My job means i get to encounter some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs and wellness stars globally, and its people like our Wellness Guru this week Steph Croft-Simon that really blow my mind. Whilst at University Steph started suffering with food allergies, and rather than just pop some pills, she set about educating herself about what was going on inside her body, and creating her own range of healthy organic treats. And low and behold just months later her brand Nom Foods was being sold in Planet Organic and Whole Foods.
We sat down with Steph to find out what inspires her .....
1. Tell us about yourself Steph, and how you got to be where you are today?
I am a passionate health foodie and have always really enjoyed cooking and baking. While I was at University in Bristol I was diagnosed with severe food allergies, which developed very suddenly. It was after this that I had to develop a whole new way of eating, thinking and wellness. After a few years, and spotting some gaps in the market for healthy products which were tasty and free-from (not loaded with sugar to compensate for a lack of taste!) I decided to launch my own range of oat bars to market. That was four years ago and since then we’ve expanded the range to include popcorn too. All Nom products are; Organic, Vegan, Free-From the top 14 major allergens and made without refined sugars.
2. Tell us how you spend your average working day?
My average working day usually either starts or finishes with a long dog walk with my pug, Tiggy. I wear quite a few different hats at Nom, so my average day involves elements of; accounting, marketing, operations, sales, and more! Outside of work when I get home, I try and cook / bake whenever I get any spare time, and see friends in the evenings. My typical weekday food usually involves; chia pudding and berries for breakfast, some kind of Buddha bowl for lunch (the more colourful, the better!) they usually consist of beetroot, sweet potato, avocado, etc, then dinner really varies but at the moment I’m really into a wild rice and chilli dish which my Mum invented!
3. What inspires you?
I find seeing other smaller food brands doing great things, changing the health / free from market and creating innovative products which compete against the big brands really inspiring and it spurs me on to keep pushing Nom forward. I’m inspired by anyone who starts a business out of a passion and listening to founder’s stories constantly motivates me.
4. What’s your goal in life?
My goal in life is to create something meaningful. I want Nom to be a household name and I’d like Nom products to be available to as many people as possible. But I think businesses should also be ethical in as many ways as possible. Nom’s mission is all about making it easier for customers to put good, nourishing food into their bodies. By establishing core values, Nom can ensure: optimum nutrition for the customer, better pay for the farmers who grow the ingredients in our products, GMO-free crops, sustainable methods of farming and manufacture and no animal cruelty.
On a personal level, my goal in life is to try and always be the happiest, kindest and healthiest version of myself.
5. What does Wellness mean to you?
Wellness means self-care in all aspects of life. I think self-care should encompass everything from mental health and stress management, to diet and exercise. I think mindfulness and having an awareness of being present and enjoying the moment is also part of wellness. All of the above are really easy to say, but harder to put into practise in life – where stress weighs us all down!
6. What advice would you give to a person looking to change their lifestyle to a happier healthier one?
I definitely think that a nutritious diet and exercise can play a huge role in how we feel, from boosting the immune system to clearer skin, better sleep and more. I think that’s a great place to start. I also think avoiding ‘burnout’ from stress is really important – and knowing how to relax properly; whether that’s through meditation, exercise, or taking time out to do enjoyable things.
7. Tell us about your business?
Nom Foods was founded in 2013. We strive to create products which are; 1) Convenient - eating healthily can be really hard on the go, so we try and make it as easy as possible. 2) Healthy – we believe in ‘added value’ so adding in nutritious products with high nutritional value, rather than just cutting out bad stuff like sugar. 3) Tasty – there are too many healthy products that aren’t meeting customer’s needs in terms of taste and texture. Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless! All of nom products are also gluten free, vegan, organic and refined sugar free… we’re ticking as many boxes as possible to make them available to everyone. We have a range of Oat bars and a range of Popcorn, which are listed with many independent stores, but also retailers like Ocado, Holland & Barrett, Abel & Cole, Whole Foods, etc.
8. Tell us your Top 3 Tips for Wellness?
1) Eat nutritious, unprocessed food
2) Take time every day to do something you enjoy
3) Have an awareness of your thoughts. Try and make them as positive as possible.
9. So what’s next in your career/life?
I plan to continue to grow Nom to be a household name. We have some exciting new products in the pipeline and we’re working on some supermarket listings. One day I hope to buy a house in Devon and spend my summers by the sea, I’m working towards that!
Find out more about Steph's fabulous creations at Nom Foods
And if you'd like to learn more about Food Allergies, you can find a qualified Nutritional Therapist or Dietician on Wellclik.com