Show Notes

Download episode MP3

Mary Lynch is a qualified nutritionist and passionate about good honest food. She used to work with Jamie Oliver’s and during her time working with him she was inspired to start her own social enterprise. Onist make vegan avocado choc pots in a range of flavours. For every pot sold, Onist give a meal to a child in Gambia.

Tune in to this bitesize episode to hear Mary’s inspiring story and pick up some health and nutrition tips too!

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • The rules and regulations about making health claims on pack
  • The most important ingredients we rarely get enough of in our diet
  • The changing trends and move towards meat reduction, plant-based and veganism
  • How to choose the right wording when describing your products
  • The power of backing a charity with a commercial business
  • The importance of work life balance when running a small nimble business

Notes and Links

To buy online and watch the charity video, head to the Onist Food website

Read the Onist story on Eco & Beyond

Jamie Oliver Foundation

Episode Transcript

Guy: [00:00:04] You’re listening to Good Foodies and this is episode 36 and in this bite sized episode I’m talking to Mary Lynch the founder of Onist Food. Mary is a registered nutritionist and used to work with Jamie Oliver. And since then she’s started her own food brand creating healthy avocado pots in a range of different flavours. And today we’re going to talk about nutrition and a lot of the misinformation that’s out there as well as what it takes to create a business that does good one product at a time. So let’s jump into that interview with Mary and find out where it all started for her.

Mary: [00:00:41] My name is Mary Lynch, I’m the founder of the company called Onist Food. I’m a registered nutritionist, so my background is in nutrition. I previously worked for Jamie Oliver as Senior Nutritionist about five years and then went on to do freelance work in the industry. I always wanted to start my own business, but decided that I want to start a food company that people could trust but also that had a social element to it.

Guy: [00:01:13] So what was it like working with Jamie for, it was about five years or so, was it?

Mary: [00:01:17] Yes. I actually randomly worked for a food company at university catering and they got taken over by Jamie’s as his station company. And I’ve always watched school dinners and things like that growing up and I absolutely loved the campaigns he was involved in. And so I asked the HR manager if there was anything, any work experience going, and then behold there was a opportunity for a part-time nutritionist. So I ended up my final year of university kind of going into London two days a week to work with him and then back again in my final year. So it was a busy year but it was definitely worth it. And then I started working with him full time after that and worked my way up – it was amazing I got the opportunity to work across everything from the charity element which I love they founded Food Foundation, to working with chefs in the restaurants, to working with wellness programs in the company, to books, TV and kind of everything in between. So it’s an amazing opportunity and I love it.

Guy: [00:02:22] Well it sounds like a really really exciting and diverse role that you had there. Did you work directly with Jamie? What was he like as a person?

Mary: [00:02:29] Yeah, I did. And he was amazing, massively inspiring, I definitely say why I went on to do what I do now, I think he has an amazing outlook to business whereby there’s definitely a commercial side to his brand but also he’s always thinking about how he can give back and his responsibility and as everybody knows he’s done an amazing job and I think there’s a lot of things that he’s done in which they didn’t show that people actually aren’t even aware of, so yeah, it must be inspiring. I’m just lovely.

Guy: [00:03:02] Fantastic. Let’s talk about nutrition for a little bit because it seems to be one of these areas where there’s a lot of misinformation and it’s sort of kind of a grey area a little bit in terms of the way people think about it. They talk about it and there’s a lot of really bad health claims out there and they kind of annoy you, don’t they?

Mary: [00:03:18] Yeah. I mean, absolutely. It was it was one of the driving forces behind starting on it. I used to go to different food outlets at lunch and try and get something. And often there would be things that were claiming to be super good salad, so you know, the healthiest thing on the menu and there are other days where salt or saturated fat and we were very pedantic a genius to be careful with our health claims and there was no monitoring of it seemed across the rest of the market. And especially because the media always has mixed messages I think. Big companies have a responsibility to if they’re saying something healthy you actually deliver as much as they can on that. So yeah I do get frustrated that I think nutrition is actually a lot simpler. It’s kind of. Shown to be in the media not that if you get into the depths of it it’s completely simple but actually there are simple things that everybody in society could be doing. That would make their diet much better, and actually, those things aren’t promoted like fibre, water, fruit, and veg. They’re not given enough airtime whereas you know mixed messages around the latest trans fat or the latest thing that’s going to give you cancer, it does and that just confuses people which is yes a massive pet peeve of mine.

