In this episode…
Imagine heading off on a year-long backpacking trip through South America, discovering a nutritious super-food deep in the Amazon jungle and then using this to launch your own wellness business back home upon your return…
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, Maddie and Andrew from The Acai Corner did just that!
After realising their current 9-5’s simply weren’t serving them, they quit their jobs to take off on their adventure. Little did they know, a humble purple berry which they stumbled upon in Brazil would change the trajectory of their plans and have them opening up their own acai business before long!
They share with us how their backpacking trip through South America led to them creating the business of their dreams and how it has one big continual learning curve!
So grab yourself a smoothie bowl, sit down and hear how listening to your heart just might be the answer.
So let’s dive in!
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Amanda: [00:00:44] Hello, and welcome to episode nine of the Heart Driven Hustle podcast. We’re your hosts, Amanda and Kingsley. And today we’re chatting to Maddie and Andrew from The Acai Corner.
Now, for those who may not have heard of them, [00:01:00] The Acai Corner is a food truck and cafe located in Perth, which serves the most delicious and nourishing acai smoothie bowls.
They were actually one of the earliest adopters of this now super popular food trend, which is so often seen at gracing Instagram posts and stories alike.
Maddie and Andrew share how they went from realizing that their current 9-5’s simply weren’t serving them, taking off on what should have been a year long adventure, and how this instead landed them with a business of their dreams.
We can’t wait to share their story with you. And it just goes to show how listening to your heart really can guide you to where you should be.
So listen in guys!
Hi, Maddie and Andrew. It’s our absolute pleasure to welcome in both onto the show.
Maddie: [00:01:46] Thank you so much.
Amanda: [00:01:47] It’s great to have you here. So I’m really excited to tell your story to our listeners. Now this is all about taking them on your particular entrepreneurial journey about how you created your [00:02:00] business, how you came up with your big idea and any little hiccups that arise along the way, because as we all know, it’s not an overnight success to get from the start to finish, unless you’re one of those unicorn people that managed to make that happen but for the rest of us out there, there are always bumps along the way and it’s about how we overcome that adversity too.
Maddie: [00:02:21] For sure!
Amanda: [00:02:22] I’d love for you guys to tell us about your business and how it looks for you today.
Maddie: [00:02:25] How it looks for us today… so we have a health and wellness business. We sell Acai bowls, smoothies – all refined sugar, free dairy free. We’ve got a store in Claremont, a food truck on South Perth foreshore and we are hoping that this year is a big build year for us to open some more places.
Amanda: [00:02:46] The food truck that you have there on the South Perth foreshore is certainly something that we stumble across quite a bit on our daily walks – it tempts us each and every day as we walk past.
Maddie: [00:02:55] Yeah. Yeah. It’s nice. It’s nice and integrated into sort of like a healthy [00:03:00] day out for people. A lot of people would do like a run or a walk around the foreshore and then finish with us. So a lot of them have said that they’ve changed their route over the years and they now finish with us, which is really nice. That’s a nice thing to hear.
Amanda: [00:03:13] And I mean, it’s about the socialization aspect of it as well. It’s not just about simply being able to fill your belly with something nutritional. It’s having that opportunity to sit down and relax and bask in the sunshine, which we all know is such an important facet of the healthy lifestyle.
Maddie: [00:03:30] Yeah, totally.
Amanda: [00:03:32] Now you mentioned that you have the two different businesses, so you have, well, they’re all under the same umbrella, but you have the two different outlets. You’ve got your food truck there in South Perth and your store as well. Which came first?
Andrew: [00:03:45] Food truck came first. Food truck won.
Kingsley: [00:03:50] So how did that kick off and, and all start?
Andrew: [00:03:54] Well, there’s definitely a backstory to this one.
Maddie: [00:03:56] yeah, this is a long one.
Amanda: [00:03:57] Take us back to the beginning. I’d love to hear about it.
Andrew: [00:03:59] So we’d [00:04:00] both, previously had corporate jobs. Mads was into social research and I was, doing the grind of recruitment, which, got to a point where after four or five years, we kind of felt a bit burnt out when we kind of needed to go and explore the world. So it’s been a few months, a few months saving and then we headed off, both quit our corporate jobs. And there wasn’t any kind of plan to start a business at that stage. And after going through, Cuba and Jamaica, we stumbled into Brazil. And from there we ended up actually launching the business.
