Early 2018, selling about 10 jars a week in Mauke, we found enough jars locally to continue operations. But in preparing product for trade days in Rarotonga, it became clear that the small Mauke population couldn’t provide enough reusable jars to meet needs.
Around this time an advisor from the Ministry of Education called into our place full of enthusiasm and encouragement. Requiring a gluten free diet Cindy was excited to purchase a tasty local product that she could consume. Not long after we received an email saying that she had a collection jars for us.
Cindy had placed boxes in the staffroom at Tereora College and MoE saying ‘Jars for June’. I fought back tears the first time I saw that simple hand written sign; overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and time given freely by someone I had only recently met.
Since then there have been numbers of times when such generosity has warmed our hearts. Once a box of jars arrived with not only our name but written, for all to see, ‘I love your raparapa marmalade’. Then there was the time tourists visiting Mauke left a bag of jars for us at the shop. Another time a lady coming from the plane presented me with an empty jar and with a smile said,’ thankyou’. It wasn’t so much the single jar that moved me but rather, that with all the organisation she had to do for a workshop, our need was in her thoughts.
As Mauke Moments has expanded we have had to purchase jars from overseas from time to time. However, despite the extra work involved, we want to keep reusing jars because it just makes sense to reduce imports, reduce waste going to landfill and recycle for sustainability.
Glass cleans and sterilises well, but we purchase new lids to be sure of a good long-lasting seal. Mauke Moments needs jars that fit a common sized 63mm lid, the type found on Craigs jam, Pics peanut butter and Chowchow, to name a few. The Chowchow size is the biggest jar we use.
So please think of us the next time you’re wondering what to do with that empty jar. You can drop jars off to Te Ipukarea Society, Prime Foods, BTIB or Lydia Marsh.
Meitaki Nui, Andrew and June Hosking