Meet the Entrepreneurs: Ethical Foods

Welcome to the first instalment of our Meet the Entrepreneurs series. As Two Feet is well and truly underway across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, we thought it was high-time for everyone to meet the entrepreneurs taking part!

In our first instalment, we’re chatting to two entrepreneurs working in the ethical food and urban farming spaces. Hayley Dunne is the founder of Little Delish Bakery, a Brisbane-based enterprise that is providing ethical and sustainable catering services to locals with a focus on bringing people together around the conversation of conscious eating.

Geert Hendrix is the founder of Farmwall, an urban farming initiative that will see vertical planters going into restaurants and cafes around Melbourne, bringing the farm-to-plate idea to our doorsteps.

Little Delish Bakery

"In Australia, we have so much beautiful, local produce to enjoy, but often it's hard to know where your food is really coming from, and what impact it has had on the environment when it was grown"

- Hayley Dunne, founder of Little Delish Bakery

We had a chat to Hayley to find out why she does what she does.

What is your intent, and how are you making or plan to make an impact on the challenges that your business is wanting to address?

Little Delish exists to create beautiful, mindful food that brings people together. Our main focus is on connection – of paddock to plate, of farmer to customer and between the people who are enjoying our food. We hope that by bringing people together, we can make people aware of how their food choices are impacting the environment, and their local community. By sharing stories of farmers and makers, we hope that our customers can be more connected to the food that they eat, and continue to make choices that support their community.

 

Tell us about your business model currently and the changes you have made/are making…what are you products/services?

Little Delish creates breakfast bars and grazing tables, as our focus is very much on sharing our table. We rescue produce that would otherwise end up in landfill and turn it into all kinds of delicious creations – jams, dips, cakes and more. We work with whatever produce is seasonal, so our menus are constantly evolving.

We support our community by using our catering resources to fundraise for charities, and we also offer discounted rates to community organisations. We also collaborate with small growers and makers to help them promote their businesses, with the hope that we can build a community of ethical foodies and farmers that all work together to create more ethical food choices for customers.

This is a recent development for us, and we’re always working towards finding new ways for our business to create impact in our community. We try to stay creative in the ways that we work with charities and community groups, so that we can create change in new ways. Sometimes it’s the little, simple things – like a bake sale – that can have a huge impact.

 

Where does Two Feet fit into your journey?

Two Feet has been incredible for us in bringing focus to the aspects of our business that work best, and those that need more love. By bringing our intent into focus, we’re able to make better choices about which products and projects are the best fit for us. As a solo entrepreneur, the support of the Two Feet community and the incredible mentors has allowed us to grow in ways I couldn’t imagine before we start. I now have clarity and confidence moving forward, knowing that we are on the right track. Two Feet has been invaluable in guiding our business towards the change that we want to create.

Farmwall

"By growing food in the city we’re hoping to have a positive impact on the environment"

— Geert Hendrix, founder of Farmwall

What is your intent and how are you making or planning to make an impact on the challenges facing agriculture?

Our intent is to transform our city into a food producing ecosystem that positively impacts our environment while inspiring others to make sustainable change

  1. Through embracing vertical farming technology and design, we can create an inspiring aesthetic that sparks conversation about urban food production.
  2. Using chefs as mediators and food as a communication tool—we can transform our food values by encouraging urban, locally grown produce.
  3. To use aquaponic innovation to repurpose vacant space—turning under-performing land into urban food producing environments.
  4. Connect urban growing spaces with local community by providing educational tools and resources around healthy, nutritional produce.

 

Tell us about your business model currently and the changes you have made/are making…what are you products/services?

Although it may seem we are in the business of Aquaponic and Vertical Ag technology, our core business is selling locally grown fresh produce + maintenance and farming services.  We operate under a subscription model where monthly produce is guaranteed in return for a fixed monthly fee. We have recently brought our plans for a commercial aquaponic farm forward to a parallel trajectory in the overall pictures.

 

Where does Two Feet fit into your journey?

Two Feet is an important step in our growing process and the shared knowledge keeps our minds on the right track. We feel confident knowing there are so many talented people on our side to seek mentorship and follow our journey. We hope TDi becomes apart of story in the long run.


We’re loving working with Farmwall and Little Delish Bakery, check out the awesome work that they’re doing below. Tune in soon for the second instalment of Meet the Entrepreneurs!


Undercover at Two Feet: Customer Focus & Value Proposition

Welcome to the second instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we cover each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

This week was Week 2 of Two Feet topic 3: Customer Focus & Value Proposition, read on to go inside the session and find out what happened..

Date: June 6 2017

Location: Sydney

Facilitator: Caroline Sanz

Session: Customer Focus & Value Proposition

Vibe: There was a lot of energy and buzz in the room with a big group. Some new faces joined us for the VP session, but the organisations’ commitment to the program was clear, with many having done a lot of work between sessions and coming raring to go.

