Would you like some business tips from a food production business owner?
We met with James Bennett the Co-Founder of Mindful Foods – a production and distribution business located in the Byron Bay Shire.
In this interview, James shares his experience as a business owner and insight to help others also in business and those who want to live a healthier life.
I started this business about five years ago with my business partner Georgie. We started just making food for ourselves and our friends. We joined a food co-op and started participating there.
We are really grateful for the local climate which is very supportive of small businesses. It’s a really opportune place for businesses to start up. All the stores in the area are prepared to give us a go.
In our case, we never had the capital in the first place to invest in our business. So we couldn’t go with a distributor. We had to make our own sales and start up our own distribution network.
We had the recipes, we had the branding, but the relationships we had with the community was most essential. So what we started doing was leveraging that distribution network for similar brands to ourselves (other small brands in the area that also didn’t have capital injection to go big time).
Since we grew ourselves from very small beginnings, we’re currently doing that for about 20 other local businesses and it’s going well. Effectively we have two businesses here – a distribution and production.
One of the best parts about being a business owner is the family that I grew – we now have about 12 staff give or take. That’s probably the best past about the job, you get to choose your own family.
There’s no secret weapon, just lots of hard work, persistence and passion. If you stick around, you’ll be luckier with time. Luck doesn’t come the first day.
One should be weary of fast growth because there is such thing as unsustainable growth. Either you can’t afford it or your body can’t afford it. Just step-by-step and sheer diligence and perseverance.
I think you see a lot of ill health in the world as a result of crappy food – I want to change that.
I really think we need to focus on growing a better food culture. One that isn’t overly commoditised.
We live in a world where the inside looks like the outside. If the eco systems are screwed, then so are our bodies. I care about what people eat and how it gets to their plate.
Fortunately we have an exceptional relationship with Danielle who works with ETC. A big part of business is building relationships with people and ETC have done that precisely with us.
Not only has ETC given us many exceptional candidates / employees, but they have shown us how to conduct business. I really appreciate that kind of leadership.
You can find out more about Mindful Foods here – https://mindfulfoods.com.au/
Mindful Foods were recently awarded as the ETC Employer of the Month. You can read their story here – https://etcltd.com.au/etc-announces-mindful-foods-as-employer-of-the-month/
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