Amanda: [00:04:31] Wow. So you both left your corporate jobs with no intention of actually starting anything, but just taking that leap of faith. What led you to that decision?
Maddie: [00:04:40] I think at that point we would just a bit sick of describing our lives as busy. You know, like when people say, you know, we were, what, how old? 20, in our sort of 25, 26. And we were like, how can we be this burnt out already? We’re only a few years. And we were both doing pretty well, but we were like, how can we be this [00:05:00] exhausted all the time?
And how can we. How can main adjective for our life, be busy right now. And we just didn’t see how it could potentially be viable until we were like 80, you know, 60, 70, 80 years old.
So we just went, do you know what this isn’t making us happy? What will make us happy? We’ve always had a passion for traveling.
We met overseas originally. And so we decided to yeah buy a one way ticket, I think to Jamaica at the time. We threw…we’d put a map on the wall and put pins in of places we’ve always wanted to go and threw darts and sort of had this epic journey planned for that was going to last us potentially years and years.
And we just sort of let, let the universe take us where it wanted to go. When we got to Brazil we absolutely fell in love with acai and that changed the course, I guess.
Amanda: [00:05:56] you discovered the acai and that changed the trajectory of your [00:06:00] entire plan by the sounds of it.
Maddie: [00:06:00] Totally, totally, totally. We had all of these plans.
Amanda: [00:06:04] The universe had other ideas.
Maddie: [00:06:05] Yeah. We had all these plans. We just, we just spent a month in Cuba and, for people that have been to Cuba, there’s not a whole lot of, fresh fruit. obviously it’s a socialist country, so they don’t, so they sort of share is share what they have equally and there’s not like loads and loads of fresh fruit and vegetables. So we kind of got to Brazil. We flew into Rio and we felt a bit, depleted, I guess, nutritionally. We stayed in an Airbnb. Our host said you should try this thing called acai. We’d never heard of it. It wasn’t as big as it was you know here now. All we knew it was like a purple a purple thing that’s we didn’t even know it was a fruit, you know, so we tried it, our first morning in Rio and we were like, Oh, this is, this is pretty good. And then the next day we had it for breakfast again and for afternoon tea.
And then the next day we started getting a bit into it. And [00:07:00] all of a sudden we were Googling like, rather than like ‘things to do in Rio’, we will Googling ‘best acai in Rio’. And so we were going to these obscure places all over the streets of Rio, and chatting to these, these vendors, you know, in, in Brazil, in Rio essays, like coffee here, but the culture is acai culture.
So people stand on the, on the corner and they’ll eat their, these purple kind of fruit bowls. like we would stand and have a coffee. so we kind of, yeah chatting to all these people being like, what is this? Why does it make us feel so good? Why do we love it? And we’d have that and then go for a run or go for a surf and feel so re-energized and re-invigorated.
And I guess, compared to Cuba and how we were feeling sort of a week or two into Rio, we were like, Oh my gosh, our energy, like, we just feel incredible. And so that just changed our entire trajectory.
Amanda: [00:07:54] Wow. I mean, that’s amazing to see such instant results from something so humble as a [00:08:00] little purple Berry that you hadn’t really heard of before. The way that they present it over there – is that in similar way that we do it here. I mean, you’re doing a smoothie bowls here. Is that how they have it over in Brazil or is it completely different?
Andrew: [00:08:12] No it’s very, very similar. The only difference I’d probably say in Brazil is you get everything separate. So you have yet, your acai, which is a lot bigger than what you get over here. And then you get your side of granola and a side of honey, and banana, and then you put it together yourself.
So they’re pretty much when we were there back in 2015, that was pretty much the staple across all kind of juice bars, or acai bars in Brazil. And they were the main toppings you’d get when you ordered the bowl.
Amanda: [00:08:40] That’s amazing. I just want take you back to one of the points that you mentioned there, Maddie, about being completely burnt out in your mid twenties. And I think it’s so important that you guys have realized that so early on, and being able to pivot and shift and follow something that you are actually passionate about, because I do speak to a lot of people and they are quite [00:09:00] happy to just continue along in the same path that they are at the moment, but it isn’t necessarily fulfilling a passion or giving them a sense of purpose, but they don’t know where else to go with it. So you’ve mentioned there about the typical response being when someone says, how are you at the moment I’m busy, but it’s not necessarily the way that we should be living our lives more than anything.
