Pili NZ was founded in 2020 in the midst of the Covid lockdown by husband-and-wife duo Ryan and Michaela Bratty. They both have a passion for food – especially healthy, new and exciting ethically sourced products. After first learning about the amazing natural attributes of the Pili Nut and it’s rapidly expanding awareness and popularity in the international superfood market, curiosity got the better of them. Ryan and Michaela were initially attracted to the Pili Nut because of its dietary benefits and the ethical means of supply to market which they believe peg them highly on the ‘nut spectrum’. But it wasn’t until they tasted the nut that they realised they were onto something exciting that needed to be shared with true connoisseurs of simple great food! The more they grew their knowledge of the Pili Nut, the more obsessive the journey became.
Having always dreamed of being masters of their own time, they decided they needed to take the plunge and make a lifestyle change, despite the huge commitment and risk it was going to take. Covid and working from home in a demanding day job cemented the need for change and kicked the wheels of motion into gear to turn their dream into a reality, allowing them to do something they were passionate about whilst spending quality time with their three young kids. Once they conceptualised the opportunity to introduce these decadent delights to NZ, they couldn’t get the idea out of our heads… thus Pili NZ was born.
Ryan and Michaela freely admit they’ve been nervous about the viability and success of the business. They’ve also faced countless unexpected hurdles. They said had they known what was involved in introducing a new food product/brand to NZ they probably would’ve put it in the ‘too hard’ basket. However, the feedback they’ve had from customers in these early days has been amazing (turns out we have a bunch of Pili Lovers in NZ!!). They say it’s been well worth it despite the challenges they’ve faced and the learning has been invaluable.
The Pili Nut is a smooth, creamy and buttery nut likened to a mix between a Macadamia and a Cashew. For centuries the Pili Nut has been a staple in the Philippines… and a popular way to eat them is to candy them. But the rest of the world seems to be quickly catching onto this premium nut with their unique high fat, low carb attributes (they’re claimed to be the lowest carb nut overseas!) and they’re now seeing many other Pili Nut products being made such as Mylks, yoghurts and nut butters (perhaps ice cream too anyone?).
Sustainably grown in the Bicol region of the Philippines, Pili Nuts (pronounced ‘pee-lee’) thrive in rich fertile volcanic soils. They grow on trees that are known as a ’stress crop’ where harsh conditions cause the trees to grow stronger and produce more fruit! They also only require rainwater to grow, making irrigation unnecessary compared to other commercially grown nuts.
Ryan and Michaela have sourced two Pili Nut products (as well as Indonesian Kenari nuts, which are from the same nut family as the Pili Nut). These include Mount Mayon Pili Nuts which are a high-end premium wild harvested variety, and their own Pili NZ Pili Nuts which are sustainably grown and nurtured on naturally fertile farm land mimicking the nearby wild trees using traditional low impact methods…..no nasties, questionable practices or irrigation here!
Pili NZ’s Pili nuts have been picked and de-shelled (shucked) by hand, then activated gently by means of a slow 12-hour soaking process. This breaks down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in the raw Pili Nut, allowing your body to access their nutrients more easily. They’re then delivered beautifully on their own to enjoy or add to any recipe (only limited by imagination) or are lightly dusted with flavouring to really showcase the Pili Nut in all its glory. They’re delicious. They’re nutritious. They’re the ultimate powerhouse nut well worth a crack! (as the slogan goes).
Pili NZ nuts have been independently lab tested in NZ, so you can trust them when we say they’re brimming with the good stuff! Pili Nuts are high in Magnesium, Manganese and Vitamin E, together with being a source of Vitamin B1. They’re also a source of 16 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids. They’re rich, buttery morsels that are a great high fat snack that not only nourishes and fuels your body but also taste delicious. They are 100% natural, gluten free, low carb/high fat (keto friendly), vegan friendly, and paleo friendly. Yes, they tick all the boxes.
Pili NZ were pleasantly surprise and very excited when Hayden reached out in the early days, as they’d already had the idea of proposing a collaboration with NZ’s most highly regarded nut and plant Mylk brand VV Mylk. They’re really excited to taste the new Pili Mylk concentrate and can’t wait for customers to go nuts for it!