Let's face it. Snacks on the run are a not the easiest thing to remember if you are not prepared. Fresh fruit, seeds and nuts are always easy if you have the foresight to packing things on the run, but what if you don't some days? Colly from Soma Organics to the rescue! She created a wholesome, organic snack that you can grab from the supermarket and is also super easy to store and transport. Soma Organics is so delicious and healthy they were also requested in all the backstage dressing rooms at the Oscars this year..... We speak with Colly and find out how a busy mum is also building her organic empire!
Tell us how & why you started Soma Organics?
I’ve always been health-minded and lived a well-rounded healthy lifestyle but the true catalyst for starting the business occurred after a fell pregnant. As every mother understands, it is an honour to bring life into the world. Your life suddenly becomes far more important than it was ever been perceived. This is where my awareness towards nurturing my body with wholesome and clean foods grew. I began to re-educate myself in this area and during this process I noticed a huge gap for certified organic snack foods on the market.
What were you doing before launching Soma?
I was studying a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Psychology and Health Promotion. I’ve just finished and graduate in October.
Where do you source your organic products from?
We source our organic ingredients from numerous certified organic suppliers around Australia who import ingredients from various countries. A key point of being certified organic is we must have organic certificates for every single ingredient. We can trace back every almond, every chia seed and every goji berry back to its original source.
You've been nominated as a mumpreneur - how do you manage being a mum and managing/starting a successful company?
It’s a huge honour to be nominated for the Ausmumpreneur Awards. Running a business is tough but when you have a child, it’s definitely a juggle. I’m not so lucky to have any family in Sydney either so it really is my husband I working as a team – no grandparents around the corner unfortunately! I manage by having an incredible husband who is in fact my business partner. I structure my working week around my family life. I have set hours and days that are dedicated for work and dedicated for family. Unless there are unusual circumstances, I keep the weekend for my family and try to switch off from it all (which is sometimes hard as an entrepreneur as your brain is racing with ideas and things to do, but nevertheless!)
What would your advice be for other aspiring Mumpreneurs out there?
Especially when you have little kids, make sure you have a strong support network around you.
Allocate time for yourself – just yourself. Without your phone!
Don’t feel like you have to do everything - don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends,
Outsource tasks that others can do. Utilize services from skilled professionals to eliminate time and pressure.
Hire an intern – they are simply the best and you can learn so much from fresh young eyes
Soma was featured backstage at the Oscar's - how did that come about?
Soma Organics were approached by an L.A based company who provides food and beverages backstage for all the major events in the USA – The Oscars, the Emmys, etc. They found our product online, loved the packaging and ingredients content and asked to feature our Soma Bites backstage. They explained that more and more celebrities where requesting healthier food and beverage options such as coconut water and healthy snack bars backstage at events as apposed to the typical vending machines options. Therefore we featured in the 50 backstage dressing rooms and the green room. It was definitely the highlight of the year and a ‘pinch myself’ moment.
What are the future plans for Soma Organics? Will you be focusing on extending the range or expanding globally?
Both. We have a certified organic protein bar launching in September, which is an exciting collaboration with another health company. I’m very excited to launch this because it’s been the big project of the year. We are also product developing more Soma Bite variations. We began exporting to Hong Kong earlier this year, which has been a huge success and we are currently talking to more buyers in Asia and the Middle East. Considering we’ve only been around for just over 18 months, we’re so proud of everything that has happened.
Tell us about the new flavour featuring Fig and Wild Citrus - and how do you come up with the flavours?
We’d been experimenting with Kakadu Plum for a while and loved the nutritional qualities. We’d also found there were very few brands using Kakadu Plum in their products, which is why I wanted to feature it in our next variation. We also wanted to create a completely difference taste and ingredients base compared to our Goji & Chia flavour. The feedback we’ve received is it tastes like cake – and it does! The new Soma Bite Fig & Wild Citrus is a blend of almonds, cashews, macadamias, coconut, Kakadu Plum, zesty citrus spices and figs, It’s delicious!
Why is having a nutritious organic snack readily available important to you?
I’ve always carried snacks with me – in the handbag, car, the stroller etc. This is partially because I’m so selective of what I eat, I never want to be in a situation where I didn’t have a healthy option. Health is one of my highest values which is why this is important to me.
This is how the Soma Bite story evolved too. I didn’t have a car when my daughter was born so I used to pack the stroller with provisions and walk everywhere. This is where I found a huge gap in the market for certified organic snack foods. I wanted to create a product that people could trust and rely on when they’re in a hurry or under the pump that has wholesome, nutritious ingredients, no awful E-numbers and artificial nasties.