In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and change-makers working on innovative startups, social enterprises and SME’s around Aotearoa New Zealand.
At a glance
Founders: Sarah Hedger & Michael Cowlin
Business: Yum Granola
Can you tell us a bit about your business?
Yum is so much more than epic tasting breakfasts – it’s the belief that if we can provide people quality sustenance to start their day, it gives them the ability to thrive, for their whole day! Yum is thoughtfully crafted in a sustainable way, and to us that means, using packaging that doesn’t contain plastic, and is legitimately recyclable or home compostable, using organic ingredients that don’t contain sulfites or preservatives, creating our own recipes focusing on locally grown ingredients, and off-setting our carbon emissions to leave the planet in a better state than we found it. Being a part of the solution, and caring for our people and the planet are a top priority for us at Yum and one that has driven us from the very beginning. Being a value-based company has given us an incredible drive to revolutionise breakfasts and be a leader of a mission-driven food movement.
What’s the backstory for your business idea?
I (Sarah) started Yum nine years ago while I was working as a sous chef in a luxury lodge in Wanaka. We were time poor, making five course degustation meals every night and often didn’t have time to make breakfasts, so in wanting to find a high solution for the lodge guests, as well as for myself and the long days as a chef, I struggled to find any options to buy that weren’t in plastic packaging, containing sulfites and preservatives, that I knew weren’t healthy for me. None of the existing products had any ties to Aotearoa and the beautiful land that grows equally beautiful ingredients. Thus, Yum was born as a part of the solution to sustain people and the planet in new ways.
What programmes, learning or mentoring, or resources have been of assistance so far?
- I am constantly reading about mission driven companies and their founders. Yvon Chouinard from Patagonia has been a lifelong mentor.
- We are lucky enough to have some incredible advisors and mentors who have aligned values, whilst being incredible business people.
- We have used our local RBPN funding to upskill and learn about export markets as well.
- Yum is an ever-evolving, growing entity that we constantly are looking for ways to improve ourselves to keep up.