Business venture

Ex-Whitby and Staithes man’s Malaysian sauce business venture rewarded

Mariae and Gerard Hackett.

Gerard Hackett, 59, who grew up in Staithes and then Whitby, left to join the army and then trained to be a chef while the woman who would become his wife, Mariae, moved to England from Malaysia in 1989 to train to become a nurse.

After falling in love and getting married, for the past six years they have worked tirelessly from their home in Maple Cross, Herts, to set up their business, Dapur Mariae, producing Malaysian sauces from their kitchen.

The reward came when the couple won the UK Quality Food Award in 2018 for two of their products.

They won the UK Quality Food Awards again in 2020 for a curry paste, as well as The Coop Small Producer Award, and got a listing in their store.

They will launch their products in Coop, including Whitby’s Langborne Road store, on October 10.

The delighted couple said: “Our goal is to spread the joy of Malaysian cuisine, which is still relatively unknown, and the support of Co-op really supports the development of our business, providing visibility, awareness and access to our products in more communities across the country.

Mariae added: “Gerard still has family and friends in Yorkshire and that also holds a special place in my heart as we got married in Whitby.

“He is without a doubt the epitome of a ‘well done small town boy’.”