Food Business Plan (SIDE HUSTLER INTERVIEW WITH BAKE MIXES FOUNDER)
Have you always wanted to start a food business well, you've, come to the right place because. In this episode I interviewed, a founder, of a Melbourne startup, who's, taking the health food industry by. Storm she's. Going from strength to strength and. She. Shares, her number, one tip, for starting, a food business so, let's. Get into it. Hi. Guys welcome, to another episode of the side hustlers handbook I'm Kay, Emily you're going to go for everything marketing and business related to, we hustle smarter, not, harder in. This episode, I'm gonna be chatting to my friend Genevieve la hunt who, is the founder of bake mixes a healthy. Cake. And baked, goods mix. Which. She. Started, in, 2014. So, she's gone from being made redundant, to, working full time on her business to. Going, back to being a sighted hustler to working full time on our business back and forth she's the, quintessential. Side, hustler, and you're gonna learn a lot from her in this video, if, you're interested in food and, a thinking you might want to start a food business this. Is the episode, you need to watch so. Let's. Get into it, hi. Jen how you going oh. Good. Welcome. To the side hustlers, handbook I'm so excited to have you here yeah, on my interview, series, um, and. Yeah. How we know each other is through attending, so many different wellness events involving, yeah. Which is so much fun and. Yeah when I had my health blog and then you obviously in, the early, stages of your bake mixes business I, remember. When we first met that you were telling me about your, packaging, issues, and how you were, stamping. Each baby. Hand. Stamping. Every. Single, packet, spoke. Up and I, was like this girl is, an absolute, hustler. She's got bribe. That's, for sure I, know, ended, up at the physio with the shoulder like, here from my growth. Yeah. Well. Jen, I've got you here because you you've started a food business, four years ago and. It's on to great, things going on the up and up and you're a part of some awesome stuff so I, love you to tell me a bit about you and about how you started bake mixes and why you started I. Started, Baker's. I. Came. Up with the idea in April 2014 and, then probably took about six months of work, until, I launched, it on. October. 31st 2014. So, almost four years trading. The. Whole thing started, because I. Liked. My job in that it was only part-time but, I knew I wanted to do something for myself and I. Also really loved cooking so. I wanted, a way to combine that and I never really found. That I was looking at PR jobs in the food industry or PR jobs that had food clients. So it was kind of already subconsciously. Looking out for that stuff but. It wasn't until I started. Making I. Was. Making a cake and I wanted to make it without eggs, and their dairy and everything so I am no, dairy and, this. Was like ages, ago when I first started and I mean people weren't making cheese I, mean you couldn't go to work and get chia seeds like it wasn't that, something wasn't really, so prominent, just yet and I had to make a recipe that said add chia X and I had to make them and I thought I am a really good cook and, I actually come bothered and, I thought I got bothered.
Surely. Other people, there out, in the world can't bothered had. A look in the supermarket's nothing. I really nothing. That was there that was overly nutritious, there's a lot of like gluten-free stuff which is awesome for celiacs, but, not overly nutritional, great from an allergy perspective, so. I just thought I'll bag the map sell, them at the local farmers market maybe, I can make 150, bucks that'll supplement my part-time income, happy. Days and, things. Have, got a little bit out of control since then four years later I definitely, didn't think I would be doing what I'm doing now which, is awesome and I think that's a really. Authentic. Way to probably run a business but it's also maybe not the most clever way because there's a lot of been, going to that strategies, that I didn't put in place you start with since. Launch you make me is I have now about 350. Retailers. Around Australia, which is really awesome looking, at some export deed deals, as well which, is really cool have an online store we, now have office, so things are definitely. More than me kind of doing it on the dodgy on my lunch break and quite, times at work so things. Have yeah, things have grown a lot and I'm loving it I am what, a lot of a lot of good media and stuff lately I mean we won a few awards, was part of the collective hub startup, package last year which is amazing and Lisa. Messenger, is one of my own like Bill, boss idols so that was really amazing. Also now part of the chest, rallyin Chobani freedom key beta which. Is a four month business mentoring program, for food, businesses, and the whole thing is for, us to help carry on shivani's legacy, of making. Better, food for better pete oh my gosh better food for more people, sorry. It's. Been a really exciting journey heaps of opportunities I never, thought I would have so it's been amazing so what is the incubator program, what is that really entail, like what are you going through it's. Intense but amazing, so it's four months one week a month of training. Either. The Chobani head office or with. Their partner, the Monash Food Innovation Centre, which is an amazing facility at Monash uni, to help launch, and scale and grow food businesses, it's, epic if anyone here has a food business you should definitely check it out there's awesome facilities, and resources there and we. Go through all aspects, of having a business from. Manufacturing. Production quality, control, pricing. New product development financials. Grants, tax, sales. Marketing. It's. A very it's almost like a business, school degree. Jen Pat it's amazing, I think a lot of people who start a business at least for me we never set. Out to start business all of us don't have business. Degrees especially, not me so, there's a lot of things that for me it's been an amazing opportunity to kind of look, at my, processes, and everything from the start and then, rebuild.