Guy: [00:04:35] So what are some of those other health claims that are kind of misleading. I mean one that springs to mind for me is like the word natural. It just kind of seems to be a bit of a meaningless word or isn’t that one of the ones which actually does mean something. Be great to kind of get your thoughts on that

Mary: [00:04:50] If you’re following the rules stringently. There are health care regulations and cool something healthy, you have to back it up with nutrition claim such as low in fat, high in fibre, or a source of soft mineral but something could be massively high and chicken massively high in saturated fat and also a source of vitamin B12, for example. So technically, they could still, as long as they’re disclaiming it get around the healthy nutrition display in that. But I think that’s where the responsibility has to fall on businesses. Yeah. I mean anything around natural or sustainable there is no regulation and so I was actually talking about Onist and we’re writing our mission statement and things at the moment while updating it and actually it’s really sad because words like natural or sustainable, responsible, you know, healthy, they’ve all lost meaning because people and food companies just ban them around without actually having any substance to back them up, no, which is a shame because we’ve kind of run out of descriptive facts for the companies that are doing you know trying very hard to take those boxes. So yes they are completely unregulated.

Guy: [00:05:58] Yeah. It makes it very challenging for the people who as you say are trying to do the right thing. Everyone ends up being kind of tarnished with the same brush which is a real shame.

Mary: [00:06:05] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that is the thing about fair trade and organic for example is they do have in order to call yourself organic certified which we are, you have to meet very strict regulations. We are in fact Fair Trade accredited. But we use Fair Trade ingredients, but again to call yourself fair trade accredited, you have to go fish in your rules. So those sorts of governing bodies are very important because they you know they hope they give consumers peace of mind to say we know these guys behind the scenes, they’re doing a lot of work to take those boxes.

Guy: [00:06:37] Mm yeah. One of our previous interviews with Colin from CRU cafe he talks about these kind of emblems of trust which those things like Soil Association or Fair Trade can be because you’re putting that trust in a third party and then by being able to use that mark or that that stamp of approval on your own product. It kind of gives that. That level of authority which I think is. That can be really really beneficial.

Mary: [00:07:00] Yeah absolutely. That’s where kind of the main passion lies is actually you’re not going to be able to regulate these, all of these things through government or through these governing bodies like sort of say fish until it does it does have to come back on businesses. And, I hope that in time and definitely what’s been happening in the last couple of years is big companies who aren’t doing things properly are you know, being shown for what they’re doing and are being called up on it and not that we as a company would do that about other companies. But I would hope that consumers are becoming more savvy and their understanding which brands they can trust and that was the main thing about Onist is I want to be white the light with everything we do and I’m completely open with why we would still face them for example. And hopefully start-up brands that people there’s a discussion around rather than let’s just hide this because this is good for PR, or this is good marketing, and so, actually have an open dialogue with consumers.

Guy: [00:07:57] Yeah, and I guess it’s right there in the name with Onist Foods and we’ll get on to talking about the brand and the products in a second but before we move away from the nutritional stuff, it would be great to hear from someone with your kind of expertise, like what, what are some things that we can do to to eat better when there’s so much, either misinformation or so much crap out there?