Lunch: Mediterranean salad

Playlist: A mixture of pop and electronic chill

“People might tell you to your face that they are buying for an ethical reason, but if they have a choice behind closed doors they may behave differently”

— Kathy from Moeloco
Quote of the Day

Key Takeaways: This week was all about going beyond feedback and putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. It was a fascinating insight into how to really get to understand what makes your customers tick, how to go out and talk to customers, and how to validate your assumptions about what you think is important to your customer. Only by truly understanding your customer’s pains, gains and what they are actually trying to get done can you put yourself in a position to design solutions that really work for them/resonate with them.

Key Attendants: Our Sydney Two Feet cohort! Who range from Disability Service providers, to renewable energy innovators, to social equality and leadership gurus.

Key Moments: A really inspiring moment was seeing the teams really understand how important this work is to ensuring they can build a viable business. Many of the teams throughout the day said that they would no doubt find the idea of going out and doing some of these empathy interviews a little bit daunting, but that it could really give them some valuable insights and help them decide where they should focus.


Movers, Shakers & Changemakers: May

Welcome to the May edition of Movers, Shakers and Changemakers. Once a month we highlight our favourite enterprises in the social and environmental sector. These are businesses that are proving you can do good and make money.

Read on to hear the stories of some enterprises doing great things in the space. First up, a Melbourne streetwear brand changing lives.

HoMie

"If we don't have a successful business, we can't have an impact"

— Nick Pearce, co-founder of HoMie

HoMie’s second venture is their Pathways Project. The project provides traineeships to young people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk. The traineeships are undertaken in HoMie’s Fitzroy store where young people are trained, employed, mentored, and end the six month program with a Certificate III in Retail Operations. The trainees are then guaranteed employment with Cotton On. To date HoMie have helped 6 young people find secure employment. We love this project as it really proves that through running a successful business, you can change people’s lives. Watch Hayley’s story:

SHE Investments

SHE (support her enterprise) Investments was started to empower and support women business owners and leaders in Cambodia. 65% of businesses in Cambodia are run by women, but most are informal and small. SHE Investments are working to change this through their bespoke business development programs. They want to promote gender balance in the SME market in Cambodia by helping women to run scalable, sustainable and impactful businesses.

"Our vision is a world where investment in women entrepreneurs in developing countries is seen as opportunity, not charity"

— Celia Boyd, Managing Director of SHE Investments

SHE Investments run programs that focus on the development of leadership skills and confidence; teach business leaders how to accelerate growth and impact; and provide general access to information, training, mentoring and financing. At present, SHE Investments are 50% self-funded, and work every year to grow this number. We love their commitment to helping change women’s lives through business, we also love their drive to be self-sustaining.

North Home

NORTH are combining local indigenous art with luxury homeware products. The enterprise operates out of the Northern Territory and work closely with three incredible artists from around the top end. NORTH’s aim is to contribute meaningfully to the preservation of pride and independence among Indigenous artists, while broadening the exposure and availability of their historically important artworks, that are often not seen in urban areas of Australia.

"A major element of NORTH’s mission is to create a way to share the stories and raw talent of artists from remote communities"

- Crystal Thomas, North Home founder

Through purchasing the artwork produced by artists living in community, NORTH Home are providing income to Indigenous Australians allowing them to remain living in, and connected to, their communities. We love NORTH’s philosophy and commitment to bringing Indigenous art to the forefront of homeware design, and supporting people living in community.


Introducing 2017's Melbourne Two Feeters!

Melbourne Cohort 1

Melbourne Cohort 2


Announcing our Second leveraged Investment into the Pacific with Tanna Coffee

TDi are proud and excited to announce the second investment that we enabled into the Pacific. Following months of working closely with various partners across the region including DFAT and Pacific Trade & Invest, we are pleased to announce that we have leveraged $656,000 in investment capital,  for a business making a real difference to peoples’ lives in the South Pacific.


In 2015, Cyclone Pam devastated many of Vanuatu’s 84 islands. One island, called Tanna, suffered the full force of the storm, and the coffee-growing hub, comprised of 750,000 plants, was almost completely flattened. This left nearly 500 of Tanna’s local farmers and their families without any source of income.

The collective of coffee farmers work with the enterprise Tanna Coffee to produce some of the rarest single-origin blend on the planet. The coffee plants on Tanna grow in volcanic soil, 400 metres above sea level, giving the coffee a unique flavour. Coffee also makes up majority of the profitable agriculture on the island and is the primary source of livelihood for a large portion of the population. It was vital that this industry survive the storm and be rejuvenated.

“In the long term, a sustainable economy in Vanuatu will reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign aid, including the $62.5 million [1]  in aid that the country is estimated to receive from DFAT this financial year”.

