Dalea Shaw, the entrepreneurial mind behind MŌRI Mānuka Beeswax Wraps, was born in Rotorua and raised in her hometown by her grandparents. In fact, the seed of her idea was planted as young Dalea watched her industrious grandmother use every scrap of fabric in her sewing.
With a love of bringing people together though food and supporting them through life’s challenges, Dalea became a chef and caterer as well as a life skills coach and mentor. This renaissance woman uses the word Māoripreneur to describe herself – as the founder of a business that incorporates her passions for Kai (the Māori word for food) and indigenous fashion.
A mother of two herself, when Dalea read about a Rotorua baby who was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, she combined her philanthropy with food, organising an island luau night to raise money for his family.
What began as a backyard hobby has expanded with demand, and Dalea now has a regular stall at the Rotorua Farmers Market. There’s a new website in the not too distant future too, but in the meantime, out of towners can find MŌRI on Facebook. We caught up with Dalea this month and asked her a bit about herself.
What are you getting up to right now?
Getting into health and fitness this year. Without good health, you can’t achieve much.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my achievements so far with my business. My philosophy is: find out what your passion and talents are, then use them to help you grow and to help others grow theirs as well.
What are your reading/watching/listening to?
Motivational books and quotes. And I like reggae music.
How did your journey start?
Watching my grandmother utilise her leftover fabric after sewing.
What are your plans for your company?
My long-term goal is to own my own small cafe in the next two to three years selling and using my MŌRI products.
How do you use your Mānuka honey?
When I have the flu, I make a lemon and Mānuka honey drink. It’s very warming and soothing.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to exercise and meditate.
What do you like about the True Honey Co. beeswax and how did you find out about us?
The beeswax smells great and is good for my products. I googled beeswax and found The True Honey Co. and reached out to them. I ordered some, and it was beautiful and clean and a lovely golden colour. Ann then came to the Rotorua Farmers Market prior to Christmas and joined me on the stand and I learnt so much more about The True Honey Co. business.
What’s all this buzz about beeswax wraps then?
Beeswax food wraps are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic cling film and even containers. The wraps are made by infusing beeswax (and sometimes vegetable or nut oils) in lightweight cotton fabric. To use a beeswax wrap, you just fold or press the wrap around the food or bowl you want to store. The warmth of your hands moulds the wrap into shape and helps to create a seal.
You can even make smaller wraps into snack packs by folding them into an envelope shape. Here are a few more tips:
• To clean, wash your beeswax wraps with lukewarm water and a mild soap
• But don’t wash them with hot water or they will melt! For that reason, it’s not a good idea to wrap meat with beeswax wraps.
• You can use them for cheese, fruit or veges, scroggin, the kids’ sammies… etc.
• Foods that contain lots of moisture should be placed in a bowl and covered with beeswax wrap, rather than trying to wrap the whole thing.
• Beeswax Wraps can last for up to a year, depending on how often you use them.
You’ll spot Dalea, her Mānuka Beeswax Wraps and her other homemade goodies every Sunday at the Rotorua Farmers Market.
Corner of Tutanekai and Hinemoa Street
Sundays: 9am to 1pm
You’ll also find fresh, local produce and artisanal specialty foods, and feed your ears with the sounds of live local musicians.