Introducing Kathryn Jansen from 'The Vegery' who shares with us her 'Vitality Wrap's journey from home kitchen to dedicated production facility – helped by The Gourmet Within incubator kitchen and Chef Mark Griffiths' expertise.
"A few years ago, I was seriously overweight, addicted to sweet treats, delicious wine and cheese and deluding myself any of my health problems were in any way related to what I was eating. A visit to the Doctor soon put paid to any of that and she pointed her finger at me, saying “you’ll be diabetic by tomorrow, so start your diet today, when you leave this office”.
That was the fright I needed to kickstart a cleaner way of eating – dairy free, gluten free, tee total, mostly plants. I lost over 20 kg pretty quickly and rolled back the pre diabetes diagnosis successfully.
What I did find was that I really missed the convenience of bread – sandwiches, wraps, burritos weren’t the same and the gluten free options just didn’t taste that great. I’d gone “high raw” which just means you eat mostly raw food so I was getting a lot of recipe books from the library to get inspiration. A number of them had recipes for dehydrated wraps so I borrowed a friends dehydrator and got drying.
A lot of trial and error and I found a recipe I really liked and started sharing it with friends and family. Great feedback and pleas to start selling them. How hard can that be? As it turns out, quite hard.
I was lucky to know Chef Mark Griffiths had a great commercial kitchen (I work with him on a lot of the brilliant Corporate Events) so I started working in there on small run productions and took them along to the Auckland Food Show to determine what the market might say.
At that Show I got my first retail store asking to stock them and great feedback from people who wanted to be able to purchase them.
Back to The Gourmet Within kitchen to fine tune the production method and get first orders out to the stores.
The ability to rent space at a really well equipped, clean commercial kitchen gave me the confidence to thoroughly trial the product before moving into a dedicated production facility of my own. I absolutely recommend using an incubator kitchen such as The Gourmet Within and the support from a qualified Chef to bring a new product to market."
Go Kathryn - we wish all the very best with your rapidly growing empire !