27 Jul Lori Phillips | Lori’s Wholesome Pantry | July Twisted Sista
What do you get when you combine a love for being in the kitchen, nutritious food and a passion for providing healthy, delicious meals to your family? A wholesome pantry or in this case, Lori’s Wholesome Pantry. Lori loves to find new ingredients and new ways to create natural, better for you recipes and uses this to create her amazing pantry staples.
Tell us about the inspiration behind Lori’s Wholesome Pantry
I always grew up cooking and baking alongside my granny and mum.
The kitchen has always been, and still is, my happy place.
Over time as I had my own children, I turned my home pantry into a wholesome pantry, eliminating as much packaged and processed food as possible. I always try my best to cook whole food that nourishes my family’s minds and bodies and gives them the best chance at school, work and home.
Combining my love of being in the kitchen with my passion for providing nutritious and wholesome food for my family, I founded Lori’s Wholesome Pantry. I started with home baked cookies and this progressed into a range of products. I am always exploring new ingredients and unique ways of creating natural, better for you recipes, especially when you are seeking an alternative option for things you love, but can’t eat. This is when I discovered the amazing Watermelon Seed!
I believe if you stay true to yourself, love what you do and cook from the heart, you can create great things
What has been your biggest achievement with the business so far?
My biggest achievement is being recognised for my watermelon seed butters both in Australia and globally. Last year, I won the Food and Beverage award for the innovative ingredient category and this year March 2020 , I won the World Food Innovation award in London so its been really rewarding and humbling that the food industry is recognising my innovation using the underrated watermelon seed to create some unique product ranges with nutritious health benefits.
All of your product’s contain watermelon seeds, why is this the key ingredient?
Initially it was not our key ingredient a few years ago. However once we discovered the nutritional value of the little seed and started using it in various recipes as a nut alternative that has such high protein and fibre ,we saw the potential to use it across so many applications both sweet and savoury and in other areas such as skin care and so we decided to make it centre stage and focus our brand all about the watermelon seed to try and revive it from the ancient days where it was eaten just as a snack. Its so much more than a little seed, its a super-seed!!
Do you have any major business goals you are working towards in 2020?
We have a few more exciting products in development but our main goal is to grow the brand organically by educating our consumers about the benefits of the watermelon seeds and various ways our products can be used as a plant based protein alternative or boost.
Why do you use wholesome, organic ingredients in your products?
This is what I give to my children, my family and friends ( and even my fur-babies) so I wouldn’t offer any less to my consumers. I know its more expensive but I believe completely in wholesome products that are free from preservatives and are natural and that is our philosophy and promise. I need to know that every bite they put in their mouth or their children’s tummies are actually good for you and that they can do this without any guilt or concern.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start their own business?
Just go for it. If you wait too long and think too hard , you will miss the opportunity. I didn’t have a business plan, I had a gut feel and a passion for cooking and I believe if you stay true to yourself, love what you do, you can create great things
Did the current COVID-19 pandemic effect business for you? If so, how?
Yes and no. Sales definitely slowed down both online and with retailers especially as we were not able to do demo’s and tastings for our existing retailers to showcase our products and this is very important as its so unique to what is out there . Consumers were not going into stores as much and buyers were not taking new lines. However we did quite a lot of social media and marketing online which has ended up being a positive as it needed to get done so overall we were happy. We are still building our brand and trust and loyalty from our consumers both online and in stores and I think Covid put us behind but we want to grow slowly and organically and love working with all our customers directly to ensure they understand the benefits and trust our brand and because customer service is very important to us and so we are happy to just be moving forward even if the pace is slower.
What are you most likely doing when you aren’t working?
Walking my fur-babies , or chilling with them on the couch or playing around in the kitchen !