Anyone who arranges for varied, healthy snacks to be delivered direct to a workplace is a winner in our eyes. Roll in the geniuses behind the brand that is Snack Proud!
We came across the team at Snack Proud through discovering their dried Edamame Beans (delicious!), but quickly learned they were about much, much more than creating healthy, vegan snacks. Snack Proud are all about enabling healthy snacking in the workplace, and have reinvented the old ‘honesty system’ by using modern technology to allow for treats found in snack boxes to be post-paid via an iPhone app downloadable on the phones of employees. Nifty, right?
We talk to Ashleigh, founder of Snack Proud, about the people behind the brand, why she started it, and what a fulfilled life looks like to her.
Tell us a bit about the people behind your company
I (Ashleigh) am the founder and have had an interesting background in both health food development and UX designer in the corporate world. I started my first business at 22, creating New Zealand’s first gluten free frozen meal range while also working in IT. The foodie side has always won my interest.
Katrina is Snack Proud’s vegan operations guru! Katrina’s back ground is in finance and event planning. She is a food and nutrition nerd who spends hours in the grocery store and loves sharing good food and snacks with friends.
What inspired you to start your company and when did you start it?
I started Snack Proud in 2016 while working at Macquarie bank to make healthy snacking accessible in the workplace. I saw more people taking a vested interest in healthy eating, but options were scarce and organisations didn’t know how to support their teams. Offices were laden with unhealthy temptations such as biscuits, confectionaries and vending machines.
Having had my own health food brand, I knew how hard it was for small businesses to get their product out to market and the competitive nature of retail.
I wanted to bring the delicious, innovative snacks that I was finding at Trade shows and health food stores, into the workplace where people really need them. Therefore, I founded Snack Proud to fill this niche and it has proven to be beneficial to both parties.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Excitement around not knowing what the day will bring, what delicious snacks we will discover and working with my awesome team.
What is your favourite product in your range?
The Edamame beans. Having distributed hundreds of snacks over the past two years, I always struggled to find the perfect snack that was the right amount of calories to eat in one go, not to high on carbs or sugar but still high in protein and delicious. This snack ticks all my boxes. I love using them as a salad topping if I’m going meat free.
What have been the biggest trials so far in starting and running your company?
So many! At the start of the year I was so lonely and isolated. I really hated it and almost stopped. Hiring Katrina and partnering with my distributor changed everything and made business fun. There was a lot of fear around giving up a good career and going without an income for a while, I questioned if I had made the right choice.
Truthfully delving into a logistic heavy business involving corporate sales and long sales cycles has been hard without experience. But I have a great support network and you learn on the fly!
What experiences lead to the values you have instilled in your company?
Don’t be afraid to show the passion you have for your business, that is what gets people behind you. Show genuine appreciation when people help you, that’s a big one for me. I’ve always tried to do things myself but you just can’t, so accept help when it comes.
Bringing my personality to day to day coms, my personal brand and Snack Proud is important to me. Don’t be too serious and show your fun side. I like to bring creative ideas to the table all the time and love it when others do too.
If you weren’t running your company, what would you be doing?
I would be contracting in UX UI design or some other digital role. Probably at a bank! But ideally not full time.
What is your favourite way of winding down and taking time out?
Spending time with family while exploring whether it be in Sydney or Auckland. Feeling all their love and support around me really helps me relax.
Here at Retreat Yourself, we LOVE dreaming BIG – what is your vision for your company?
To have a massive snack company! Lots of awesome snacks but then our own distribution channel through offices too. This way we can create and sell immediately and begin to make a big mark towards better health.
For anyone out there wanting to start their own business, what would your biggest piece of advice be?
Start while you have a job and ease into it. It’s not easy. Validate that people want what you are offering by getting customers and sales. So many people are too protective of their ideas, trying to get IP and all this before they even know if the market wants it.
Also surround yourself in like-minded people. They relate to the trials and tribulations of start-up life even when your friends, family and neighbours don’t understand why you are sacrificing so much!
And lastly, what does a fulfilled life look like to you?
A life where you are excited about what you do, your mission and knowing you really get to craft your visions. A better work life balance so I can focus more on me and my personal wellness, as well as my family back in New Zealand.
Lucky Spring Box subscribers all received packs of Snack Proud salted Edamame Beans and spiced Peas & Pop Snacks (YUM!!).
Want to know more? Head over to www.snackproud.com.au to find out more (and simply to check out which snacks could end up at your workplace….!).