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Where The Wild Things Grow

Stories — Posted 28/07/15

How two friends traded in the corporate life for a green smoothie empire.

After discovering the feel-good perks of a daily green smoothie, Luisa Hammond-Parker, together with business partner Jackie Booth, decided to bottle the goodness in a new business – Where The Wild Things Grow.

Here Luisa describes how this wellbeing-driven East Sydney business got off the ground, and how she makes it work with a new baby in tow.

Why did you start Where The Wild Things Grow?

Rewind a few years back, I was working long hours in the corporate world. I was stressed out and time poor and my nutrition was suffering as a result. My good friend Jackie, and now business partner, had just discovered green smoothies and introduced me to them, raving about the health benefits – more veggies in her diet, feeding herself better quality food, and as a result feeling more energised. I quickly jumped on the bandwagon and it wasn't long before I also started feeling better overall as a result. 

We were making them fresh from scratch each morning but sometimes wished we could save ourselves the hassle and buy one on the way to work. But there wasn't anything out there. Over the last few years we've seen loads of juices come on the market, but very few smoothies. For us, we prefer smoothies as they contain the fruit and veg fibre which is great for our digestive system and means you feel fuller longer. 

Fast forward a year, we decided to make a career change to follow our passion –green smoothies! I then studied nutrition and became a certified Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. After feeling the health benefits of incorporating more fruit and veg into our diets, we wanted to help others feel the same way.

How is life starting and running a business with a young baby?

Challenging! But I'm lucky to have an amazing business partner who has taken the reins and covered my role since I gave birth (which happened six weeks earlier than we all expected!)

I'm starting to spend more time on the business now my baby is getting a little older and I'm a bit more used to my new role as a mum. I'm lucky to have my own business which means there's some flexibility – I can work from home, select the hours I work, and if need be, strap the baby to my chest while I do it!

Where do you get the inspiration for your smoothie blends?

Our philosophy is pretty simple – the more fruit and veg in your diet, the better. Did you know that only 2% of Australians are eating the minimum recommendation of daily fruit and vegetable servings? (Roy Morgan poll 2015)

We pack each of our green smoothies with as much fruit and veg as we can (yep, we're not afraid of fruit!). We also don't believe that green drinks need to be hard on the taste buds in order to be healthy so we include a good mix of fruit and veg in each flavour.

Ultimately, we make each smoothie something that we'd personally love to drink each day. We also believe in variety being the spice of life and important for a balanced diet –  so each flavour contains different kinds of fruit and veg.

Any experimental juice blends that didn’t make the cut?

Of course! To come up with new flavours that are original and unique we play around with a lot of different ingredients ... I'm talking coriander, tahini, hemp seeds and the like. You definitely get a few shockers as you try out new combinations.

What wellbeing advice have you learnt along the journey you can share?

The importance of self-care. It's something that's so easily forgotten or pushed to the side, yet so critical. This is the biggest thing that I'm trying to juggle being a new mum. What I've learnt is that once you put 'you' first and look after yourself, be it through exercise or a little pampering, everything else will flow better and fall into place. 

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