Mamma recently met the inspirational Brooke from The Organic Place - a family run online store located in Melbourne's West selling fantastic and (really fresh!) organic produce and products at the best price possible - finally making it so easy for us Westies to get great organic food EASILY. Mamma can attest that a lot of love and hard work goes into the sourcing, packing and delivering of each order and is now a very happy regular customer! Here's what Mamma and Brooke chatted about over a double shot coffee and some greens.....
Tell us about your business? Why did you start it? Just over three years ago we were sitting in our back yard having our usual Sunday morning bacon and eggs when our youngest daughter, four months at the time, was suddenly red from head to toe having been kissed by her then 2 year old sister. I rushed her to the local emergency room who advised me they thought she had measles and to take her straight to the Children’s Hospital. After further investigation she was diagnosed as having an allergy to eggs, chicken, duck, turkey (anything poultry really!) as well as beef and peanuts.
We had always eaten healthy; I love cooking and making things from scratch and with a background as a Registered Nurse I already understood the relationship between food and illness, however Harlow’s diagnosis had me questioning what was really happening to our food before it got to our family dinner table. After lots of research, we decided that it was in the best interest of our family’s health to eat organic where possible. We started with milk and when we moved onto food we soon realised that there was no organic fruit and veg available where we lived. That’s when the idea for The Organic Place really came to life. I knew I couldn’t be the only Mum living in the West in this position. I know that being a Mum and getting out of the house with kids in tow to do the shopping can be a total nightmare so that’s why we decided to set up an online store with a delivery service. We want to make eating healthy accessible and convenient for all families.
Does it /how does it relate to your pre baby career? Before starting The Organic Place I was a registered Nurse; although completely different there are actually quite a few similarities between the two. At the heart of both is my passion to help others find good health and live a good life. Both are busy, you’re always on your feet and the hours are long! But having our own business means that I now have more flexibility; I am able to drop off and pick up our kids from kinder and school and be there when they need me.
The juggle is real – who is in your family and how do you juggle biz/working/home? There’s Ben; my partner in life (and crime) for over ten years, myself, and our three children aged 7, 5 and 3 years. Juggling work and family life can be really challenging at times. Ben works six days a week on top of helping to run our business and we have no family close by to help us out. I try to find balance however I must admit I’m not that great at it! But the way I see it, I’m a mum and a partner first; business owner second. As the kids are becoming older it’s getting a little easier. They like to help us out in the warehouse, taste testing the produce and packing orders and you’ll often find them in the van on delivery day!
What gets you through the day? Coffee/tea/wine/sense of humour? All of the above! Except for tea, it's coffee all the way for me! In the words of Dory I ‘just keep swimming’. I always try to find the positive in things.
What do you wish you'd known before starting your business? If I had of know what I do now I probably wouldn’t even have started one! There are so many hidden things to learn when starting a business and I am still learning something new every day. But, I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world!
Favourite Westie Adventure...We love to hit the beach and have spontaneous outdoor adventures. Lerderderg Gorge in Bacchus Marsh is one of our favourite spots; we love to go one long bush walks and the just let the kids explore.
Best Westie Eats....For a kids free meal we like Laksa King!
For a family meal we enjoying going to Tabcorp Park during the summer months. They often have family days/nights with jumping castles, pony rides, face painting, live bands and great priced family meals. There is so much room to run around on the grass, bring a picnic and enjoy the day/night.
What's your best healthy family go to recipe made from your organic produce? Our kids will tell you spaghetti bolognaise. They love it and Ben is the best spag bol maker! It’s quick and easy and we make up a big batch to freeze for other busy days when we just can’t be bothered cooking. You can always sneak lots of veggies into pasta sauce! Personally, I love salads and cooking outside, so anything on the BBQ is good for me.
Best road trip you've taken as a family? Every year we like to pack our bags, bikes and a big supply of fresh fruit and just drive for a week without any plan. We stop when we are tired or just keep going to the next destination. It’s nice to have no routine or plans and just enjoy each others company and our beautiful country.
What special super power have you harnessed since having kids? Or what super power do you wish you had as a Mum/DAD? Surviving without sleep definitely! I haven’t quite mastered it but I’m pretty damn close!
the nitty gritty
To know more and to place an order click here
Order by Tuesday 8pm (Zeally Bay bread orders by 12pm Tuesdays) for Thursday delivery.
See website for delivery areas (note there is a small charge for delivery)