Things Up for. Better growth in the future with a really clear strategy, and support an actual knowledge not just me googling, like how. To start a business which I've honestly I've googled like how to start a free business so, what, other reason, have you found useful while, you've been on their food. Business journey like what have you found is being a good way of getting that information for. When you're starting I'm. A huge, podcast. Especially. When I walk the dog and. And, I. Like the founder podcast is really really good especially. There, australian-based so there's a lot of awesome interviews with Australian companies and also some other people what, I. Did. Is when. I first started, actually signed up to a course by someone called marie forleo so I did for b-school, I started that before, I even had the business idea and I kind of was doing that and I'm, hoping for a business idea to come out at me while. I was doing the course and I was doing that from, my side job like literally, like. Earphones, in two, screens open one, had, like a spreadsheet on it and one had her course. Relations. So. I was a PR. Coordinator. For, a consumer. Electronics, company she's very different to what I do now which, I love I love the PR side I love the networking, building. Contacts. Press releases getting, media I loved all that kind of stuff so that's coming really handy with the business but totally, unrelated to food except. That I would make a lot of cakes and bring them in and, that's almost. Same like a combination of over. The two yeah, so. But I, was actually made redundant, from. That role two weeks after I launched the business so. What did that look like once. You have made redundant, that, was really scary to, be honest that's one of the most scary things that's happened I mean I went to uni for ages I did a master's degree, finally.
Got A job that I thought this is it this is my industry, worked. There for about a year and, then slowly, slowly. Everyone. Was starting to be made redundant which, was scary and I was like chaos Nicks I was just waiting for it you know salesperson went in an admin, person went and I'm sitting there going chaos next Piazza NEX I know like on the list of people you need and then I would, say that Pia is very important, though I wouldn't say it's one of the least important, it's incredibly, important, and but. I knew that my time was up and they it was redundant. Effective immediately, so. I went into the office and it was kind of like you know we're gonna have to let you go done. A great job we're so happy with us oh sorry it's just you and it was a financial thing and that's fine, and. It. Was kind of it you can go in there like, by. Just, just you can go. Home like, two o'clock in the afternoon I, was. Like, what. Do I do it was the scariest. Feeling. But. It kind of forced, I thought, at the time it forced me into full-time. Entrepreneurship. But. There's, definitely a time when you then sit down and go so. I pay my rent and, I. Gotta buy food and, I buy my dog's food and I, need petrol and I. Just I need spending, money to leave and, at, that stage my business was only two weeks old that's not I'm not taking a salary at. Two weeks old so I'm. Scary. But, I'm definitely the right just right, situation. I can see now why it happened but. Do you think having bait, mixes, already, you, know he's starting to get. Interesting stuff that was probably, for, you even, just from your personal. Well-being perspective. Did that kind of make you feel a bit more positive about what happened. Yeah. It did not actually had an interview the day after, that like, being interviewed for like, a blog of an active where company and being profiled, and was starting to get a little bit of interest because I was kind of one of the first what, I'm doing now so. That. Was. Meant. To be you. Know forcing me it took, me a couple of weeks before I was like thought about the money situation, and I. Definitely. Felt like it. Gave me an opportunity to focus, on the business and then, I had to almost turn, get, a job that, would almost became the side hustle my, business has always been my focus and anytime I've had work which I've had on and off while. Having the, business. I've almost mentally. Categorized, even if it's full-time the job is my side hustle that's, there for the money and the business is the passion project and that's my focus, awesome. So what did you do so, did you go straight into, full-time, on bake mixes and then that's where you've got to where you are today or, what. Has happened some sense so my journeys been really interesting I've gone so, I've made redundant, and I, had a better. Month will sorry because it was Christmas so you know being made redundant just before Christmas it. Because no one's hiring at Christmas straight. From there I. Picked, up a job in retail because I've worked in retail a lot while I was at uni I did. A full-time, contract there for three months managing, a store and, became. So. Stressed. And so. Sick, from being stressed, as in the doctors like putting, me on medication, then I had some kind of issue because. I'm so, it's. When the business was starting to really, kind of start taking. Off and I mean I'd be checking. Emails, out the back and running to the