrap Molasses and flavoured syrup toppings. Yum! The factory is open for tours from Monday to Friday.
Tip Top ice cream
Since 1962, anyone driving out of Auckland on the Southern Motorway has been greeted by the familiar sight of the Tip Top Ice Cream Factory at Mt Wellington. Originally created in the 1930s, Tip Top has become one of New Zealand’s best-known brands, with iconic products like Topsy, Eskimo Pie, Popsicle and FruJu.
The famous 1985 advert for Trumpet also launched the career of Auckland supermodel Rachel Hunter. In 2016, the Tip Top factory produced more than 55 million litres of ice cream, which they say was comprised of approximately 4 million Jelly Tips, 13 million Trumpets, and nearly 8 million Popsicles. You can also tour the Tip Top factory on weekdays.
Villa Maria wines
Villa Maria began in 1961 when founder George Fistonich leased five acres of land from his father and planted a single acre of grapevines. He produced his first vintage the following year and then established a wine club to help teach people how to pair wine with food. George was a one-man band until he employed his first staff in the 1970s, and from there the company continued to grow.
Villa Maria started exporting internationally in 1988, and today is a world-recognised brand with wineries in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. George received New Zealand’s first knighthood for services to the wine industry in 2009 and was inducted to Restaurant and Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2007.
One of New Zealand’s most famous and iconic clothing labels, Zambesi was launched in 1979 by Elisabeth and Neville Findlay. Zambesi uses interesting fabric and textures, an often-dark colour palette and flawless tailoring and finishing to create a signature look that has garnered a legion of dedicated fans.
Virtually all of Zambesi’s pieces are still produced in their Auckland workroom (except a few handcrafted beaded and sequined items). In 2008, both Elisabeth and Neville were awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and fashion.
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