Who we are
Cornucopia Organics is a family owned business in Hastings. Kaye and Alan Keats have been involved in the organic industry and natural health for over thirty-five years, and are still passionate about the benefits of a wholesome lifestyle. Not only that, they have a wealth of knowledge and are committed to educating the local community on the benefits of healthy food and an organic lifestyle and supporting local growers and producers and health practitioners.
How we started
In 1984, Kaye and Alan moved from the Hokianga Harbour in Northland to Hawke's Bay so that their children could attend the Hastings Rudolf Steiner School. The same year, Alan, along with two other parents of the school, opened a wholefood shop in Hastings, which had grown from a weekly Friday market held at the school.
Originally the shop was set up as a charitable trust to support the Steiner School in Hastings, but in 1995, the shop went up for sale and Kaye and Alan decided to buy it. They renamed the business Cornucopia after the 'horn of plenty' represented in Greek legend, which symbolises a continual abundance of fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables.
In 2001, with a continually expanding range of products, Cornucopia moved to larger premises closer to the centre of Hastings. An organic café, Taste Cornucopia was established next door.
Our commitment to organics
Over the years they have observed a shift in their customers. “It was very much alternative people back when we started out, but now it’s much more diverse,” Kaye observes. “People have become aware, started looking at labels, wondering where their food comes from.”
Their business model is about relationships … with growers and consumers. They’re motivated to ensure stock is sustainable to produce and purchase. Kaye says, “We think about food miles and food security. By buying local you’re supporting the environment, and you’re supporting the local economy.” Alan adds, “If you don’t support the growers then you lose the supply.”
Consumers come to them for assurance and education. “We have a trust relationship with our customers. We’ve been doing this a long time. We have really strong ethics, and are really concerned the things we sell are okay.” It’s a mantra backed by the shop’s BioGro organic certification, allowing them to sell uncertified products, as long as they’re satisfied of progeny and products are labelled correctly.
Kaye, a medical herbalist and nutritionist, promotes an understanding of how the substances people put into their bodies have health outcomes. Awareness of eating fresh, seasonal, local produce connects people back with where their food comes from, she says. “food that’s really alive and vibrant will help you feel vibrant.”