Attending a food festival that didn’t cater for her children’s food intolerances led this young woman to develop meal bases, cake mixes and workshops for people in a similar position.

Don’t let the fact that you don’t understand how to run a business hold you back. When I mentioned it to a few people, they pointed out that I was already doing the cooking, it was only the business side that I needed to learn. They just said, “why can’t you do it?”

– Tarnya

Tell us about your idea or startup.
After making food for my sisters and children, in September 2018 I started making meal bases, cake mixes and running workshops for people with food intolerances. I’ve started selling the products both online and via markets as well as running workshops in Shepparton, in people’s houses. My vision and next steps with Gourmet You is doing workshops in commercial kitchens next and getting my products into local stores.

What were you looking for when you came to Startup Shakeup?
I had done everything myself, so I wasn’t sure what I was missing. I was really looking for a mentor and for feedback to get ready for growth. The Startup Shakeup courses were really good because they gave me room to focus, without distraction, on my business and I met a lot of people socially, but also people who have given me advice and support.

Please describe what Startup Shakeup did for you?
I did a lot of the courses Startup Shakeup offered and they have definitely increased my network of people. I’m from Shepparton so I’ve been traveling a lot to the region; it was well worth the drive. There’s just so much available for startups in the North East and it is a massive food region, which is beneficial for me too.

What has changed in your business and/or life as a result of Startup Shakeup?
I’ve put my business on hold as I try to implement what I have been learning. I’m trying to update my website, practice pitching and update my packaging and labelling to get ready for retail. Meeting all the presenters makes me realise how much I have already done; that gave me confidence that I am on the right track. One of the things that has changed for me is the way I speak about myself; I’m much more confident and able to strongly speak about my business and move it forward now.

Where to next for you?
As I am planning to go into retail, I’m working on my packaging. I need advice about the legality of the information I have to put on my packaging, like nutrition panels.

What would you like to do next with Startup Shakeup and how will you continue to be involved?
The two main things I’ve struggled with are food labelling and understanding the food code. I would also like to clarify what I can say about my products without a background in nutrition. So, I would like to see a workshop on food labelling and on public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

What is your advice to other people in startup mode/other entrepreneurs?
Don’t let the fact that you don’t understand how to run a business hold you back. I was already cooking to cater for my sisters’ and kids’ intolerances. We went to a food festival where there was nothing on the menu that my kids could eat. It wasn’t a nice day. Driving home that day, I thought, this is ridiculous; if I am having this issue then other people will be too. When I mentioned it to a few people, they pointed out that as I was already doing the cooking, it was only the business side I needed to learn. They just said, “why can’t you do it?”.