Renee Sinclair, founder Burton’s Lane makes a handcrafted, Indian-style curry paste, tomato kasundi and brinjal pickle using a prized secret family recipe.

Renee’s early success gaining stockists also meant considering how to grow her business when nervous about sharing the secret family recipe. This is a question other foodpreneurs face when wanting to grow and eventually scale. For Renee it meant considering what steps she needed to take to get the right help in the right parts of her business in spite of not wanting to share the recipe to expand on her current list of 8 stockists.

Renee adopted my Function 8 model  to help her structure her business so she could begin to answer these questions and help her move out of her comfort zone to expand the business. I’m delighted to share her story below for you to see how she does it.

How would you describe the business you are in?

Bringing families together around the dinner table, to nourish the family unit with quick, easy to prepare, delicious tasty meals using my family recipe curry paste.

What do you love about your work?

Meeting customers and hearing how much their family loves our curry paste and related products – especially when they say one of their fussy eaters love it and comes back for more.

What part of your job would you gladly give away?

Some days the cooking, other days the paperwork and marketing.

If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?

  • Be really clear on what you want to create and where you want to take it. 
  • Research a little into what’s involved before you start. 
  • Surround yourself with like minded people.

Women start businesses 41% of the time to solve a problem. Sometimes this means we have a great vision but don’t have enough resources to sustain our business for the long term. Tell us what resources you started your business with eg. money saved, business premises, business partner, and how long before you started paying yourself?

A family curry paste recipe and that’s about it. 

I used money from my ‘other’ job to purchase equipment, jars, stickers and ingredients and that’s it.  To begin with any money earned was my pocket money, a way to spoil myself, I’m still not giving myself a wage.

As you know we are passionate about women #backingthemselves. So tell us about a time in the last twelve months that you’re really proud of.

That I made it to the end of the year and met all my orders during COVID. With the extra challenges of finding resources in short supply at the time and not having access to my normal cooking facilities to make my curry paste yet still making it through, was a big relief.

As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?

  • I love learning about relationships in all areas of life.
  • I’d also like to learn how to automate and scale my business.

The world is changing so fast and technology enables us to do so much more. We’re interested in which app you could not live without and why?

Instagram – it keeps me connected and inspired and I love seeing pretty things. 

Business wise my Xero app so I can send invoices as soon as I make a delivery – it keeps me on top of my accounting.

Why did you decide to become a member of the Foodpreneurs Formula®?

The food industry is a whole new world with it’s own set of vocabulary and things I had no idea about, I was so exhausted and overwhelmed and not sure which direction to take to release the pressure. 

Females in Food® came across my screen and I knew after the webinar they understood the unique challenges facing women in business with so many balls in the air. 

To be surround by like-minded women that faces the same challenges and support one another was key.

We love to celebrate successes. Can you give us an example of how joining the Foodpreneurs Formula® has positively impacted your business? 

The Foodpreneur Formula® has given me:

  • the framework I need to grow my business
  • a community of women that ‘get it’
  • keeps me accountable
  • can point out my blind spots and
  • helps me to continue to move forward.

I’ve spent a lot of time in business fumbling my way along not sure what to do next to be more efficient and to stop being overwhelmed.

The framework Chelsea teaches breaks business down in to 8 key areas.

For me specifically I’ve gained clarity when Chelsea pointed out how systemising my business (writing out clear procedures for each area, especially the cooking process) would then enable me to have someone come in and help me reproduce what I do, so I can focus on other areas to continue to grow the business.

Thank you Renee.

Want to read more about another successful member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with  Cristiana Waismann, founder Cristiana & Co, Brazilian Cheese Bread.