There’s nothing much we admire more than clever and creative locals seeing a niche or having a unique little dream and getting stuck into making it work and making it their own, and lately our eyes have been caught and our tums made happy by some incredible boutique food businesses offering up delicious, nourishing, ethical, considered and generally just good food and drink products – so we thought it was time we gave some of them a bit of a well-deserved spotlight.
First up is Morgan Maw, who along with co-founder and husband Nic, has baked up a very special treat in the form of Bonnie Goods, a contemporary take on a traditional Scottish oatcake. Soft, crumbly, wholesome, versatile and moreish, we’re a bit obsessed…
How was Bonnie Goods born?
Bonnie was born in 2010 while my husband Nic and I were living in Edinburgh, Scotland. During our time there we were introduced to some wonderful local fare, including single malt whisky and their national cracker – the oatcake. I’ve always loved baking, so I set out to perfect my own oatcake recipe from our little flat in Leith. On our return home in 2013, I began selling Bonnie Oatcakes beside the cheesemonger at the La Cigale French Market in Auckland. Today we’re stocked in more than 80 stores around New Zealand.
What kind of a challenge has it been introducing something new to the New Zealand market?
Many New Zealanders have family ties to Scotland, so we often encounter people with fond memories of their grandmothers dishing up oatcakes with butter and jam for breakfast. However, there are just as many who haven’t heard of an oatcake (thinking they’re some sort of strange, sweet bread) so part of the journey has been to educate and inspire. The great thing about introducing a new product is there are no preconceptions, so people are often open to suggestions on how to eat or serve the oatcakes. New Zealanders love their cheese too – which our oatcakes go perfectly with – so it hasn’t been too hard a sell!
Where is your product made, by who, and what from?
Bonnie Oatcakes are all rolled, cut and baked by hand at our kitchen in Eden Terrace, Auckland. At the moment there are three of us in the kitchen working through the Christmas rush. Sourcing locally is really important to us. We use the best homegrown ingredients wherever possible, including wholegrain oats from Otago and Southland, organic Marlborough sea salt and linseed straight off the family farm in South Canterbury. For our newest flavour we’re using native Kamahi honey from J.Friend & Co’s beekeeper Derek who harvests it from coastal rainforests on the South Island’s West Coast.
What’s something people might not know about your brand or your product?
The name Bonnie is Scots and it means ‘pretty, attractive or excellent’ – we think sums up our oatcakes perfectly.
What was the first product you made, and what is the latest? Tell us a little about each…
We had to do a traditional, original flavour first. This is just the way the Scots like them and it’s great because you can put any topping on them. Our newest flavour uses native Kamahi honey, a smooth intense variety from coastal rainforests on the South Island’s West Coast. This honey is harvested by Derek for the lovely folk at J.Friend & Co down south. It’s a slighty sweeter, golden oatcake and pairs nicely with a good brie or camembert.
Do you have a favourite flavour?
You know I couldn’t… it would be like choosing a favourite child! It depends on the day…
What are your current favourite ways to eat/serve the oatcakes?
Nic and I eat them every day! He often eats them by themselves but I have a few favourite serving suggestions:
Smoked Paprika (No.2) with a fresh buche de chèrve (goat’s cheese)
Any of the savoury flavours dipped into a warming winter soup
Kamahi honey (No.4) oatcakes with a generous smear of nut butter
The Canterbury Linseed (No.3) flavour with a creamy blue cheese
What’s next for Bonnie Goods?
We’ve got one more flavour up our sleeve and have plans to branch out with other products in the future. I guarantee it won’t be haggis, but I’ve developed a taste for a good single malt whisky so you never know – if only you didn’t have to wait around for 10 years for the result!