post office on my lunch break and, you know dropping, orders off and packing orders before work and then packing them after work which I mean you've got to do at the start you do but I really, pushed it it was probably the wrong time to have a full time job so. Then I went down to casual work for a while um, and, then like any business I've had ups and downs and I'm sorry Ken about that kind of side of the business and then. I went back into I, did some freelancing. While I was working casually, and then. I've, always had a few jobs on the GAR of all it's been that kind of person um, then. Went back into I, did a full-time retail gig and. It's. Fine for a few months and it was pretty it. Was it wasn't hard, it, wasn't a very. Demanding. Job and in particular that, role so it was great that I could do work do, my own work a little bit as well but, I mean I was bringing, in boxes, of stock to the. Shop and, bringing. Them in into, the shop hiding. Them in the dressing rooms and then, getting my careers, to come in and pick, them up from my work and take them out to my retailers, so they're all getting like picked up from the changing room at I won't.
Say Where but at my work. Kind. Of level or getting deliveries, like I've met used to meet my supplies on the rooftop of the carpark and get them to like unload from their car directly. Into my car or I'd get them to deliver it to my parents house and drive back on my lunch break and I'm Pat pellets so I was happy I cab it of a so. It's been a bit of a side hustle like you know be yeah, I. Think. When whoever invented, the tram side how so they created, you guys, like. The. Golden child of the side hustle, it. Was really, full-on but I mean I look back in it now and I can lie but um then. I went into another operations, right gone, in and out of work for so many years because you know what you have to and, I'll. Say now, and I mean. You'll. As anyone. Who's watching this who is, feeling. Really conflicted, because I think two peoples the. Two streams, authority that you here at IVA keep your job be shored or no, stop, it quit your job back yourself you've got this you, know what else you've got like bills and rent. And maybe, a mortgage, or maybe you're saving for a wedding or a holiday or, you've. Got other things in your life as well and I remember reading a Marie Forleo quote he's like it's been proven in like a smart company study, about businesses, where the owner holds, onto the job until they can financially, pay themselves the correct wage they. Have thirty three point thirty, three percent more likely to succeed and you look at people who've had, side. Gigs like Daymond John from. Daymond. From shark tank I, mean they say John Legend had a sidekick for years and years and years I mean from. Spanks Sara Blakely the founder of like billionaire, founder of space had, a site like had her job as well at the same time I mean it's, not uncommon it's also not embarrassing, and it's, not anything people I think people worry about especially, when you meet people and say oh so do you do this full-time. If. You can't you can't like. People. Put a lot of pressure on that and I think your business is a little bit more successful if you're not struggling. Financially. To. Leave and, then you end up resenting the business which I've had times and I've done that like, I know, I need to take this money because I have to pay my rent but I also need to buy these supplies, for, this or, for this and when. We invent. Like in entrepreneurs, investing in our business and sometimes maybe. You can't pace off a full-time wage and that's I absolutely. Do not mow pay myself the kind of wage I would get paid if I lived I mean if I worked in. PR, steel absol not even know, I'd not, at all so. I mean it. Is nothing wrong with that I think there's just two schools of thought and I think the wrong ones being pushed at the moment for, people it's the whole quit your job just and do, it and then you end up failing because you go oh my god I can't make money I can't take a wage I can't do this I can't pay my bills I'm gonna shut the business and it's, not about the is not successful it's just that it's not there yet, absolutely. It takes time to build these business. Yes it doesn't happen overnight and I, think, I totally agree with you I've come from that same, school. Of thought of I'm. Hating my job how about it I just quit and then do it and then realize oh. Maybe. This wasn't the best idea, I. Can, create work for myself but it's not. Really. Strategic, or well-thought-out or, you, know allowing, it that time to grow organically, rather, than and you. Know yeah. Yeah trying to push push push all the time. Absolutely. And I think it's. No reflection or, anyone's business if you still. Still, working at, all like not. At all it's actually I think a really strong, sense of how driven you are that you're that. You're happy to you, know keep working, and take, jobs that you know maybe not in your industry just so that you can take the pressure off your business a bit and have that freedom a bit of extra cash flow to invest and grow the business I think it's a smart, strategy if anything yeah, I love that I love that so much um if. Someone. Was wanting to start a food business whatever, challenges.