Mary: [00:08:16] Yeah. So it is really simple. I think. I’m looking into and doing a lot of research into neutral genomics which is looking at how our genes interact with food, so that is a slightly more complicated type of nutrition. But what it’s really saying at the base of it is we are all completely different and we’re made up entirely differently out of that bacteria is completely different the next. So having a one size fits all approaches is tricky. So firstly I’d say actually rather than listening to what the media is telling you is healthy. Eat and try and. Tap into how you feel when you eat that food. So if you’re ever having digestive issues or you’re just feeling sluggish or getting the Scorpions against them the best thing to do before you even talk to anybody. Is to write a food diary for a couple of weeks and try and identify. Any foods that you’ll having repeatedly that are causing that. So that’s a really simple thing. But more generally I’d say people just don’t eat enough fruit and veg. They don’t eat they don’t focus on fibre it’s not sexy enough but it is fundamental to our diet. And we don’t drink enough water. So. Three really simple things. But actually in practice people just aren’t doing them even though they know they should be and kind of all of that comes to the whole. Debate. I talk about round empty and nutritious calories. So. I used to do a. Training piece when I was at Jamie’s and I talked about it. I had seven apples and two, I’ll say, bottles of fizzy pop. And I’d ask people what’s the same between the two things and people would always say sugar. But it’s not that based in fact the same number of calories as the same number of calories in two small bottles. For example there are seven apples. And if you were to eat one. Eat one and drink the other which would keep you fuller for longer, you’d probably be septic if you had said if you eat seven apples in one go. Whereas you could drink two bottles of Coke and it wouldn’t even touch the sides. And that’s a very extreme version. But the fact is, apples are made up of very nutritious vitamins and so there’s lots of fibre there’s vitamins minerals there’s things that are slowing down the release of that sugar into your blood. Whereas Coca-Cola just contains that sugar. And so if you would just focus on trying to consume more nutritious calories, you’ll be fuller as a result and you just will consume less calories as a result of it. And I think it’s why we’ve got to the obesity problem because people look at people who are overweight and actually say you know that person is greedy but actually in fact if they’re having a poor diet that contains no good fats, no fibre, no protein, there’s nothing to slow the release of that sugar into their blood so that they’re just going to be bloody hungry the entire time and so they’re going to over consuming calories the entire time.

Guy: [00:11:08] Mm hmm. Maybe that’s the problem I’ve got then. This is really fascinating.

Mary: [00:11:13] It seems obvious when you talk about it but it is so easy to go through whether it be booze or whether it be you know simple carbohydrates or whether it just be sugary snacks you think well why not why am I hungry again and it is just that release of sugar into the blood it is a response of two hormones good insulin and in the blood and if you mess with that by having lots of sugary things that don’t have any thing to slow that release, then you just will get hungry more often. So it’s all about the fibre. Fibre from fruits, veg, and whole grains as the main thing that we need to be focusing on.

Guy: [00:11:50] Yeah. It’s funny, I mean you said that it’s not the sexiest topic out there talking about fibre but yeah I really love the fact that you can just say, well it’s it’s simple but we always over complicate it to eat more fruit and veg, eat more fibre, drink more water. That’s essentially what you’re saying.

Mary: [00:12:04] Yeah. And as a result you eat less crap. It just rather than demonising you know having a piece of cake on the weekend that’s not your problem. The problem is day to day and we shouldn’t demonise food. But we should just promote more of the good stuff. And as a result you just will be able to eat less of the bad.

Guy: [00:12:22] And so that brings us nicely on to speaking about the good stuff that you create at Onist Food. So can you tell us a little bit about your product?

Mary: [00:12:29] Yeah. So at the moment we so we’ve got avocado chocolate pop. So how’s the avocado chocolate pop. It just contains avocados, dates, hashing nuts, cocoa, and water and then natural flavourings say it got. One plain chocolate. We’ve got a chocolate orange, a chocolate mint and salted caramel. And really, the idea behind this was kind of to be a healthy new pot almost. To be able to have something sweet dish that you can have that kind of hit that really indulgence but that doesn’t tastes like the other kind of health food products in the market. And that doesn’t get you off track during the week. If you are trying to be really healthy. And I am also I wanted somebody to be able to look at a package. I love the naked bar concept. You look at a package and it contains just cashews, just raisins. So you know there’s no other added crap to it. So yeah we literally have those four flavors and we produce them where I’m sat here at the moment in the Cotswolds in our manufacturing unit. So it’s really vegan gluten-free, really really high in fibre and then a sort of eight different minerals including copper, iron, and zinc which are in fact three that vegans can struggle with. I wanted to create a product that you could trust is just real food and that really does hit that indulgent spot. So yeah, I’m really happy with it.

