This month we talk to local founder Ineke Nugteren.  She set up Nourish.growcookenjoy Ltd from her kitchen table.  Hear about her business journey, motivations and lessons she has learnt along the way.

What’s your job title? CEO/Founder of Nourish.growcookenjoy (as well as being a Functional Medicine Practitioner!)

What does your company do? Creates delicious products that are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Our mission is to make snacking not only enjoyable and delicious but good for you! As a nurse and functional medicine practitioner, I am passionate about food as medicine and enjoyment. We use all natural ingredients with no compromises!

What did you do before your started your business? Nurse, and Mum. I have worked in Intensive Care settings, Primary Care, travel medicine, charity work and specialist health clinics.

What motivated you to start your business? Working in a variety of healthcare settings, it was through my own personal health journey and those of my patients I became interested in food and how it effects the body as well as there being a huge gap in the market for products that are actually good for you and still taste delicious.

How did you start making and distributing your products? From our kitchen table as it were, we started selling locally, and before we knew it we had a listing in Selfridges followed by Daylesford and Wholefoods. We converted an office locally into a food safe kitchen and continued there.

How did you scale and grow your business? One baby step at a time. Still working as a nurse and doing the lions share of the business work ourselves we really did grow organically in the first years. Learning as we went along, we scaled up from a home kitchen to a large commercial kitchen we now have in Reigate, where we make all the products for UK distribution and export with an amazing small but mighty team!

What is the best lesson you have learnt in business? This is hard to say there is one.. I feel there are so many! I think always be open for feedback and ready to pivot. Secondly surround yourself with a great team. You may have a vision, but the team helps you get there and often have many skills you do not.

What are you most proud of in your business? The variety of products we have in our current range and the amazing customer feedback. We feel on a daily basis that we are making a difference which is so rewarding. But most of all, the wonderful team I have come to know and appreciate (and my husband and kids in how they have adapted as we have grown with Nourish being so much a part of who we are)

What advice would you give to others looking to grow and scale their business? Ask questions, grab every chance you can to learn, and listen to your customers, they are invaluable. Listen to podcasts and read, currently I am loving – The Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast, The Dairy of a CEO by Steven Bartlett and 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey.

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