The nutty but true tale of Kaiaroha, The Vegan Deli and moon cheese.


Making ethical, cruelty free, environmentally friendly, healthy choices about what we eat should be simple, right?
But back in 2011 it wasn't like it is now! So we decided to make what we couldn't find in NZ...a  real cultured aged dairy free nut cheese- using centuries of traditional cheese- crafting knowledge to develop delicious complex flavours, aroma and texture. And when we had figured out how to do this,  we wrapped up our cheeses and trotted off to market...
But back in 2011 nut cheese sounded as fanciful an idea as Wallace and Gromits' Wensleydale Cheese Moon! Most people refused to even sample something so strange! And so The Vegan Deli was born, creating delectable traditional style food that appealed to nonvegans and vegans alike an helping make nut cheese more accessible to the public.
Along the way we were refining the way we made vegan food and  discovering the art of nut cheesemaking while cooking from commercial kitchens and selling at markets and festivals around Auckland.
Then after 7 years we found ourselves suddenly without a kitchen but by some great stroke of luck, we turned that corner when we found The Rise, 6 Greenstar building and we've been reaching for the moon....-shaped nut cheese ever since.
On a more serious note... we are a value-driven business. We exist because of a deep sense of needing to take responsibility for creating what we want to see in the world. For this reason we never compromise on cruelty-free and vegan. We are not perfect but we have aims and we work hard to meet our own high expectations- you can ask us about them or see our goals and values on the wall at the café.
The name Kaiaroha was chosen after respectfully consulting with our  local Kaumatua, because of a sense of oneness with all- represented so well in the Maori world view, along with a deep respect for Te Reo and all inhabitants of Aotearoa and the shared undertaking that veganism contributes to in caring for Papatuanuku.
Comments received from some of our customers:
" I'm from South Africa and recently spend two weeks on holiday in NZ. I found your details on Happy Cow and paid a visit to your stall at Parnell Farmers Market. I bought some of your nut cheese, muffins and pastries and whow it was out of this world... I had a small round nut cheese. Just loved it......" Roelie P
"Kaiaroha is a must visit for any vegans visiting or residing within central Auckland. The food is delicious and fantastically priced considering the quality, ethical choices, care and energy put into the crafting of their wonderful dishes. I live locally and am in awe of the amount of hours the team there put in to maintain such a high standard, six days a week- it is clearly a true labour of love. 

Regarding food recommendations: their weekend platter menu is an absolute treat and a great way to indulge with friends or loved ones during the weekend. The regular menu never fails to impress, though I am particularly fond of their felafel with tabbouleh and hummus. Their cabinets are filled with so many mouth watering options it almost hurts to pick only one (or two, let's be honest) thing(s) at a time! I recommend it all, but have a very soft spot for their polenta bakes and warmed sandwiches. They also offer the most refreshing iced teas which come served in generous glasses filled with fresh fruit and are not over-sweetened or sickly at all. 

Thank you so much to the entire Kaiaroha team for working so passionately to provide such a haven of vegan delectables.  You are an absolute asset to the local community, not only offering an ethical food option which is affordable and accessible, but also providing a warm and friendly environment to enjoy it in. If I could rate you more than 5 stars, I would in a heartbeat!"  -Hanna P (Zomato)