So I think that’s such a great thing that you’ve guys have done is that you’ve recognized that and been able to take that step and take that leap into the unknown and just pursue something, that is going to give you that life. I love that so much.
Maddie: [00:09:37] thanks. We, I mean, we really, we look back on it now I guess and it doesn’t feel like we ever set out to do something that we love. Like we didn’t have, we didn’t have a plan. We didn’t leave to go. We’re going to go find something that’s going to be our passion. We just knew what we were doing wasn’t right. We kind of [00:10:00] just because we didn’t have a finish line and we didn’t have a path that we’re walking on, but we knew that what we were doing wasn’t right for us. And it wasn’t healthy for us ultimately and we just wanted to find that that inner health and happiness.
Amanda: [00:10:13] And I think maybe what you’ve mentioned there is it just being open, being open to possibilities and opportunities that are out there rather than trying to force something that does doesn’t fit. So I think was potentially part of the reason why it has worked so well for you.
I just want to move on to the next, thing that you mentioned there about the product that they had over in Brazil is slightly different to what we have here in the Australian market. So how did you come up with an idea of what you were going to sell here in your own food truck?
Maddie: [00:10:44] So yeah, that, that came, that came quite a little bit later. So I guess to take it back, so we’d sort of, we found, found this purple… We didn’t even know it was a berry at this point. We found this sort of purple food. And we were like, [00:11:00] we’d be standing on the corner of these like tiny little, acai cafes going, like, ‘Casto like, what, what is this?’
And they were like acai.
We were like, no, but. But what is it?
And we just didn’t even know what that was. So we eventually found out it was a berry, so we were like, okay, cool. It’s a berry, no worries. Where do you get it?
And they were like, we get it from our friend George.
And we were like, no, that doesn’t help us. No, we’re like, where does it grow?
And they were like, Oh, in the Amazon.
And we were like, Oh cool. That’s really big. Like where exactly in the Amazon… and so we kind of, you know, we sort of had these chats with these people and we’d be standing on, you know, with these people, we’re selling it to us and obviously they speak Portuguese in Brazil.
We spoke a little Spanish, but it was very difficult. So we’re getting out. So we, and we didn’t have phones at that point. So we were like, can we borrow your phone? So we would borrow their like Blackberry and going to Google to go, go [00:12:00] into Google translate and be like, where is this from? And then show it to them.
They’d reply with like George. it was like, it was a really kind of, it was really just at that point, just, we would just, it just kind of like peaked at curiosity, you know? Well, it was sort of like, this is really interesting, that this food makes us feel so good and then that’s sort of all, it was at that point.
So we then ended up continuing to travel. Our plan was to leave Brazil and go through Argentina. And go, go into Chile and continue through South America. And we then spent the next sort of three or four weeks in Argentina talking about Brazil, talking about acai every day and thinking about it and thinking about, you know, whether anyone in Australia was doing it right.
We could get, we essentially, at this point, we’re just like, Oh, I hope someone in Perth is doing it so that we could have it ourselves and we kind of looked into it and no one really was, so we were in, [00:13:00] where were we?
Andrew: [00:13:01] In El Calafate
Maddie: [00:13:02] yeah, in El Calafate in Patagonia. They’re very Southern most tip of the world, essentially and we were standing on this glacier still traveling, and we. I sort of had this kind of like moment where we were like, we can either from here continue our journey that we had planned in our mind and go through Chile and continue hiking and things, or we can scratch those plans. We can fly back to Rio, find out more about this, this berry, and potentially start a business.
And we were like…
Amanda: [00:13:39] Wow, it really was a fork in the road moment.
Maddie: [00:13:41] Yeah, we were like, that was, there was just this moment on this. It was just, so it was almost too poignant, you know, like it’s like,
Amanda: [00:13:48] It’s very cinematic, isn’t it? Standing on the tip of a glacier.
Maddie: [00:13:51] Someone make a movie about this. Like it’s, it was very cinematic. but it was just, you know, this crazy. This crazy moment where we sort of looked at each other and we were [00:14:00] like, cause you know, people were like, what are you, where are you guys going next?