Have You, come across in like, what do you think are those sort of pivotal moments, that you've, had in your four year or almost four years and, that. And you. Could yeah basically give some. Insight. Into I think if you're starting a free business you need to be really clear on where you want it to go if, you, want to have a free business that you are going to sell. Make. Raw cakes I don't I'm just making something up make real cakes and sell them at the local farmers market and that's you can make, a really good living doing that like there's nothing wrong with that at all um, you. Need to know what level you want it to get to so there's, one thing making them in your kitchen and, selling, them and then, if you but if you want a brand that you think I wanted in all the words and coals and, I want to be having it in Whole Foods in the US and I want this at a whole nother ballgame so, you need to have, a really clear vision for it's going to go because that would dictate, everything. From your manufacturing, process your, margins, and that's I made a really big mistake in, that I didn't, calculate my margins, well. At all total incorrectly because I was just going to sell them at the market place, on for 15 bucks make them five bucks you know so, 20 of them pay the stall speed walk away with 150, bucks that was the whole strategy I had and then. When you get bigger and your vision, grows and you have to cut more people into your supply chain you're losing a lot of margin so, I mean, I got myself and that's another reason that I kept, my job for so long is that I got myself into position of having to borrow money to invest in the business and, I. Wasn't in a position to, fund. It solely off the sales just yet and pay all of that back so. Know. Where you're going because that will greatly affect your, strategy, that's. Probably the most important, thing to know yeah, awesome so what, sort of like what's the difference between the wholesale and the retail. Price, for you, like what's that look like yeah. So if you're in food your. Rates. Of retail when you're selling online within sell the highest price that's fine if, you're then bringing other people into your supply chain so you've got a wholesaler, so they'll want 60%. And then you bring in and, that's standard for health food industry then. If you're bringing in a distributor, they're going to want between 30 and 25 percent off the. Wholesale price as well because you need to they need to make money and you need to cover their sales reps in their storage and, their freight. Everything. They need their electricity, bills for their warehouse all of that needs to be covered so the more people in suddenly you were. Making $10 selling them in the market and then you're making $1 $2, with. The distributor, it's whole different ballgame it's, a whole different level of needing. To produce, goods at that rate then you then need to bring in someone to manufacture, so. That's another cost so, I'm that's why it's really important to know where. You're going so you can set your pricing up correctly from the start yeah, amazing so how did you find. Your, whole like your distributor, your manufacturer. Like how did you find those and, resource, apps I was. Really lucky with. The distributor. Um because, they approached me which. Was excellent, I wasn't planning to go into retail so a few stores started contacting me and I would just go and drop it off at. This like local stores around Melbourne and then. The. Distributor. Contacted. Me and that was a next, level for me that was you, know purchasing by the pal rather, than a box and. So. I network, with a few different distributors now it's, changed recently but I went with a few different distributors around Australia, and, my.
