Here at Forward Fooding, we’re always meeting up with start-ups trying to be ahead of the game, futuristic in their approach to food. But when we met with NutMad, a company who’ve revolutionised snacking by using an old traditional preparation, we too became mad about nuts. We spoke to Michaela, founder of NutMad, to hear all about how she’s activated a fundamental shift in the snacking mentality.
What is NutMad?
I make a delicious and healthy snack — activated nuts. “Activated” means nuts that have been soaked in water and dried again until crispy, to make them easier to digest, tastier, and to increase the bio-availability of their nutrients.
Question 2: Where did the idea for your business come from? What’s the story behind your company?
When I was offered activated nuts at a party a few years ago, I was fascinated by how much better they tasted compared to raw nuts. My husband and I started making them at home, purely because of just how delicious they were. It wasn’t until I’d done some research that I learnt that they have amazing health benefits too. I realised I felt much better after eating activated nuts compared to raw ones; I’ve always snacked on nuts, but they made me feel quite heavy and bloated, and when I was pregnant, I even felt nauseous. These eliminated all of those negative symptoms, allowing you to simply enjoy snacks you love!
In the western world, “activating” nuts may be a new trend, but in countries such as India and Sri Lanka, it is an old traditional; people have been soaking nuts and seeds overnight for generations to make them more easily digestible. This is a method which has withstood the test of time, as soaking is recommended in the ayurvedic diet, which has been for around 3000 years.
How do you find balancing having a family with being a successful start-up?
One of the obstacles I’m still facing is time management, as because my kids are not in school yet, and I don’t have full time child care all the time, I have a lot on my plate from every different angle. Focusing on one thing at a time can be really difficult, as I never know when there’s another problem for me to solve coming my way. Over time I’m learning how to prioritise tasks and how to respect my own boundaries, accepting that some things just take time. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I have to look after myself too. I think that’s something a lot of entrepreneurs, especially mothers struggle with.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the food industry?
Ask more questions about everything you do, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The food and the start-up community are very helpful, and it’s a very exciting time to start a food business. Also, on a personal note, one specific piece of advice I’d give to myself would be that I probably won’t use Fiverr services again. I don’t want to generalise and stop everyone from doing it, as I’m sure there are good people there, but my experience wasn’t very good.
What’s something you’re most proud of when it comes to the product you deliver?
From the feedback I get, I think I’ve managed to create some very good tasting products. I’m particularly proud that one of my products, the activated walnuts salted maple caramel, received a Great Taste Award this year. For me as a consumer, the label has always been a sign of a high-quality product, and when I was just starting Nutmad I always wondered if I’ll have it on my products one day too. It was one of the things I had on my goals list, so it’s a massive achievement for me.
Thank you for talking to us! You can visit NutMad’s website here to learn a bit more, or check out their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you’d like to see what connections Forward Fooding could offer your start-up, feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com! You can also add your company to our FMCG trends section on our platform to get free visibility within our corporate and investors’ network here.
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