To celebrate all the brains behind our Thrive Festival brands we wanted to delve deeper into the beginnings behind each one! Today we chat to Noele from Supernature
What is Supernature’s mission statement?
My daughter had to give up dairy, gluten and refined sugar when she was 13, so I started making snacks at home for her. I had trained as a health coach and had a strong interest in the benefits of cacao and natural ingredients, not to mention being a total chocoholic myself but looking for healthier options. I found it really difficult to find chocolate snacks that Laura could eat. It then became my dream to create a range of snacks that she and anyone else looking for a healthier chocolate snack could walk into a store and buy.
What are some of your favourite brands in your space that you don’t make?
I like nobu, their orange chocolate reminds me of the chocolate orange I had in my stocking as a child, but I really like their salted caramel ice cream.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest innovation within your sector in the last few years?
I think we are quite innovative as a lot of the healthier chocolate options are bars of chocolate which are great but I think we bring some more options and a more mainstream taste.
What has running your own business taught you?
So much. Having been a full-time mum for almost 15 years it is a huge change. It’s very busy and I’m still working at getting the balance. It’s really varied and I am thoroughly enjoying it but it is fast-moving and the social media arena is essential and coming to grips with that has been a challenge as I am from a different generation. I was also the mum who encouraged her children to turn off their phones and we always had a no phones at the table rule. Now my girls are having to remind me of the same thing and I have to consciously try to switch off from it for a while every day. I appreciate more how addictive it is.
What do you think is the next big thing in the world of wellness?
I hope it is ingredients. I think it important to read the back of the pack and I think consumers are becoming so knowledgeable about health and wellness that they want to know what they are eating. Natural, wholefood ingredients with names we can recognise is what I would like to see the emphasis being on. We have a saying at supernature, ‘grown in the ground, not in the lab’ and I think it is important for us to start caring about what goes into our snacks rather than what short term benefit they might give.
What did you and your team enjoy the most about this year’s Thrive Festival?
Watching people taste Supernature. Often people don’t expect healthier options to taste good so it was great to hear their surprise and delight when they realised they really liked our peanut butter cups, chocolate hazelnuts and raspberry raisins.
Also the buzz of the classes. There was such a great energy around the whole event and I managed to get in a few classes myself that I had never tried such as Kangoo Jumps!
You’ve been working from home during the COVID19 crisis. Tell us what your daily routine is like?
I am used to working at home but usually have to travel a lot so it was strange being in one place for so long. We cocooned at home with my brother and his family and my parents, so 12 of us in a little compound which was fun and great for my parents as they had company for the duration. But we literally met no one else, had all our shopping delivered and were in our own world for 10 weeks. Luckily it’s in the country so we had fields to walk around. My children felt so weird when they had their first walk around the local village as the lockdown eased.
It also meant a varied day and lots of multi-tasking. My daily routine; 8am get the labels and shipping sorted for our online store. Thankfully this can be done remotely and the labels printed and parcels sent out by our distributor. Throw a batch of granola in the oven and answer emails. After that every day could be different, checking on my parents and doing their shopping; trying new recipes; I hosted a week of live Instagram classes which was a new and exciting experience for me, and I got to interview some amazing people and even had a workout and Q&A with a professional footballer. If you had told me any time in my life that I would be doing that, I would have laughed my head off. It just goes to show, you never know what life is going to bring you next.
Other daily activities were, making bread for my neighbours; zoom calls with distributors and potential customers; invoicing; Instagram stories; new product development; customer queries; improving the online store; family celebrations I love any excuse; walks, yoga but to be honest I have been hit and miss a little with my exercise and some days lockdown was tough, just the idea of not knowing when it would end, the risk to my parents, challenges of the business, but I am really lucky to have a supportive family and we all enjoyed having so much time together.
This has been a weird experience for us all and it will go on for quite some time to come, I just try to keep reminding myself to breathe and trust, things work out as they are meant to, though it is usually a roller coaster ride to get there so I guess we just have to hang on tight and enjoy the ride as much as we can.