You know, what are you doing next? Or, you know, when you meet people traveling and with the whole time, it was like, we’re going into Chile, we’re hiking The W and that was like the thing that people were doing down there, you know, that was like the gringo trail down there. And then we just kind of looked at each other and we were like, should we fly back to Rio?
Should we? Should we have a look into this and that’s what we did. We flew back to Rio. We rented a little apartment for a few weeks. We got out our laptops. We wrote a business plan. We tried to understand where, where it was, which took us on a whole different kind of interesting journey. Didn’t that Andy.
Andrew: [00:14:37] It sure did!
Amanda: [00:14:38] Oh, I’d love to hear about that. So you were starting to put together a business plan and, and then what happened there? I mean, did you know where that would lead you or where to go from there?
Andrew: [00:14:51] I think they were at that stage two ideas. It was like, we had to understand more about this berry, but then we also had to make a decision on how we were going to [00:15:00] launch it in Perth. So we kind of had that kind of real crossroads where we pretty much made the decision that we had to go to the Amazon to understand everything there is to know about this berry.
So from there we pretty much booked flights, straight to Belen, which is, within the Amazon. And then we went to the car and every day we’d drive about an hour to factories. I would pull up Mads would get out to and speak a little bit of Spanish to somebody that doesn’t speak any English, would knock on the factory doors and would say, can we, can we learn about this acai berry?
Maddie: [00:15:31] It’s essentially like driving to Brownes and knocking on the door and being like, what do we have… milk? Can we have some milk in like another language?
Like we would just to be like, this person would look at us. So it was down these dirt roads, there were these huge factories, you know? And they would be, we’d be like, hi, do you have acai?
And they were like, yeah. It’s a factory.
Amanda: [00:15:55] Que?
Maddie: [00:15:55] Yeah, que? And we were [00:16:00] like, English? you speak English?
They were like, ‘no’
We were like, ‘espanol?’
They were like, not really. and then we would just be like, great, do you have a Blackberry? And they’d be like, yep. And then we’d get on their phone and Google translate and be like, we want this in Australia.
And they were like, Okay. It took us a… we originally got there and we booked the hotel for like three days. In the end, I think we were there for about six weeks.
Amanda: [00:16:29] Oh, wow. It was quite a process!
Maddie: [00:16:31] Yeah, it was.
Kingsley: [00:16:33] So what year was it this all taking place in.
Andrew: [00:16:38] 2015
Maddie: [00:16:39] yeah. 2015.
Kingsley: [00:16:41] So, cause, so, acai hadn’t really taken off over here. So you were kind of sourcing it over there. Is that what was happening?
Andrew: [00:16:51] That was the initial plan from, from day one was how do we get this berry into Perth ultimately? I think, I think by the end of may, we were a couple of [00:17:00] companies starting to import it. so we were ultimately just want to understand how we go about doing this and obviously finally this with no who has had any food experience, we had no idea how to import anything.
So, it was very, very early stages of trying to understand what you do when you find something that you want to bring in.
Amanda: [00:17:17] Definitely, it would have been quite a big learning curve on so many fronts
Maddie: [00:17:20] So much. Yeah.
Kingsley: [00:17:22] So you’re there for six weeks. And, did you, did you end up coming back with suitcases full of these strange berries that people at customs asked you what it was?
Andrew: [00:17:31] One of the things we found out very early was that unfortunately, as soon as you pick the berry you have 24 hours to process it and turn it into a frozen pulp. Otherwise it goes rotten
Amanda: [00:17:41] Oh, wow
Andrew: [00:17:41] because there’s no sugar in it. So we actually learned very early that that was going to be a much bigger hurdle than we initially thought.
Amanda: [00:17:49] Right. So how did you ever come that then?
Maddie: [00:17:52] We haven’t.
Andrew: [00:17:56] We left that.
Maddie: [00:17:56] Yeah, change tact. Uh, [00:18:00] no, it was just, it’s a huge undertaking to, you know, import, you know, 10 tons of, of frozen fruit. so we were like, wow, this is, this is a big thing. we are hoping with what, four, four years in now. And we’re hoping that this will be the year that we do it. but we were like, you know, if we get all this frozen fruit in, that’s it, like, what are we going to do with it?