Guy: [00:13:55] And so an indulgent way to get some of that much needed fibre. So you found a sexy way to get fibre into people’s lives.

Mary: [00:14:02] That’s the hope. Yeah. That’s the hope. It’s funny though it’s kind of we were exhibiting at world miss this year and we had a poll going whether it was more spread or more pudding. And pudding did actually win but the number of people we see on Instagram using it in their porridge or on banana bread or toast for some people it’s very rich. So some people use it on things whereas, it was designed just to be grab and go. I went out at breakfast the other day and it’s got the same amount of fibre as I have shredded wheat biscuits. And the same protein as an egg and all this sort of stuff so I now think maybe we should start pushing it as a breakfast as well as the new avocado on toast.

Guy: [00:14:44] It’s really interesting, isn’t it? That you started it as a dessert, this grab and go pop. And through watching the way that the consumers are interacting with the product and I guess seeing the photos that they post on Instagram and stuff like, that you’re seeing slightly different ways that you could promote it or present two or different ways of suggesting people use it. Really interesting.

Mary: [00:15:03] Yeah definitely I mean that’s the great thing about being as little as we are is we can move and we’re agile. You know we can be flexible and so it’s great. So when people are sending us feedback that is coming directly to me and we can act on that, that day in production. So yeah, it’s a nice stage to be at because we do want all the feedback we can get and we do want to keep improving.

Guy: [00:15:26] And so yeah you are a small operation but you have been going for, what is it? A couple of years now?

Mary: [00:15:32] Yeah, about almost two years now.

Guy: [00:15:34] Wow, yeah fantastic. And it’s definitely seems to be hitting the market at the right time in terms of the growing trend that we’re seeing around veganism or plant based or vegetarianism or flexitarianism. Was that something that you plan to do right from the beginning because you saw that trend or has it just been a happy accident?

Mary: [00:15:53] No, we always wanted it be vegan. When I started the company, it wasn’t vegan. And then slowly and slowly I guess as I’ve been more involved market learning more about it. I was doing a food policy master’s and I left Jamie’s and I guess learning more about the industry as a whole, I know there’s many many different articles and research being done at the moment that I think we absolutely need to be eating a lot less meat and dairy products. I don’t think everybody needs to be 100 percent vegan but we definitely eat a lot more vegan and so. That was something that I always wanted it to be. And it’s something that all products will be. Rather than being you know we’re vegan. I kind of want to, hopefully, try and change some people’s perceptions around vegan. I think people either think they think vegans can be militant about it and it puts other people off. And so it’s often when I say vegans are friends of mine you know they’ll flinch. They get very angry about it almost. But I think there is a gap in the market to be a company that promotes vegan without promoting vegan if that makes sense. So. Trying to make it really accessible to somebody who doesn’t like currently wouldn’t try a vegan food. And I think, if we can tackle that market and increase the number of people who maybe not a 100 percent vegan but eating vegan two days a week, then that would make a massive difference in the world. So that’s our punishment. But you know it’s not going to be an easy ride. But yes, I am now 100 percent vegan. But more just because the more you learn about the industry, the more you, I guess driven to do that.

Guy: [00:17:30] Yeah, I think that makes perfect sense and I think it’s the wording that almost needs to change, isn’t it. Because like you say, when you use the word “vegan”, it kind of puts a picture in some people’s minds. Interestingly enough, it can also help products sell by just putting that on there but they don’t have to read the back of the pack. But what kind of wording are you using at the moment to communicate these stuff?

