(Paul in Central World Supermarket, Bangkok, part of a NZ week food promotion)
Yompai is based in Gisborne, New Zealand. We import Teak wooden utensils and some other products from Thailand.
All of the products are made by small villages or small businesses that we personally know from having spent 13 years living and working in Bangkok.
The teak wooden utensils are from a small village in Northern Thailand. We first met them at the Bangkok Farmers Market where we had a stand. At that time we were importing Manuka Honey from Te Araroa NZ, and selling it in two large upmarket supermarket chains. But because it was very expensive we wanted to talk directly with people about the honey and its medicinal properties so we started going to the Farmer's Market which runs all day Saturday and Sunday each week.
To give people a taste we started buying the very small salt spoons, from another stand who sold Teak Utensils. Over a couple of years of going to the market we got to know the people, their story, how they had started making utensils - ( read about that here)
We loved the story, and we certainly loved the things they made, we bought quite a few different style spoons, chopping boards and lots and lots of salt spoons. They were so beautifully crafted but we also loved they were made for use. The majority of the customers who bought for them were Thai people who were buying the utensils to cook Thai food. We learned about teak and why it is such a highly prized wood, not only for building and furniture but also for kitchen utensils.
We returned home in 2017 to be with and help my father who had cancer. Because of the circumstances we could no longer keep the business in Thailand and needed something that would provide flexibility to be able to take him to Auckland for treatment. From our time in Bangkok we knew different people like the villagers of Baan Lek Nam Pai Yai who were making high quality, sustainable products that supported a village or community. So we started bringing small quantities in, and setting up the business that we have now.
We love that we can help friends and people we know. We love that doing what we are doing helps small communities and villages to have work with dignity. We are not an NGO but we buy direct from them. We pay them directly at the price they ask. All of your purchases from us help the villagers directly.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries email@example.com or you can call if you have a question or query. Ph 0275114769
Our address is
36 Kelvin Street
New Zealand 4010