A juicy idea
For Emma and Tom a small venture has grown into a big business and maintained its focus on creating fresh, healthy products.
Emma Welsh and Tom Griffith, friends and co-founders of Emma and Tom’s, identified a gap in the Australian market for whole fruit smoothies and in 2004 opened their business. Looking back over the last nine years, they share how they got their start, what inspires their products and how the business has evolved over the journey.
Tom: When I was overseas I was really impressed by the whole fruit juices available but there wasn't anything like it back in Australia. I rang Emma straight away and we set out to introduce whole fruit smoothies over here. By using whole fruit that is flash pasteurised, Emma & Tom's Life Juice retains the fibre, nutrients and flavour of the ingredients. The juice is then cold filled, so it's kept fresh.
Has Emma and Tom's grown to become the business you envisaged when you started, or has it evolved over the journey?
Emma: I think Emma & Tom's has grown far beyond what we envisaged. We now produce a huge range of products from Life Juices to Life Bars, which are all designed for our customers' wellbeing. We're really proud of what we have achieved with a fresh product in a very competitive space, without compromising on quality.
How did the square bottles come about?
Tom: Square bottles are not commonly used in Australia and when we saw it in the US, we thought it was a great idea and developed a similar bottle over here. It was really an environmental decision; simply the square bottles store and pack better, using minimal wrapping. They're also light, recyclable plastic and we're very happy that we took the time to source them, it's turned out to be a practical solution that looks good too.
Tell us a bit about life pre Emma and Tom's?
Tom: I come from a background in finance and CFO roles but I was always looking for an innovative concept to get behind.
Emma: I've worked in a few different areas to develop my business skills because I've also wanted to start my own business. I first studied agricultural science and then an MBA in France. I worked in commodities and food and then I moved into consumer marketing. With a background agricultural science, I've spent a lot of my career researching and sourcing the best ingredients, which has worked well for Emma & Tom's.
Did you always have an interest in nutrition or did that come about through developing your business?
Emma: We've always been health conscious but when we started researching our products we learnt so much more. We experimented with ingredients such as spirulina and other super foods and realised the full potential of food. We've focused on creating delicious products to help our customers look after themselves without the fuss.
Where does your product inspiration come from?
Emma: Our inspiration comes from the fantastic ingredients and innovations we come across in our research but in the end our products are consumer driven. If our customers don't like them, they won't buy them. Our goal is to create products that promote health and wellbeing but also taste great.
What have you learnt about health during your juice journey?
Tom: Keep it simple, don't over complicate your diet or your fitness routine, just enjoy it and look after yourself.
Emma: Listen to your body. From our customers' feedback I've learnt that everyone is different with different needs. Some drink our juice for a vitamin boost, some drink our Quenchers with Benefits to avoid soft drinks and some eat our Life Bars as part of a Paleo diet; everyone is different. Listen to your body, look after yourself and you'll feel better for it.