In our latest ‘What’s Cooking’, we hear from Catherine Stace, Founder South Pacific Jam Company. Catherine, a former senior executive from the city, made big life changes and when she did was inspired to create premium jam using exotic ingredients. She partnered with a number of Females in Food members in order to bring her vision to life.
Your business name:
South Pacific Jam Company
How would you describe the business you are in?
Australian producer of sustainable exotic jams
What do you love about your work?
I love creating products that have a social impact and delighting customers with new exciting, wholesome and seriously delicious flavour profiles. Seeing our product on shelf is very rewarding because I know what it took to get to this stage.
What part of your job would you gladly give away?
The fiddly courier logistics.
If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?
Always maintain currency and relevance – know every aspect of your business and the sector in detail; employ people who are brilliant at what they do but don’t defer, make your own mind up on decisions; be a sharp project manager, go clear and deep with your budget estimates and actuals, lean into problems, only ever make a decision when you are at your strongest not weakest and know that everyday is a new day.
Women start business 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.
I started with a small amount of saved funds, just enough to get me across the line with our first batch of jams. I work from home and am across the entire business. I set up with my Apple Mac, a printer, a mobile phone and set to work. A lot of my business is email communications and meetings to negotiate good rates, quality controls and logistics. I work with FIF members Fran Flynn on brand design and collateral, food marketing consultant Lindi Glass on strategy and a sales agent and my partner is managing operations with me. I haven’t started paying myself as yet as we are just about to launch.
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.
I’m really proud of sticking to my guns with pricing a premium product. I was being pressured to roll over and make my product cheaper which would have meant me compromising on margins. I also am proud that I pushed through doubt, fear and money stresses to keep going to create a beautiful brand.
As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?
I was thinking I’d like to learn a few areas : project management, manufacturing flow, accounting, photography and design and social media.
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?
I love SLACK for collaboration and nimble for CRM with a strong emphasis on social media.
Why did you decide to become a member of Females in Food®
It is wonderful to give and receive nurturing, wise and honest feminine energy. Together we can achieve anything with a collective mind set.
Want to read more about another successful Females in Food member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with Maree Ferguson, founder Dietitian Connection.