Elle and Daisy are on a mission to support new mums through their postpartum period, a crucial time for nutritional replenishment and physical healing. Their nutritious wholefood bundles and packages are the perfect gift for new mamas, allowing them to concentrate on recovery, and precious bonding time with their new arrival – with as little stress as possible. Their recipes and ingredients are nutritionist approved, made using wholefoods, and cooked to perfection in small batches. These healthy, frozen meals, delivered right to your door, mean the freezer can be stocked with good food, without time pressure to eat it (or throw it away). Here they share the inspiration behind The Whole Bowl Co., the challenges they have overcome along the way, and their hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Elle is a mother of two gorgeous boys! She worked in a corporate job for the last 14 years, cooking in her spare time to give light to her passion for cooking and good food. Understanding how important and valued the gift of nutritious meals are to new mums and their families in those first few weeks (years) after you have a child, she has always tried to send these to her friends and family at that time. Once she had a toddler to contend with, and working a full-time job, she no longer had time to create these sorts of food bundles for the people in her life that needed them, and she realised plenty of other people wouldn’t either.
Daisy is a qualified and accredited nutritionist (BHSc Nutritional Medicine), also working as an in-home chef for the NDIS. She has a passion for caring for others, especially via the provision of nourishing and delicious food. She strongly believes in plant-centric eating, whether it be majority or absolute, for health maintenance and wellbeing, disease prevention and healing.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We spent almost 6 months planning every detail of our menu, website, launch and execution. Each week, we cooked beautiful fresh food to order, and then drove the delivery truck and completed deliveries ourselves for the first 6 months of service.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
In January 2022, approximately 6 months after opening, we transitioned from fresh bundles to frozen bundles due to feedback we received from customers. Having the freezer stocked with good food without the pressure to eat it (or throw it away) before it goes off is a weight off their shoulders! We also opened up build-your-own bundles in addition to our signature curated bundles, and our customers are really enjoying choosing their own selection of goodies. We were also able to outsource our deliveries so that we could concentrate on menu planning, cooking, and all other aspects of running a small 2-woman business.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
We probably underestimated that running your own small business is truly a 24/7 job. If we were able to, we could honestly sit in front of our laptops doing some sort of admin around the clock. Just over 12 months in, we are trying to find the right balance and implement positive work routines that don’t impact our families too much. Do you ever win this one? The guilt is REAL. But we both assign blocks of hours, or a day per week, where we stay off the laptop and focus on the outside world and our loved ones.
The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
It is very challenging trying to turn a side-hustle into a main-hustle. It requires long, hard days that often go unrewarded (unpaid), overcoming obstacles along the way to try and push the business to the next level – to have a strong brand in the market, be running profitably, have consistent levels of business each week, and an operational structure and plan that allows you to meet client demand whilst also allowing the space for growth.
Launching the business during the Covid pandemic was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. We were delivering to the community ourselves during some of those lockdown months, driving the packed van around Sydney, both wearing masks in the car. We were incredibly grateful that we were able to see each other, cook and drive together when so many others had been working from home and isolated for so long. The pandemic really separated people from their villages, and many new parents were left isolated and alone, unable to physically share their new baby with their friends and loved ones, left without hands-on support. We found ourselves being the stand-in village and it was so special. We were delivering food bundles to new mums who hadn’t seen anyone in days or weeks. They would open the door with their hair a mess, milk stained PJs on, baby in arms and would often be so overwhelmed to see us dropping these food packages to them, running away with our masks on (contactless delivery, of course). We would turn back to see them in tears, waving thanks at us.