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May Talk with Julianne Ponan
May is the last month of spring and the month often signifies growth – and is derived from the Greek goddess Maia. It’s often a time of events and festivals nationwide. It’s a busy month and it’s also the countdown to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year. We’d like to find out more about what some UK small business owners are up to this month. Today we're talking to Julianne Ponan who is the CEO of Creative Nature which is a top 14 allergen free food company with a range of baking mixes, snack bars, confectionery and superfoods. Their mission to make the lives of people living with allergies easier and their products are safe for 98 per cent of the population.
May is the last month of Spring – how has Spring been for you so far in your business?
Spring has been a great time for us. Easter is one of our favourite times of the year, we offer Bunny Droppings which are our Limited-Edition version of our HazelNOT Gnawbles. We also offered a limited-edition Easter Bundle.
Spring can be a really hard time for people with allergies when it comes to chocolate and sweet treats that they can enjoy, and we offer them the chance to get involved and enjoy a chocolate treat like everyone else!
Have you got any milestones coming up in May, personal or in your business, role or organisation?
We have some of our fantastic team members' birthdays, we love these occasions as it brings us so much closer as a team! These are things we have really loved doing since lockdown has ended.
This has been a challenging time for some businesses – with issues around supply chains and cost of living rises – how are you facing that as a business or as a consumer?
As a business we are seeing the same impact as any other business in terms of cost of certain ingredients, transport etc but we are trying to keep these as low as possible for our consumers to continue to be able to buy products that they love.
Do you have any money-saving tips or hacks you could share?
On a personal level, I love planning and knowing what expenses I have coming up. I think this is really important.
How do you maintain customer service when faced with issues such as staff shortages?
Being a small company, we have to cover each other for annual leave etc, we are a very multitasked office and can help each other where it’s needed.
Are you recruiting at the moment?
We are always looking out for great people and always more than happy to receive great CVs!
Do you have any plans for the Queen’s Jubilee at home, in your community or in your business?
We will be taking traditional English recipes and putting a Creative Nature spin on them using our products. We will be doing this for 12 days throughout June!
Have you got any events planned for May or June which you’d like to mention – where you and/or your business will take a leading role?
With International Picnic Day coming up we were hoping to hold an allergy picnic where we invite people from the allergy community and people show Creative Nature so much support.
It is a great way of getting the allergy community together and being able to celebrate something like this where everyone can enjoy the same food.
What’s your one top business tip to help others be positive about their business at the moment?
I like taking the approach to my business that if something does not go to plan, don't see it as a negative. Take it, put it behind you and work out how to change moving forward so that it doesn’t happen again.
It is so important to have a positive mindset like this when it comes to running a business. You cannot dwell on the things that don’t go the way that you want them to.
Tell us all one which we won’t know about you, and you are happy to share.
I recently bought a puppy called Gimli, Matt, my husband, is a big fan of Lord of the Rings and we decided to name him after the Dwarf because Gimli is so little!
Have you got any special offers you’d like to mention?
We are stocked across all the main retailers and many other routes to market including our own website where we recently have special offers - so do check. it out or subscribe to our newsletter to get advance notice! You can visit https://www.creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk/
May is National Walking Month – it’s also one of the most beneficial exercises – do you walk at all?
Yes, I love to walk. I think it is such a great way to clear your mind throughout the day. I always go on an evening walk with my husband and our puppy Gimli. Fresh air is so important and is a part of my day I will always do without a doubt.
Where is your favourite place to walk?
I love walking on Esher Common which is just by my house. It has the most beautiful pond and surroundings. It is right by Garcons Farm which I absolutely love, it’s such a wholesome place to walk, especially on the weekend.
I came across this quote recently and it really stuck with me ‘All things are difficult before they are easy’, you constantly need to work at things in order to develop.
Creative Nature is based in West Molesey, Surrey and more information can be found here: https://www.creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk/
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