You know, like we, can’t just kind of use 10 tons of acai ourselves. so we were like, we need that. I think we need a bit of a broader plan as to how we’re actually going to, get this product into Australia, how to market it, how to distribute it. so that was coming in to be a longer burn for us at that point.
Amanda: [00:18:48] Yeah. And did you have any experience with creating your own business or was this something entirely new to you guys?
Andrew: [00:18:56] We I think learnt that on the fly didn’t we?
[00:19:00] Maddie: [00:18:59] We Googled how to start a business. and we, I, we Googled. Yeah. And we Googled how to write a business plan, and how to do pretty much everything. No, we just learned everything. We are learning everything on the fly.
Amanda: [00:19:14] Yeah. I mean, that’s it in businesses and that, I mean, there’s no such thing as having figured out the final answer, it’s a continual learning process and you’re continually getting better and better. So I think that in itself is a lesson.
Andrew: [00:19:29] We also used to have a saying didn’t we Mads, that like, everything is really difficult until it’s easy.
Maddie: [00:19:33] Yeah
Kingsley: [00:19:34] And then you move on to the next difficult thing.
Amanda: [00:19:37] That’s right. Yeah.
Kingsley: [00:19:38] Yep, yep. You get it. It clicks and then you move to the next thing. That’s impossible that you finally get.
Amanda: [00:19:44] Right. So did you engage any mentors or any sort of coaches or help along the way to get everything up and running
Maddie: [00:19:51] We didn’t,
Amanda: [00:19:52] Or was it purely just Google?
Maddie: [00:19:53] we didn’t, we, you know, we out to people when we needed advice in specific areas, from our, [00:20:00] you know, our contacts over the years and from people that were slightly ahead of us and what they were doing in different areas, but ultimately, we just sort of figured it out. Didn’t we Ands?
Andrew: [00:20:10] Yeah, and I think that’s definitely something that we’re still looking at at some point down the journey is that kind of mentorship and kind of help growing one of these businesses.
Amanda: [00:20:19] Yeah. Yeah.
Kingsley: [00:20:21] So just going back to… so you spent the six weeks in Brazil, so you come back to Australia and you go, how are we going to sell this? Did you think when you’re in Brazil, let’s do food truck. Was that always in the back of your head or how else were you thinking of slinging this new found berry.
Maddie: [00:20:38] We, we actually, didn’t come back at that point. We’d actually already made a commitment to, my brother to meet him in the U S and go traveling with him for a month. So he actually, we met in the U S and he was like, cool, let’s go traveling. And we were like, we should look up every acai bar in the U S.
And he was like, Oh no, [00:21:00] here we go. I did not sign up for this. So we actually spent some time there and then went back to, went over to Europe, for some family commitments. And then we eventually got home what, like four months later. and while we were away, we’d actually written the designs for a food truck.
when we were kind of in, in Brazil and lying in hammock, and we were like,
Amanda: [00:21:27] It sounds ideal!
Maddie: [00:21:29] I know it sounds so idealic and it was honestly the worst. It was like a wifi was going down. There was no internet. We were like, we just need to see materials that were like, what do you want to do with the plumbing?
We were like, we don’t know. What do you do with plumbing?
Yeah, that’s right. So we were, so we designed it when we were in Brazil, the food truck.
I guess the thinking behind the food truck…Andy correct me if I’m wrong, it’s taking me back now is.. we wanted to be able to exit if it [00:22:00] was a complete, crazy idea.
So we kind of thought if we built a food truck and then it doesn’t work in like a couple of months, we can always sell the food truck as a, as an asset, and sort of come out of it. Not completely buried under with debt or with a massive commitment.
Amanda: [00:22:19] Yeah, definitely. It’s a lower level of committment to enter the market.
Maddie: [00:22:23] lower level of risk at, with what we thought at the time.
Kingsley: [00:22:27] Yeah, that’s a good point. Cause a shop fit out, is usually what, another shop fit out doesn’t want, but a food truck it’s a fit out in a food truck is probably worth something because there’s only so many ways you can fit out a truck, but a million ways you can fit out a shop.
And, so the food truck came along and you guys were, did, did you just do festivals or did you go all in both of you just kind of full time at that?
