LIFE GIVE YOU LEMONS...
My son Ethan - lovely & Happy Boy
THIS IS MY 'LEMONADE'
As the clock is ticking to the day when we let our beautiful truffles to the whole world and as I am building the website, setting up for photo shoot, designing the packaging… I realise that what I am doing is nothing but creative art that is constantly evolving.
One moment I am blending, mixing, sculpting, decorating, combining textures, flavours, colours, smells and functions, and forming shapes that are presenting each truffle as an individual character. Then I am struggling to put into words and write about how this tastes and what is unique and good about it. Words seem to be so out of place for this. Or maybe I need M&S like visuals to go with it. So I get the lights out, set the mood, place the product and packaging in front of me, look for prompts and textured materials to create a contrast between velvety chocolate and sharp background. The thoughts are running between producing image that get attention or one that presents the product? If I am really cleaver I get to make one that does the job. For that 100s frames are taken and many sets created. Setting this up reminds me of the still life we had to paint back in the days of art school. It makes me grateful that I get to use this skill today and hope to even get YOU to like it.
In the process I constantly think about YOU. What would you like? What would remind you of some ‘happy memories’? What would make you give me a chance and try my truffles? Aless
With that in mind comes the packaging!
There is the whole complexity of deciding, trying, making mock-ups, changing, reshaping. Few trips to the shops to discover where we could potentially ‘sit’ on the shelf and what do we need to do to stand out (without been cocky – that’s not our style). Few pictures later next to the perceived competitors more clarity emerges.
When I think I am done, happy, then the law gets in the way with petty rules and what needs to be presented, how big and why. Once I managed to create good balance betweena good looking pack that follows the rules, the manufactures says Nooooo!
They say No because we want to be fair to the planet and use sustainable packaging that doesn’t use much ink and is recyclable but at the same time keep the truffles safe and fresh. One would think that we have evolved and are constantly engineering innovative solutions, but when it comes to really ethical and environmental choices – we really haven’t!
What the packaging industry have done produce lots of packaging. So much that the forests shrank, the seas are polluted with it, the recycling centres are packed with it and our shopping trollies look full as a result of it! We all know how little actual food we get after unpacking. Sadly, we also became dependent on good packaging and relay on it to protect our expensive handbags and lunch boxes.
So the process starts again, and again, and again till everyone involved, from buyers, shopkeepers, business partners, printers, to the visual merchandising team, anyone who is stocking it on shelves and manage it space is OK with it.
Then comes YOU! The customer. The most important judge and jury. This is where my decisions are tested and the split second that YOU dedicate to glance over the shelf where the big red happy circle shouts Nono to you with hope that you say Yesyes!..... that moment is up to you.
The rest is for you to decide, take a chance, try, experience, maybe even love it and talk about it. Unfortunately, I won’t be there to engage with you and explain to you how good these truffles are and how much care and love have been dedicated to make it for you. The pack needs to do the job and it’s a very small pack so space is limited.
If I could persuade you that its ok to have a treat sometimes, if the treat wasn’t made of empty calories that spikes your blood sugar, feed your ‘sugar addicted brain’, followed by giving you ar headache and a little extra on your hips… If I told you that Nono are made of carefully selected ingredients and superfoods from around the world? And that we use the purest and organic as well as fair trade ingredients that are also free from Gluten, Dairy, Nuts, Soya, Corn, just in case you can’t have any of this, so that you are not left out. We even thought about the lowFODMAP needs as we know what is like to have IBS.
‘Permissible indulgent’ is what we call Nono in times when the constant nagging about unhealthy lifestyles sets us on yoyo dieting that produces no results. Our view is that depriving yourself is not the way to go. Making sensible swaps and having tinny bits of everything is what is best for our body and your health. This is what we live by. This is why we made Nono tinny, but nutritionally dense, satisfying, with long lasting flavours that stimulates your senses long after you have had it.
Don’t say No to Nono!
What I can also tell you is that Nono is real. The idea came from real life crisis that I couldn’t get professional help with. Knowing what it is like to get lemons from life I make an effort to help others if you let me. This is my ‘Lemonade’.
Looking back at the journey so far. Once sharing a dog with my partner Rebeca then creating the Functional Food Company, Nono, as well as other products that we have in pipeline; I could say that I have really set my bar high with what I wanted to offer: Allergy Friendly, Healthy, Functional, Good Looking, Delicious, Lasting, Different Truffles made of best Organic and Fair Trade ingredients from local suppliers & made in UK by people who personally care about your health and wellbeing because we know what is like to be very unwell. The team behind the truffles are mums like myself and Rebeca, whom we offer opportunity to work around caring for children. In the future we are hoping to create work environment so inclusive that our children, disable or not, will have a chance to feel proud, valued, useful and independent. This is the dream and this is the first chapter.