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chEAT Day Koko Samoa goodies

Tina Fonoimoana Reid poses with her samples of koko Samoa brownies with different toppings. Tina will be opening her new dessert business in Nuuuli as a one-stop location for people to pick up their koko Samoa brownies or dine in. She is the recipient of the Bank of Hawaii $5,000 Small Business Grant Awards.  [photo: Ese Malala]Tina Fonoimoana Reid is the owner/ baker of chEAT day koko Samoa brownies and a recipient of the Bank of Hawaii $5,000 Small Business Grant Awards, with her husband Adney Reid and their 4 children. She said her family inspired her to be the baker she is today. See story below.  [Courtesy photo]

Brownies come in all varieties — with nuts, caramel, swirled with cream cheese, shot through with mint, snickers or fruit filling, sprinkled with chocolate chips, spiked with espresso, or just plain chocolate in a million variations — including a taste of our island the koko Samoa.

Tina Fonoimoana Reid and her husband Adney Reid felt inspired to move to American Samoa from Utah in 2015. She loves sweets, and with different events happening for her husband and kids, such as birthdays, holidays, school and church activities, she would bake to make those important occasions very special for them as her family means a lot to her.

With her passion in baking, she has baked with different varieties on island until one day her husband inspired her to try something different.

“It was my husband’s idea to put koko Samoa in, so I just played with it and then when I got the hang of it I introduced it to KS Mart and it has become very popular to where people in America, France, Korea, Australia, New Zealand know about it,” Tina told Samoa News.

From then onwards Tina has been known as one of the best bakers on island for adding our local ingredient koko Samoa in her brownies called chEAT Day.

One of chEAT day brownies’ fans, Lorenzo, who lives in Australia, said, “My sister came to visit us one holiday and brought koko Samoa brownies and we loved it. So occasionally we would call her to send us some.”

While it's best to skip the junk food, especially while dieting, allowing yourself one cheat day can help you feel satisfied.

A cheat day isn't mandatory when dieting but it often helps curb weeklong cravings, allowing you to refocus in the week to come and this is why Tina calls her delicious koko Samoa brownies chEAT day (capitalizing EAT) so you can have your cheat treat for the day or the week.

“I love to cheat – on my diet, that is. I vowed to save my cheats for treats that were worth it, and I am here to make sure you do the same. Make it Worth It!” says Tina, and surely it has become the tagline for her dessert business.

The business is conducted from her own kitchen at home, using two standard ovens with one pan per oven, and a small mixer and she takes orders from locals and visitors, having them pick it up. Samoa News saw the health permit at her home kitchen, so she is providing not only tasty brownies, cupcakes, cakes, etc. — but healthy and safe bakery goods too.

Tina has always had a dream to open a business but was too nervous for it, saying she had a fear that she felt she was not good enough and would put pressure on herself, but she has overcame this with the help of her husband and kids — telling her to just go for it — and she did.

Late last year, Tina was one of the recipients of a Bank of Hawaii $5,000 Small Business Grant Award. This was definitely a dream come true for her and her small business.

American Samoa Small Business Development Center has been providing small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in American Samoa the practical assistance they need to grow and prosper in today’s economy.

When asked what she will use the $5,000 on Tina excitedly said, “I have already used it to buy a convection oven and a commercial mixer and it’s on its way. This is really a blessing for my family and me. I was really nervous, but my husband really pushed me to do it.

“SBDC has helped me a lot and I will continue to work with them as I will move into a retail store soon, so people can have a one stop location to pick up their treats or just dine in and enjoy a koko Samoa hot fudge.”

Tina continues to add koko Samoa in her other recipes of great chEATs for creative flavor and taste. For now you can find the koko Samoa brownies at KS Mart or even call Tina to make an order.

“I usually would buy 4 boxes a week every time I’m on the west side for work but some days I get there and it’s all gone, so you gotta be really fast or you will miss out especially if you’re coming from the east side,” says one of chEATs’ faithful fans, Leka from Satala. While another fan, John, a member of SPW gym said, “I love the koko Samoa brownies, they taste so good it’s worth cheating on my diet.”

Tina looks forward to opening her new dessert business in Nuuuli this coming July and has expressed her gratitude to God and her family for making this possible especially to the “cheaters” for their support and love of her chEAT day treats.

 ChEAT Day gives you a guilt-free way to indulge your wildest (food) fantasies! Don't even think about counting your calories while you're in the chEAT zone: Just savor the flavor and eat all the cake (and treats) you want! Tomorrow’s another day, a day when you can jump back on the diet bandwagon, but today, be a chEATer!