Updated: Oct 2
Peruvian cuisine is one of the most worldwide known Latin cuisines due to the unique spiciness of their sauces that can only be found in Peru... and now in New Zealand! Today we are sharing the story of a Latina that started her own business of Peruvian Rocoto Sauces in New Zealand and of course that we OUGHT to know her story, so we had the chance to speak with Carolina, the owner and founder of "Rocoto New Zealand" and ask her about this entrepreneurship and her life in New Zealand!
Who is behind Rocoto New Zealand?
The Latina entrepreneur behind Rocoto Nz is Carolina Noble, original from the Amazon of the Peruvian jungle! She arrived in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2004! She met her now-husband, Jerry Noble when he was a tourist in Iquitos Peru. They met at a tourist club and they fell in love from the first moment they saw each other!
Her husband loves Latin culture and is the number one fan of Peruvian gastronomy!
When we asked Carolina if she had any favourite product of Latino Foods she didn't hesitate on mentioning how much she misses the Inca Kola! Lucky for all Peruvians in New Zealand, we have lots of those!
We asked Carolina about the creation of her business, and this is what she told us:
When and How was Rocoto New Zealand Born?
As a Peruvian, I missed the authentic flavours of Peru and I started looking for the most traditional Peruvian peppers. One day visiting the Avondale Market that only opens on Sundays I found the famous "Rocoto" and I was very excited about finding this famous chilli pepper of Peru, here they called it "Costa Rica rocoto".
As soon as found the pepper, I started to try and prepare my sauces with family and friends until one day my husband's best friend (who is a lawyer) suggested registering the sauce and sell it because he would pay for an artisanal and homemade product!
After a year of testing the sauce and its expiration limits, I met a Food Industries Engineer in Auckland and it casually happened that he was Peruvian, so with him, we began to create " formulas” and it was a great advantage that this professional had already worked in Peru with the production of food and fruit packaging, it was super practical for me to create formulas for my hot pepper sauce so it can be sold to all New Zealand!
Besides, I could explain to him in my own language what I wanted for my sauce because who better than a Peruvian to understand what another one wants for a "Peruvian" product? First, we studied the product and we tested it for weeks, months and after 1 year of so much effort, the product "hot pepper sauce" there were 5 Formulas of which I only use 1 because it is the most practical and natural due to its natural ingredients: lemon, garlic, hot pepper and a lot of love!
As a good Peruvian I always carried my rocoto sauce in my purse to always eat it wherever I went, sometimes my husband laughed at me because I used to not leave the house without my rocoto sauce!
What has been the most difficult and the most gratifying thing about starting a business in New Zealand?
Back in 2016 it was really hard for me to get the "Council" permissions for my sauce as it felt amazingly gratifying when after some time they approved them because I had the Council's support when they helped me the documents that were left. But although I only needed a manufacturing permission for my sauce, I was able to get a much better license that now allows me to:
Prepare my Rocoto Sauce
Teach Peruvian Cuisine Classes on my Commercial Kitchen
Offer Catering Services
Participate on Food Markets
But the most gratifying thing Carolina has lived with Rocoto New Zealand has been the approval of this complete license after lots of frustration to process the permits and to adapt her family kitchen and cuisine so that it could fit into New Zealand standards!
How has been the Latino community with your business?
I am very happy with the support I have received over the years, although Peruvians can always prepare their spicy sauces at home, I have a good, super cute Peruvian clientele that supports their enterprising compatriot!
The Latino community has been a great support for Rocoto NZ because I've had a lot of support from the Colombian community with my sauces, many Colombians contact me to order my sauces, the Chileans are also very in love with the Salsa, without forgetting the Europeans in NZ : They buy me a lot of rocoto sauce, also people from the islands of the country, people from Asia and etc! When I participate in the Markets, clients try my rocoto sauce for the first time with the delicious Peruvian food, they love the refreshing flavor that transports them to Lima-Peru!
Recently, Carolina joined "The Kitchen Project" that is a Project run by the Auckland Council, for "Foodies" entrepreneurs on this city, as well as she also is a member of the "Fusion Latina Peru & Argentina" where they are aiming to buy their own Food Truck and participate on gastronomic events like The Food Show!
Carolina participated on some Latin Markets like Latin fiesta, Silo Park “World on the Street Latin America”, "Day of the Chilli" and others!
Rocoto New Zealand looks forward to reach as many kiwis and people from all over the world that now live in New Zealand, to make her work as an ambassador of her Peruvian roots and take the flavours of her country to as many people as she can.
Carolina has been working on a new product that is one of the most representatives of Peru, and it can only be the "Ají Amarillo" made with the unique Yellow Pepper, taking advantage of the chili-farmers of New Zealand with whose she's been partning up, growing not only yellow pepper but also Rocoto pepper on the volcanic fields of Aotearoa!
If this blog made your mouth water, check the Rocoto New Zealand's products on our store and order some, so you can get a little bit of Carolina's 100% Peruvian recipe and let Perú into your kitchen!
Don't forget to follow Rocoto New Zealand's accounts, where you can found them on Instagram as @rocoto_new_zealand<