Our Story

Colombian, Alejandro Roa, met New Zealander, Charlotte Read, when she was promoting Villa Maria's wines of New Zealand at a wine store in Shanghai back in 2011.

Their first conversations were about cooking and enjoying great food from around the world, and these have continued during the subsequent years they have lived in Shanghai, Beijing and now Auckland, New Zealand. Having just left a role as Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Colombia in Beijing to live in NZ, Alejandro has continued to nurture the valuable contacts he made with Latin American food exporters to China and is now encouraging them to share their culinary riches with New Zealanders. Charlotte, as a well-travelled kiwi having spent much of her 20 years off shore promoting NZ food and beverages, is also well poised to support Alejandro's passion to bring his continent's unique flavours to New Zealand.    

Alejandro and Charlotte have combined their experience and talents to create Putumayo Foods. Their business imports some of the heroes of Latin American cuisine with a carefully curated range featuring the likes of organic chia, açai, quinoa, unique spicy sauces, specialty coffees and the list will continue to grow as the company expands. Alejandro has enjoyed holidays in NZ each year since married to Charlotte and understands that New Zealanders now have a global palate, and are always eager to discover new tastes from food grown ethically and sustainably that are good for you. Their children, Chloe and Julian also play a valuable role in the family business also as taste guinea pigs.

Putumayo Foods focuses on the restaurant and retail channels and are eager to work with their trade partners to continue to offer their customers innovative and exciting dishes.