Mary: [00:17:51] Well it’s very difficult. So you do have economic impact but it’s kind of on the back of the tag that’s attached to the part. And so we want to try it be more vegan and go “oh, wow. this is vegan. Wow, I can make this at home and that’s fantastic”. Being vegan doesn’t all have to be rubbish. And there are so many more brands coming out now that are fantastic vegan and that I think it is changing anyway. It’s very hard riding to be Onist I’d have to get back to you. We kind of come up with a tag line saying “making vegan not a crime”. And then I thought oh we might still work in progress. I think the thing is with plant-based is it’s connected to the meeting and of market as well which you know has had a backlash as well so you have to be really careful around the wording use. But I guess that’s why we’re trying to be honest and open about how we’re doing it and how we’re working towards what our wording will be. And yeah will have vegan on packages will be front and centre.

Guy: [00:18:52] Yeah I think that’s fair enough. And I guess the word flexitarian is one that comes to mind and is definitely on the rise.

Mary: [00:18:58] Yes, absolutely. Actually I think that’s amazing. I think that’s the whole point is we just need to be eating less and being more open and hopefully having better options for it when we do choose to be vegan. So yeah I think it’s amazing.

Guy: [00:19:12] Yeah definitely. And I think it’s putting that choice back in the consumer’s hands. I think for so long, there’s been big brands who have kind of controlled the market, they’ve led the way in misleading consumers to a degree, of course that’s you know a big broad brush stroke and not the case for every big brand out there. But you know I think people are now starting to see through some of that, I think they’re starting to take a stance and kind of vote with their wallet which I think is hugely, hugely powerful.

Mary: [00:19:38] Yeah absolutely. I mean I think even if you just look at the number of the growth in vegan over the last two years it’s been a 700 percent increase or something ridiculous. I think people are voting far more. And people are so much more aware of their food now which is just great because it means that companies that are doing naughty things can’t get away with it as much as they used to which is fantastic. I think one of the main areas with vegan that’s kind of overlooked is just all the joiner’s flowers. There’s so many products in the market that use milk and egg. Almost unnecessarily and they could easily be swapped out for something else and that would make a huge difference to the market without the consumer even having to think. So it has to be multifaceted. And I think there’s part of it that should be consumer based. And that is happening. And then part of it has to be those big companies that are creating the joiners that they use the crisps and in all sorts of different products like sausages and things like that they could so easily be not contain dairy and egg and they do. So I hope that those companies will make that change as well.

Guy: [00:20:48] And it definitely does seem to be a movement that’s gathering steam which is excellent news. And something else that is definitely in the conversation around food a lot more these days is this aspect of doing good. I mean it’s the whole premise of this podcast of course and I believe that it was again inspired by Jamie that you wanted to become a sustainable business because he’s got that wonderful combination of passion and yet the business mindset as well. And so from the very beginning that was another key part of the brand for you wasn’t it. Can you talk it through some of the the doing good aspects of what you do at Onist.

Mary: [00:21:21] Yeah sure. So absolutely when I was at Jamie’s I was working a lot on the Food Foundation side of things. I thought there’s something really powerful in the company I guess like Tom’s and to a certain extent like Jamie’s foundation where that bats on a commercial venture. So. Rather than relying solely on on grazing for a charity you have a commercial business that is trying to make profit. And as long as they’re running, the charity is running. And the more the business does, the more the charity gets. And I think that’s really cool. I think that’s how every company should run rather than CSR being a tick box that people do down the road.

Guy: [00:21:59] Yeah, I completely agree.

Mary: [00:22:00] If everybody wants to do that one tiny thing that really makes very little difference to your business. That can accumulate to a massive amount. So. Yeah we wanted to operate on a buy one get one basis whereby for every part of Onist avocado pot you bought, you’re buying a healthy breakfast for a child in need in Gambia. The reason Gambia was purely when I started out. It was very hard to get in touch with any of the larger charities. They can ensure that that’s exactly where your money is going to go. And I wanted to be able to give assurance to consumers that it is a buy one get one. You know that money is going nowhere else apart from that breakfast. So it was just it was a friend of my mom’s who runs the charity in Gambia. And it meant that I have direct access to that bank account, I can go there whenever I need to. And so I have that assurance that the buy one get one exists. Which is amazing.

Guy: [00:22:56] And what’s the name of the charity>.

