March 15, 2024 5 min read

Do you love buying local? Here at Everkind, we do too! We're based in New Plymouth and our go-to store is a little treasure called Down to Earth. Based in New Plymouth CBD it offers an awesome range of organics, wellness, and zero-waste products. With an in-store naturopath and fantastic staff, they're a fabulous companion on your well-being journey.

Today we caught up with Lee, one of the co-owners at Down to Earth. So grab your favourite kombucha and discover what makes this store a New Plymouth icon.

Photo of Down to Earth co-owner Lee and Lisa in front of their Taranaki artwork.

Hi Lee, can you share a little bit about you and what you love?

Hi, I’m Lee and I am a co-owner at Down to Earth Organics. I have a background in nutrition, yoga, and skincare. My husband and I have 2 children (Amelie and Luca). We have spent many years travelling and have recently landed back in NP, where we both grew up.

Outside of work I love anything to do with sport, including playing hockey, a hit of tennis, and am always trying to get out running, walking, hiking, or biking with the kids. Being outdoors is my happy place. Along with that, we have a huge extended family who are situated in NP, so are weekends involve a lot of family time and kid-cousin time, and then of course we love spending time with friends.

What does health & well-being mean to you?

Well-being for me is all about how I’m feeling, mentally and physically and if I am feeling light, clear-minded, energetic, and joyful, I know that I am doing things right.

Photo of Lee and her family exploring New Zealand's middle earth.

Why did you start your wellness journey?

Around about 13 my brother introduced me to yoga and Chinese Medicine and although I only intermittently followed these practices during my early adult years, these practices were the backbone of my journey.

It wasn’t until my early 20s, when I wasn’t feeling my best, that I decided to make a big shift in what I was doing and started to look after myself a lot more, including becoming a yoga instructor to enhance my own practice and turns out I enjoyed teaching a lot. I also decided to study health science/nutrition to broaden my knowledge around health.

Photo of Lee and her children enjoying time in nature.

How did you come to own Down to Earth?

At the peak of covid, my family and I were somewhat stuck in France (where we were living). Because of being so far away from family and not having the freedom of being able to get back if needed, along with not being able to have visitors, we started looking into moving back to New Zealand and looking into what we could do back in New Plymouth.

In a way, I feel like it was meant to be, as the timing Down to Earth went on the market worked perfectly for us, and for Lisa (my co-owner). At the same time, she was looking for a new challenge after the company she worked for in Auckland closed its doors and made everyone redundant in lockdown.

Lisa being a childhood friend, knew that it was a dream of mine to own a health store/health hub, as I had talked about it a lot, so she reached out to let me know Down To Earth was on the market and the rest is history! Thankfully, our skills combined it has worked out to be a great partnership and an exciting journey for both of us. 

Lee and Lisa the co-owner of Down to Earth

What are your dreams for the store?

Gosh, we have a lot! Over the last 3.5 years has been about learning, building, and growing from the amazing platform we have inherited from the original founder and past owners. I feel like we are ready to expand our offering and have lots of exciting things in the pipeline for 2024.

We have already done this by launching our e-commerce website last year, but we also have dreams of offering more wellness workshops, events, subscription organic veggie boxes, a practitioner hub, and ideally some more ready-to-go health foods, the list goes on.

How important have the products you use been in your wellness journey?

Hugely important! I feel so fortunate that my family and I have access to the best and most nourishing food and wellness products available. It’s a real perk of the job.

Another huge perk of owning the store is that I get to work alongside the most nurturing and inspiring bunch of women, who I learn from every day. Having 3 incredible practitioners working in-stores makes it much easier to navigate through the sheer volume of products on the market and narrow it down, as it can be quite confusing sometimes, especially working out what suits you and your body, as we are all uniquely individual, without having to take 100 million things.

Photo of Down to Earth staff filling a paper bag with calendula petals.

What do you most look for in the wellness products you stock?

How clean it is. There are so many unnecessary fillers, preservatives, and cheap substitutes that are used these days. Greenwashing is also a real problem, you might see labels promoting something is GF, Vegan, Sugarfree, natural etc, but then you really must look at the ingredients and see what they are using instead.

We love Everkind for its clean, honest ingredients that you can trust.

What are your go-to wellness resources? 

My Insight Timer App is the best and is the main resource I use for my mental health and growth. It offers hundreds of meditations, from different lengths ranging from 3-30mins +. It is the only paid app. I use. I love their Yoga Nirda sessions, especially if I am stressed, tired, can’t sleep during the night, and need to chill for 20 minutes to recharge and reset.

I love a good podcast and listen to various ones including, ted talks, bullet proof radio, Melissa Ambrosini, Diary of a CEO, The Tim Ferris Show, Dare to Lead (Brene Brown), The Resitter, Lifespan, Oprah Super Soul, Grey Areas with Petra Bagurst, just to name a few 😊

Lots of different books – Atomic Habits is a goodie and I’m currently enjoying Breathe by James Neston

Where do you see health and wellbeing going in the next 10 years?

Growing and getting a lot more mainstream. I believe our future kids will have a lot more knowledge and tools that will help them have a lot more control and awareness of their health and have access to more preventative measures. There will be more scanning, assessments, testing that will be available to keep one's health in check. I also hope that New Zealand tightens their regulations to prevent unnecessary chemicals being used, so we can be true to our clean and green image.

Photo of woman picking from the gorgeous selection of organic fruits at Down to Earth.

And finally, what's your current favourite healthy recipe? 

Hmm, I am a bit lazy in the kitchen at the moment to be honest. We very much have simple meals, lots of wholefoods, using organic veggies, meat, and our delish sauces from work.

I do enjoy Oh My Goodness GF bread toasted with almond butter, turmeric sprinkled over, and mashed banana on top, that’s one of my son’s favourites too.

I also love throwing together a salad,  jam-packed with shredded carrot, beetroot and capsicum, avocado, red onion, nuts, seeds, fresh herbs, hot smoked salmon, and some cashetta (vegan cheese by Savour )  from Down To Earth Organics. I am also enjoying our vegan Caesar dressing at the moment too, it makes even the simplest salad special.


Doesn't that sound delish! Thanks so much, Lee.💞💞 We love the Down to Earth team!

Next time you're visiting New Plymouth, make sure you swing by - meet the team and enjoy their amazing range of products. You won't be disappointed!

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