— Anthea Smits, Deputy CEO at TDi

When DFAT approached TDi about working in the Pacific to discover what doing good and making money looked like in a developing context, we took up the opportunity and the challenge willingly. Our Pacific team, comprised of Anthea Smits and Anna Moegerlein, have been working with Tanna Coffee over the last year to help regenerate the business, set them up for long-term sustainability and to help them have a greater impact on Vanuatu’s local economy. We also helped to leverage their investment.

 

The majority of the investment will be utilised to rehabilitate the crops that were damaged by Cyclone Pam, and redeveloping 200 hectares of land. This will help to increase Tanna Coffee’s annual production from 100 tonne to 250 tonne and the land will be equally distributed among 200 local farmers. Ultimately, when you consider the income that will be directed back into the community, this investment will help to improve the lives of more than 5,000 people, 16% of Tanna’s population.

"We have trained and empowered all the farmers to become self-sufficient individuals and we now pay them up to 270vatu (AUD 3.20) per kg for their sun-dried coffee parchment (up from AUD 25c), providing an enormous back-flow direct into the community”

- Terry Adlington, Managing Director at Tanna Coffee

Managing Director Terry Adlington adds, “We have worked with TDi on an overall plan for sustainable growth to increase coffee production… and anticipate farmers’ incomes to increase by 20% as a result of the investment, which will increase peoples’ livelihoods and improve their ability to afford consistent education for their children.”
We are immensely proud of the growth and development that the team at Tanna Coffee has achieved over the past year. It is incredible to see local farmers being empowered through industry and sustainable business. We are so excited by this model of business and its capacity to both do good and make money for communities in developing regions.

“This is groundbreaking for the Pacific Islands, and has the potential to help Tanna Island achieve long-term trade independence and a sustainable economy".

— Caleb Jarvis, Australian Trade Commissioner for the Pacific

Tanna Coffee is currently stocked in most of Vanuatu’s premium resorts, restaurants and cafés, along with Air Vanuatu and Au Bon Marche Supermarkets, as well as providing strong regional sales to Fiji, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.


Movers, Shakers & Changemakers: April

So it’s that time again; time for April’s Movers, Shakers and Changemakers- we’re highlighting our favourite enterprises in the social and environmental sector. These are businesses that are doing good in their communities.

Over the past month we’ve had a couple of events that brought these enterprises to our attention. International Women’s Day saw us discover the beautiful her words, we saw Biofilta speak at the LAUNCHFood forum in San Francisco last week and we met YWCA Victoria when they pitched to the Macquarie Bank Kickstarter Panel that we sat on.

Read on to hear the stories of these amazing ventures doing great things in the space.

YWCA Victoria

YWCA Victoria has been supporting women and girls in Victoria since 1882. Part of the global YWCA, which engages with 25 million women and girls worldwide, the not-for-profit works to mentor, empower and engage women in their communities.

The organisation are also of course staunch advocates for women’s rights across Victoria and are powerful voices in the equality struggle and debate.

YWCA provide housing opportunities for women at risk of homelessness, victims of domestic violence, those who face discrimination or have a disability. They also run mentoring programs, self-esteem workshops and one-on-one advisory sessions.

“I joined the YWCA because I was interested in learning more about how women are trying to achieve gender equality and female empowerment in Australia. The YWCA is a great platform for females or anyone of any gender to voice their opinions and get the opportunity to create positive change in their community".

- Ibtisam Shahbaz, YWCA Victoria Member

YWCA Victoria are now in the process of starting a Women in Trades enterprise. They’re determined to get more women into trades, and create a platform for people to source female tradies. This is particularly important for women who are survivors of domestic violence or elderly women living alone who may not feel comfortable with a male tradie in their home. We love this initiative, find out more about it here.

her words

her words was born from the fact that women make up 51% of Australia’s population, and yet we are seriously underrepresented in the media, meaning that crucial stories from our perspective are not being told. her story is a media platform where women discuss, in video interviews, different topics and share their stories.

The platform’s mantra is ‘courage through connection, change through conversation’ and their mission is to ensure every woman knows their words matter. It was only fitting that this platform launched on International Women’s Day!

"We want to provide a space for women from all backgrounds to safely talk about their experiences, so that they feel connected, powerful and significant.”

— Domini Marshall, her words Founder

The latest series from her words looks at Self-Love and how women can best practise the act. The series speaks to Melbourne artist Francis Cannon, filmmaker Brigid Canny, performance poet and actress Tariro Movondo and disability advocate Michelle Roger.

Watch the beautiful series here.

Biofilta

We discovered Biolfita at the LAUNCHFood Forum in San Francisco last week. They’re seeking to solve the urban food issue through innovative design and products that catch usable stormwater and make urban farming more efficient.

Their ‘Foodwall’ is a modular, low-maintenance, food planter and allows for easy growing, cultivating are harvesting of food in urban environments. This initiative helps to reduce food miles, improve the quality of food and engage communities with the food growing process.

Discover more about them here.

"Urban Food Production is a key part of our future sustainability, social connection and food security"

— Biofilta