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September Talk with Julianne Ponan from Creative Nature

September is here. It's the month when autumn officially arrives - the autumn equinox is on September 22. What does this month hold for you and your business? What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year? What events are pending for you? What advice would you give to others? What are you grateful for in September?

Today we're talking to Julianne Ponan, CEO of free from food brand Creative Nature which offers delicious, nutritious, vegan friendly bars, baking mixes, sweet treats and superfoods all free from the top 14 allergens. 

What’s coming up for your business in September? 

It’s a busy month ahead with lots planned. My team work hard all year long and throughout the pandemic to provide our wonderful products to customers across the UK and the world. We will be working hard on continuing to grow the business and expand our reach. Currently we are preparing to launch into the US market. 

What are your personal plans for this month?

I give a lot of talks and am heavily involved in campaigning around allergy awareness and the risks of anaphylaxis. I’m an ambassador for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and will be giving a talk for them this month. I’m also the UK ambassador for the Teal App which provides vital information for people who suffer from life-threatening allergies and their families. I'm also preparing to give talks about Natasha's Law which comes into force on October 1 - this is long overdue and means businesses which prepackaged fresh food on the premises on the day MUST list all allergens clearly. We actually need more than this as allergy sufferers so the campaign for more understanding, education and training is not over. 

I also have a lot of personal preparation to do as I’m getting married in October to my wonderful fiancé Matt overseas! So mix a wedding, with overseas travel and multiple allergies and that’s a heady combination! Not to mention our 'STHEN' do - a hen & stag do where we celebrate together. 

September is also known as ‘organic’ month – do you shop, dress, or behave with green ethics in mind?  

Sustainability is important to us and always has been both at home and in the business. I feel that it will become more and more important for us all. In the business we try to import goods by sea rather than air if possible, our packaging and pallets are reused again and again and our customers know that. Our Gnawbles range is packaged in PET1 packaging so it’s fully recyclable and that was a journey to do that. Yet we will keep on trying to be as green as possible.

World Gratitude Day takes place this month – what are you grateful for at the moment?

I’m grateful that my business has thrived over the last 18 months as no one knew quite what was going to happen due to the pandemic. I’m grateful that we’ve dealt with Brexit as positively as we can and also found markets outside of the EU. I’m also grateful that we didn’t put any staff on furlough and indeed recruited staff over the last year. I’m humbled we were able to do that when so many businesses could not. 

Who are you grateful for at the moment? 

I have to say my wonderful team who support me and the business every day.

My family who are there for me, especially my mum who has had serious health issues this year, including catching Covid19. 

I’m grateful to have Matt at my side in all that I do – he’s been in the business from the start, he’s been beside me through my highs and lows and he lives with all that being severely allergic means for me. I’m so excited to become his wife. 

What are your hopes for business in general this year? 

I hope we continue to grow and that the UK economy in general grows too.

I hope that businesses across the UK start to take more steps to be greener and take the climate emergency very seriously.

I hope that Creative Nature continues to be a respected and growing challenger brand which offers high quality products.

Have you got any services or special offers you’d like to mention?

September is Organic month so we’re offering 20 per cent off of all of our organic products during the month. Visit the website, place your order and use the code ‘Organic20’.

And finally, as a bit of fun, September marks Teddy Bear Day? Do you have your childhood teddy bear – or are you a bit of a kid with ‘grown up’ teddy bears? 

I’m definitely a big kid and I do like teddies – however my big passion is actually Harry Potter and all of those wonderful stories. Matt even proposed to me in Diagon Alley in Universal Studios in Florida. I’m tempted to wear a witch’s outfit at our wedding (joke!)

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