Mary: [00:22:57] So it’s called Pandis in Gambia. And we’re actually at the point now where we’re feeding every child in that school every day of the school year at breakfast.

Guy: [00:23:06] Wow, that’s amazing.

Mary: [00:23:08] So we’re looking for the next charity. And then with new products I think we’ll be looking into different areas that we work towards. I think. Countries like Gambia they absolutely need charity but they also need infrastructure for their economy to grow. So if we contribute to creating infrastructure and communities like that, that would be fantastic as well so that we’re kind of approaching it from both sides.

Guy: [00:23:32] Yeah absolutely. I mean it’s not an area of expertise of mine but from things that I’ve read and stories that I’ve heard, the whole aid model tends to be a little bit broken. They don’t just need someone to go in and give them something. That they might break and fall apart and they have no other skills or resources to maintain it. But being able to go in and help put in that infrastructure and then the almost like the education and the skills part of it coming is as a package seems much more valuable.

Mary: [00:24:00] Yes definitely. I mean that’s the thing that a country can’t operate just through charity. They have to have businesses. And what was amazing about being there is that all entrepreneurs, they all run their own small businesses, they’re all hungry for business. Their hungry for work. And so they want to be doing things and there’s so many different exports that big is becoming at Gambia for example that aren’t being utilised because they don’t have they can’t take out loans they can’t start the bigger businesses there. So I think there’s lots of opportunities in places like that that are being met

Guy: [00:24:32] And it’s lovely that you’re able to to actually go there and visit and see the effect of the work that you’re doing with the charity and with the kids in the schools. There’s a fantastic video on your website that shows some of that experience which people should definitely go and check out. And we’ll put a link in the show note to for that.

Mary: [00:24:50] Thank you so much. Yes. It was amazing. It’s fantastic. It makes you feel funny. It’s not. Me or Onist. It is the consumers. If they don’t buy the product it doesn’t happen. So really that’s why then anybody who is believing in business models like that they should be able to see. See what they’re doing and see what like you say voting with your wallet. Which is amazing but. Also just love it so much from being over there. I guess the headmistress at the school I went I could get one of the breakfast with her in the morning that week and she was sat there with you know all the people in the local village came to help cook the school and they’d got up at 5:00 in the morning to go do it. In this video she’s saying I get up at 5:00. I thought that dah dah dah. And I said oh my gosh. And I said what about before, did you do this at all before Onist. And she was like “No”. And I said oh my gosh I’m so sorry I can’t. I can believe we have basically made you have to get up at 5:00 every morning to get these breakfast. And she was like. I didn’t understand. And I said. I’m sorry that we’ve had you know our initiative has meant that you’ve had to get up earlier. And she just said I don’t understand. And this went on for about five minutes and I realised I couldn’t understand. That was putting out all that. But yes but the children are now getting breakfast that’s far more important. Who cares about it. You know my time is my time and I just thank God we could learn so much from communities like that where time is everything that they have such an amazing community spirit and such amazing hearts and yeah it was very touching.

Guy: [00:26:23] Yeah it’s fantastic, such a lovely story. And now that you you’re up and running and things are going in the right direction, you’ve got your initial product range and you’re doing this wonderful scheme buy one give one, you’re now looking to widen the range. So I guess that also has the opportunity to widen the impact that you can have as well.

Mary: [00:26:41] Yeah absolutely. So we’re currently in places like South Ridges, in Cardough, even called Whole Foods. And looking to kind of go into bigger places very soon. But we definitely want to have a wider offering, a savoury offering. We want Onist to be a big food brand and do it properly. At the moment it’s kind of all in development. So it’s an exciting time.

Guy: [00:27:03] And we’re going to continue in the same vein of vegan or plant based products. Yeah. Is that right?

