Ineke’s Nourishing Journey
This week we’re taking a look at Ineke’s Nourishing Journey. We hope you enjoy finding out more about the face behind the brand.
How did it all begin.
Since we started our crowdfunding I’ve been asked many times, ‘how did Nourish get started? Nourish began as part of my own personal journey towards a more nourished life. The more I learnt about how to eat well, the more I wanted to share the snacks that I had begun creating for my friends and family.
I hope you enjoy finding out more about how we got to where we are now. Sometimes it feels like our journey is just beginning and at other times it feels like Nourish has been part of our lives forever. If you’d like to be part of our journey we’d love to have you along for the ride, check out our Seedrs Crowdfunding campaign HERE.
The early days.
I’m from Hastings in New Zealand originally and am the eldest of 5 siblings. I’m lucky enough to be part of a big, close family. Without their support and encouragement Nourish may never have got started in the first place.
From 8 yrs old, baking and making dinners for my family, creating my own recipes has been my favourite way to spend my time. Little did I know when I started scribbling them down in the many books I now have that I would end up writing our Nourishing Treats eBook, the first, I hope, of many!
Learning the ropes
When I left school I wanted to be a Doctor, but already dreaming of having my own family and I felt that the time the training would take would make this tricky. I realised that nursing was a way of pursuing the same dream but with a shorter period of study. I also gave me opportunities to consider many different specialties. My passion has always been around travel and functional medicine and remains so now too.
When I completed my nursing training I worked in Intensive Care for some time. I knew then that I wanted to find a way to give back and had always longed to travel to Africa. Leaving Intensive Care nursing I travelled to Uganda. Here I worked in an orphanage called Good Shepherd’s Fold. Part of an organisation called AMI (African Inland Missions). I went to nurse but ended up spending a lot of time with the children and teaching in the school! I think I learnt more than I gave. And I really hope to go back again.
My travels only increased my love of Travel Medicine and this drew me to start my post graduate studies. While studying I had my daughter, Inge. I graduated with a Diploma in Travel Medicine while my youngest was little. I set up a travel clinic and a healthy lifestyle clinic in the clinic I worked in. This helped me gain valuable insights into both of my passions, travel and health and wellbeing.
In 2014 we made the decision as a family to move to the UK and settle in Reigate. I was lucky enough to spend time at home with Inge before she started school. This time gave me the chance to look at pursuing my love of food and set up Nourish. Having spent many years making Coconut Macaroons for friends and family it was with their coaxing that I approached our local Health Food Store, Inside Out, to trial selling our products and suddenly I had a real food business.
I locumed as a nurse during this time and started experimenting more in the kitchen whenever I could, working on my own recipes and developing a website. Continuing working in London in Travel medicine part time and I was offered a role at the VSO as a Travel Nurse Advisor. I worked with an inspiring team there. When the contract ended I had another little project in the pipeline, our son Luca!
Working two jobs when you first get started, your actual paid work and your own business, is one of the hardest aspects of starting your own business. However, it’s also very rewarding and when you start to see the results of all your hard work it’s absolutely worth it.
From kitchen table to store.
Nourish may have started in my kitchen in late 2015 but by March 2016 things were moving at a serious pace, and I realised that I had a real business on my hands. Already stocked at this time in stores like HISBE in Brighton and several snack boxes, things really began to gain pace. After pitching we found ourselves stocked by Harrods, Selfridges and Wholefoods. A real pinch myself moment was when we won our Great Taste award in 2017 for our Passionfruit Macaroons.
There have been so many special moments on our journey that I’d like to share with you. The terrifying moment that we signed for larger premises, having outgrown our first, very cosy unit in Redhill. To the huge excitement of being listed with Ocado. Feedback from customers, a few in particular who have said what a difference our products have made to them and/or their children. The times we’ve launched new products, like our Raw Slices and you’ve gone crazy for them. The days when things seem hard, but then we get home to masses of online orders. Especially the ones early in lockdown when people sent us personal messages to include on deliveries to their own friends and families. Just being part of that was an amazing feeling.
This year my personal journey has seen me pick up nursing again for the Track and Trace System to do my bit in helping to fight COVID.
Stalking our products in stores and watching people put them in their baskets has become something that the whole Nourish team gets a real kick out of. I love the story of when one of our team members was in London shopping and her son. Only 9yrs old at the time, talked the two couples in front of them at the queue in Planet Organic, to buy pouches of the Cacao Macaroons!
Ineke’s nourishing journey continues.
I love that our journey continues but with more people by our side now. We’ve got big plans for the next 5 years, expanding the Nourish range and getting them stocked in multiples around the UK, Europe and the Middle east. Make a real impact with our charity support of Water For Good, supporting their work and enabling them to continue in all they do. Working hard to maintain ourselves as a sustainable company, looking for new ways to limit waste.
What would I tell myself with the benefit of hindsight?
I think I would say to Enjoy the journey…. But never lose time with those you love as you cannot get it back, love those around you and appreciate everyday… even if it makes your ‘business world successes’ slower. And the other thing…. Which I am still trying to learn too…. Is recognise how valuable you are.
I love the quote below –