Andrew: [00:22:52] So when we came back from the trip, we both me, Mads and her brother all actually jumped on board and started [00:23:00] running the food truck. at that stage, we actually were living down and Yallingup, Mad’s parents both had a property down there, and obviously plenty of land. So we decided to start the business down there.
And we’ve got a spot down at surface point in Margaret river. So we would drive every day from Yallinyup to Margaret River and trade there. I think it was five, six days a week. so we pretty much just had a permanent spot there from day one.
Kingsley: [00:23:23] That is a nice office to have, if you can get it.
Maddie: [00:23:26] We had this, we were probably too romantic about it in hindsight, we have this idea that, you know, like we’d open up, we’d sell a few bowls. We’d go for a surf. We’d come back. And look, it was sort of like that, but, it was a little bit, you know, you kind of have to work. It was like, Oh, very quickly we were like, Oh no, this is a job. you need to like be in here in case someone pulls in. So you can’t just go off for a surf and you can’t just go for a skate.
Amanda: [00:23:55] Yeah you can’t sign sign in the window ‘back in 5 minutes’
Maddie: [00:23:57] Yeah, it kind of doesn’t work like that. So [00:24:00] if you want to kind of, you know, if you want to work and be open and make money, then you need to be there.
in that like little truck so it almost was cruel to ourselves. Cause we were kind of like in this amazing idyllic location, overlooking things that we wanted to do and couldn’t
Amanda: [00:24:17] And such and point though, that you’ve made there is that when you do have your own business, you do need to work in it. And I think a lot of people see this as this, this glorified thing that, yeah, I’ve got a business now it’s just going to run itself, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t involve hard work. And it’s one of the things that I, I think that a lot of people, when they are creating their own business, they come up against it and they go, okay, well, this isn’t for me.
It is a lot hotter than I was expecting. So I’m going to throw in the towel. Well, but it’s all about that grit and that determination and sticking it out because it is going to pay off. It is going to be worthwhile in the end.
So you were down in Margaret River and you’re now up here in Perth. What happened [00:25:00] there? How did you make it up this way?
Andrew: [00:25:03] I think there’s definitely a few things that happen there to make that happen.
look, I think we, we, we noticed very early on that there was definitely a demand for our product. we were able to build up a customer base very quickly. And we definitely found that people were liking what we were doing.
However, the location where we were at, you know, if it was, if the surf wasn’t good, nobody was there. If it was cloudy and there was potentially rain coming in, nobody would be there. So we just learned very early that we felt that business had legs, but unfortunately for us at that point, the location wasn’t quite right.
Amanda: [00:25:38] It’s sort of a transient clientele as well, being in that area. It’s, it’s very up and down being a holiday destination.
You are going to have your locals but dependant upon the weather.
Andrew: [00:25:46] Exactly. And we, I think we got one, we got one Christmas period in, and, you know, some days it’d be really busy and then as soon as school holidays finished and everyone went back to Perth, we just found straight away, you know, it’s not viable to be taking that down every day, setting up part of our [00:26:00] business there.
so we pretty much packed it all up and decided to drive it back up to Perth.
Maddie: [00:26:05] yeah, I mean, we’re big, we’re big believers in, like what is what’s happening here? Like what’s the universe saying? So we were driving, driving, back from, so the drive was about 45 minutes, which is not in itself, massive in Perth, but down there, it’s 45 minutes at a hundred KMs at, at dawn and dusk.
So it’s obviously kangaroo season. so we were driving and, and we’d our car had blown out the week before or something, you know, it’s just like it’s comedy of errors and then something else had gone wrong and we’d had to hire a car for this one day that we knew we’d, we’d do some good trades. So we’d hired a car and we were driving it down and this kangaroo came out of nowhere.
And when you’re driving a food truck, like you kind of just, you can’t swerve. Like it’s not, it’s not agile. And Andy was driving and he swerved around it just intuitively. and we, and we missed the kangaroo [00:27:00] that thank goodness for the roo. And we kind of pretty much almost rolled, but eventually kind of rolled into the side of the side of the road.
And we were in this sort of gutter and we had to call the RAC and get them to come out. And we just sort of again, had that little look into each other and we were like, This is probably it yeah?
This is probably the kicker and that was it. And we were like, and we didn’t trade again. Dealt. We just didn’t go again to Surfers.
We were like, we’re really sorry, Margs we’re closing. and that was just for us, we were like, that’s it.