Mary: [00:27:09] Yeah absolutely. It seems like a lot of people are in the health food industry and then they don’t have the CSR model or that in the vegan industry. They’re not thinking about health but I think they’re all part of the same story. People who are looking after their body, often also have an understanding and an interest in vegan and environment and those people often are you know I think fundamentally people are caring people and we know that we need to get back in. And so I think. A brand I’m hoping Onist can be a brand that person like that has an open dialogue about what mistakes we make or the things that we do or why we do what we do but also to be a brand that is actually healthy and then you can trust is healthy,is vegan and is environmentally very conscious. And then finally has that CSR model and is giving back and doing good. So we think that,that model definitely can work from a savoury food perspective as well as our little pots.

Guy: [00:28:10] It’s brilliant. And it just sounds like this there’s so much happening. How do you manage to get it all done when you’re a small company with a small team?

Mary: [00:28:17] That is interesting. You’ve got a fantastic team that massively dedicated so absolutely couldn’t done the last couple of months without them. I’m very invested. kind of efficiency and productivity and how I as a person can be the most objective and efficient as I can. And I guess what I have now which I didn’t have when I the first year I started was I try and have much more of a work life balance and that actually helps my work. I think so often just get buried so deep into work. And you never see the light of day. And although we absolutely work very hard and long hours try and make sure there’s more of a balance now and I actually think that helps your results as opposed to him does it. I think we haven’t asked yet in the UK to you have to be working. 18 hour days seven days a week to start a business but actually I think you need to give your brain a break to be able to be able to come up with good ideas.

Guy: [00:29:15] Such a great perspective and such an important thing to communicate because I think there is this unhealthy work mindset, this hustle mindset of, if you’re not working these long hours and doing all of this stuff, then you’re not a real entrepreneur and as much as sometimes it’s very difficult to put things down or to walk away or to take that much needed rest. That is exactly what it is it’s much needed rest and I dunno about you but I have all the best ideas in the shower. So that’s clearly not when I’m working but when I’m going for a walk or something like that and you know really really important stuff.

Mary: [00:29:48] Sure. I think there’s like a there’s a attitude that we have where if we did it the thing that you say to everybody is oh I’m massively busy and I’m terrible and you know I do work very long hours and things but. Actually I hope that actually changes slightly. I think you look at the people in the world who are most productive now and the people who work the longest hours. So. Yeah we need to change in that respect and I hope businesses do change because people and employers can work harder if they are given much needed break.

Mary: [00:30:20] It’s great to hear that especially from a small company where there is often this you know there’s so much to do and not enough people to do it. Not enough time to do it. Not enough money to do it. But it’s such a valuable message. And it seems like that’s something that goes throughout the entire business and the entire brand. So from the healthy products, to the healthy work life balance, and to this you know healthy approach to doing good business as well which is so so important. And you’ve shared so much with us over the short time together today and I really appreciate that. And just one last question to round us off. If you can take all of your experiences and all of that stuff that you’ve had over the last few years of starting and running a business and give us one piece of advice to leave the listeners with, what would that be?

Mary: [00:31:04] Oh that’s so tricky. I’d probably say to just do it. I think just crack on so many people have ideas. It’s very very easy to have ideas. I have ideas every day. It’s much much difficult to go and actually get on with it. And. I think if I’d known how hard the parts would be before I’d start today I maybe wouldn’t have done it. But I think that’s why great things happen from start-ups. And then we’ll evolve. Having land and do other great things I think. That if I hadn’t gone and done it I’d still you know we wouldn’t have had anything to show for it. So. I’d say just act if you’ve got an idea and you’ve researched it well. Just take the plunge and experiment and go out and do it because I think that seeing so many amazing companies come out of the woodwork now is how we do change the industry. And so we need more people like that.

Guy: [00:32:00] Mary Lynch from Onist and you can find out more about them and buy their delicious products at That’s o n i s t food dot com. So that’s all we’ve got time for today in this bite-sized episode but thank you so much for joining us. Next week we’re going to be chatting to TIPA, the compostable packaging company. We’re doing some great work to reduce single-use plastic in the industry. So stay tuned for that one. In the meantime, to get any notes and links and details of what we talked about today, head to good foodies dot co dot UK. So have a fantastic week ahead and we’ll talk to you next time. Cheers.