It all started when Jim Kebbell and Marion Wood bought 4.8 hectares of land in Te Horo, one hour's drive north of Wellington, with several other families. They called it Common Property and grew organically right from the beginning at the insistence of Marion's mother, Frances. The market garden has now changed from a co-operative of enthusiastic amateurs with a few spades, lots of children and a dream of changing the world, to a professionally run commercial unit of 11.2 hectares.
In the early 1990s organic shops catered for a small but dedicated group who were prepared to put up with wilting greens as long as they were organically grown. Commonsense Organics wanted to provide something better so have always concentrated on offering fresh and top quality produce. In the early days many of the vegetables ended up at the soup kitchen because Jim just refused to sell the wilted greens.
After five years of Jim running the shop and Marion earning a living elsewhere, it finally broke even and we haven't looked back. To mark the new millenium we set up a professional board and moved to premises four times the size of the previous shop. In 2002 we opened our second shop in Lower Hutt, followed in May 2003 by our shop in Paraparaumu. In July 2006 the fourth shop was opened in Kilbirnie. in 2011 we redesigned our website and opened our online store and in 2013 we opened our fifth store in Johnsonville.
Our plans and dreams for the future involve handing on the business to the next generation. We are always updating and transforming the way we do business, while retaining and entrenching the values that provide the essential foundation for everything we do.