Factory Was the hardest thing, that's. The biggest challenge I've had with the food business is finding a good contract. Manufacturer, it can be very very difficult when, you start a free business you. Can make it yourself, you. Can hire, facility, buy equipment and hire people to make for you or you, can completely, outsource, it which is what I do but. Now I use a company, called. Endeavor foundation and I strongly recommend them to any tree business watching they are not for profit so. The people who work there have. A disability which means they a new. Disability that would let them work in a, workplace like, a traditional, workplace so, by. Working at endeavor they have. Access. To superannuation. Stickley. Their social clubs a wage. They've, got that routine they've got the social interaction, the responsibility, they've got somebody get up and have purpose to go to every morning and it's, the. Quality. Of what is made at a, job where someone, cares and about, and values their job it's very different to the quality, when you can tell people hate. Their job you can see it in the product so. What, would be something, that you've gotten out of starting, a side hustle I love it I absolutely. Love. House behind, it I love. To get up and decide what I'm gonna do I, love. Being. In charge of. Anything. Of my. Day my. Strategy, my, purpose, everything, I love, it I just don't, go through, this. Is the thing with businesses, and you see a lot of food business businesses, start up and then after a year or so they kind of disappear, a little bit it's. Hard it, is really, hard, oh no, one will tell you that food is easy we. Make jokes and say oh my god I wish I hadn't started like a cushion cover business food. Is difficult, because you're creating a consumable, good for humans right so that comes with its own list of responsibilities. And quality issues but. I've. Would. Never have realized how resilient, I am. Since unless, I had the business I mean it takes a lot to rattle me now. Before, a lot of the things I've dealt with. Even. Now literally today I've got massive. Been going on with lawyers and everything like that and it's just, the. Resilience, I've developed it's something that I think if. You know what if it all goes bad and the business stops. And I end up in a job I think I'll. Be really well placed. With. The skills I've developed running, a business dealing. With the pressure kind of situation, so that's a really, mean. The challenges, I've gone through resilience, is something I never really would have thought I would get out of it but I have in spades I think, I completely. Agree we're starting, out in business you, learn so much you. Couldn't learn. In, a degree or, a job. Like, a corporate, gig like, it's just next-level when you're learning so quickly, as well so, just, to close like, what would be your number one tip for someone wanting to start a food business what, would be your number one tip right now I had know your margins. Imagined. To do the margins you're gonna need when, you grow that. If I could go back and just. Punch myself in the face and, say these are the wrong margins, do it properly I would have saved myself a lot of time a lot of money a lot of Tears. That's. The best thing I can tell you and probably in any business clothing. Any kind of product based business know your margins, and know what they're gonna need to be when you're at the next level it's. So practical but, like you said it's something that's gonna make. Or break your business in, the long term yes well and, yeah. Totally. Agree having some sort of plan. Or vision. At least in place of what you're trying to achieve and. Then being able to work back from there I think yeah that's critical absolutely. If you can't look at your product based business and you can't look at a product and say from. Ordering, the ingredients, paint for the freight of the ingredients, buying the packaging, paying for the import cost of the packaging, manufacturing. It tax shipping. Boxes shelf ready trays getting. It packed how much is the pallet cost getting the pallet freighter to your distributor, if you don't know how much of that costs, per unit you're in trouble. So. Go, and learn those numbers, you don't know them so thanks, so much Jen, you've provided so, much insight, into. How. To start a food business and what are the key things to focus on and yes, I'm sure, everyone. Will understand, that margins, I will you should be focusing, on especially, I mean you're.
Wanting To grow your business for. Sure so. Where can we find more, about bite mixes you. Can find me at bait mixes comdata, you and bait, mixers on Instagram, otherwise. I'm Genevieve la hunt on Instagram, as well and, you'll. Probably see, me around a little bit on social media and it's some new stuff we've got coming out hopefully that. Passes, through people's news feed that would be good. Amazing. So I'll provide links to all of those in, my description. But. Yeah thanks so much Jen and I'll speak to you soon thanks. See ya, so. How great is Jen seriously. So. Remember. Her number one tip is, to. Work, at your margins, and understand, your vision for your business so. While, selling, your product, at a market, is great in the long term your margins, based on what your product can sell for out of market are gonna be different so really, understand, your product and make, sure cross all the costs, so that, brings us to the end of another episode I. Hope you got something out of it make, sure you subscribe to my channel because, I'll be doing more interviews like this with side hustlers, if there's anyone I should know about make, sure you comment below and, I. Will. See you next, Tuesday. For another episode look. Forward to see you then bye, for now. You.