Amanda: [00:27:35] That was the moment.
Maddie: [00:27:36] That was the moment. And you just had to, we had to listen to that moment at that exact time and went, okay, let’s go back to Perth.
Amanda: [00:27:43] Wow. It’s slightly something you life sort of flashes in front of your eyes and you think, okay, am I on the right path?
Maddie: [00:27:49] Totally, exactly like, like literally we on the right road here, like this is not the right road.
Amanda: [00:27:55] Oh, that’s right. And then you ended up in Perth, which is where you are now, [00:28:00] and you’ve opened up your second location. what took you to open up that physical location rather than having a second food truck?
Andrew: [00:28:10] Mads?
Maddie: [00:28:11] Food trucks?
Amanda: [00:28:11] I feel another I feel another story coming…
Maddie: [00:28:13] No, no this is, this is less of a story and just a reality.
Food trucks are a lot of work, like way more than one would think. And definitely still more than I think, all the time. so, you know, like we open at eight at South Perth, but our staff are there at seven and that means that you need to be at the warehouse, getting the truck down there at sort of 5:30 / 6 by the, you know, by the time you get there and crank it all up and get down there. There’s just a lot of hours on either side of the day for food trucks, that you just with a shop, you know, you sort of just, just close up.
you lock up and, and you can leave a little bit more. There’s just not the same amount of, of the hours involved in it.
So we really wanted to go towards a shop. We’re ready to make a bit more of a commitment. [00:29:00] and we opened Claremont recently, just sort of what, six, six months ago? Yeah, a year ago.
Yeah. Wow. Congratulations on the second location. That’s fantastic to be able to expand like that.
Kingsley: [00:29:13] I’m coming at it from like a strictly business point of view. You’d like from the outside, looking in the, you know, the advantages of the, Food truck would be, no rent or, but I suppose, do you have to pay, the council to kind of set up and like, so by the time, swings and roundabouts having a shop versus having a food truck you’re by the time everyone takes their bit, but you’re not really in front by much.
Is that what you’re kind of saying?
Andrew: [00:29:40] That’s what we started to realize. What was by the time that we’d paid the permit for the year that we were trading on at South Perth. By the time we take into account that we really only had the warehouse to store the truck. When you put those together, there wasn’t really much difference between having an additional truck and a fixed location.
Kingsley: [00:29:57] That’s interesting.
Andrew: [00:29:58] And I think that was us again, [00:30:00] scaling, you know, when, when we were running it from home and we were, you know, we had a home business to run and it was obviously a lot cheaper to run the food truck. whereas as soon as we started putting into account, you know, the warehouse and the additional costs on top of that, which you wouldn’t have to do for a shop, we realized that it would be good to have, an actual bricks and mortar location as well.
Amanda: [00:30:17] Yeah, definitely. And you’ve touched on scaling the business there. At what point did you feel that you were comfortable or it was time to actually scale and branch out?
Maddie: [00:30:27] Probably now… you’re probably you’re talking to us right in the midst of, of our scaling. this year for us will be our sort of biggest, biggest year we’re thinking, from an investment point of view and this’ll be the year, I guess, that we can we’ll either be like, yeah, that was the right path or, Oh no, we made some terrible decisions there.
So time will tell.
Kingsley: [00:30:51] We’ll do a revisit of the podcast in 12 months – where are [00:31:00] they now podcast?
Amanda: [00:31:01] Which brings me to my next point. So what does the next chapter look like for you guys?
Andrew: [00:31:05] So on that next thing for us, we are hoping to open up more shops. that’s definitely an area that we see there’s, there’s a lot more, demand for our products across WA and also we’re looking to try and grow our, our wholesale side of our business. So we actually produce our own granola in house that we make for our bowls.
so that’s a massive area of growth that we see within our businesses growing. some different kinds of channels that we can then, you know, push to, to customers and to avenues as well.
Amanda: [00:31:35] that’s amazing and very smart as well, to diversify your business and have multiple income streams there so that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, if circumstances do change. So I love what you guys are doing in that respect.
Maddie: [00:31:47] Yeah. I mean, certainly with COVID that sort of, learning that we’re we were watching, you know, friends on the East coast, particularly at the moment going, who did, you know, had the similar things to us you know, [00:32:00] like a bar or a cafe going, Oh my goodness. All my eggs are in one basket and ours certainly are as well at the moment.
So hoping to diversify and just sort of mitigate that risk, I guess, moving forward.
Amanda: [00:32:12] It’s so smart from a business perspective. Cause you, you don’t really know what’s going to be happening in the environment. And like you say COVID is a great example of exactly that.
Kingsley: [00:32:22] So do you have a few tips that you’d like to pass on to all the listeners?
just with people starting out and if they want to create a side hustle.
Andrew: [00:32:32] I definitely think we’re learning a big one for us is to actually believe in what you’re doing and don’t let fear could hold you back from making the right decision.
I think so many times over the years where there are big decisions to be made, but we haven’t always made them because of it. You know, being scared of it, you know, what happens if it goes wrong or what happens if it is the wrong decision? and that’s definitely something that I think as a small business, you know, you have to make the big decisions and if you get them wrong, you learn from them and you move [00:33:00] on. But I think that fear impact for us is definitely something that, you’ve got to try and remove it as best you can.
Kingsley: [00:33:06] Yeah. did you have some people that were non-believers early on going, Hey, you just came back from a holiday. Are you crazy? Or what?
Maddie: [00:33:14] I think we’ve still got non-believers. My mum hates, acai.
She she’s like, she can’t believe sometimes when we, you know, when we tell her how busy it is or whenever she’s like, have people coming to you, like for pity, like why are they coming to you? But like, mum, people love this food. It’s really good for you.
And it tastes delicious. What would you not want? And she’s like, I don’t like it.
Yeah, I guess like a big thing would be…
Amanda: [00:33:39] [baby crying]
Maddie: [00:33:40] Oh, hi Bubba.
Amanda: [00:33:43] He’s done so well!
Maddie: [00:33:44] He’s done so well. He’s like include me in the chat.
gosh, no, I mean, look, there’s like there’s loads, there’s loads and loads of things you can say and things advice you can give, but I guess [00:34:00] ultimately just follow your own gut, like follow what feels right for you. And just whatever sort of decision you make, just, just make sure that you’re comfortable with it.
Just don’t kind of listen, listen to the people around you too much, or listen to outside voices, just get in touch with what you want and what you want for your future and follow that would be.
Amanda: [00:34:22] A hundred percent. I mean, it’s really about that self worth and that self belief, like you said there, and it sounds like it’s, I know for us personally, we’ve done quite a lot of personal development recently, and that has made such a difference in our own journeys. Is that something that you have done yourself or believe that it might be beneficial for other people who are starting out in their business to build the, their own self belief?
Maddie: [00:34:44] Oh yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, no one else is gonna, even if people support you, they don’t necessarily, no, one’s going to believe in you the way that you believe in yourself.
You know, we’re surrounded by just undying support. You know, even [00:35:00] my mom who does, he doesn’t like it, you know? So, so, you know, like she’s, there’s so much support around us, but at the end of the day, you have to drive your beliefs.
and that’s, what’s going to drive you through the long days and the hard work and the grit, that comes with it is going to be through your belief of a bigger and brighter future, I guess.
Amanda: [00:35:20] Definitely. Yeah. That’s so important.
You guys have given us such a great insight into your journey and the ups and the downs and how you’ve been able to pivot and really just be open to what the universe is showing you and really believing that by being open is that you are going to step in the right direction and have that self belief as well.
So I absolutely love the story that you guys have, and I can’t wait to see what happens next and all the best for your upcoming locations and additional outlets that you’re looking to open up. Can’t wait to say what 2021 is all about.
Maddie: [00:35:56] Thank you so much.
Andrew: [00:35:58] Thanks guys thanks for having us.
Kingsley: [00:35:59] So, [00:36:00] if people are looking to find out where you guys are. can they hit you up on your Instagram?
Maddie: [00:36:04] We’re pretty much always on South Perth foreshore, for our food truck and Claremont for obviously our store and yeah. Hit us up on socials with, with anything.
Amanda: [00:36:15] Amazing. I’ll pop all those details into the show notes for this podcast as well. Thank you so much, Maddie and Andrew, we really appreciate your time and it’s been amazing chatting to you guys today.
Maddie: [00:36:24] Thank you so much, guys.