A healthy product – the basis of a small business
A couple living on a 113-acre farm outside the town of Bangalow (est. pop. 2,500) in the Northern Rivers of NSW, Australia, has combined their preference for healthy living in a rural environment, and their particular business skills, to import a range of natural vegetarian products.
“We wanted to build up a business we felt good about, while living in a way that suits our philosophy of life”, said Christopher Sanderson. Chris, with his partner, Christobel Munson, run Marigold Health Foods Australia, from their home located on a rural intentional community they founded in the idyllic sub-tropics of the Byron Bay hinterland.
The couple operates their business internationally from their rural home. Christopher has decades of managerial and technical skills from his time running international computer companies, while Christobel is the team’s experienced wordsmith – both skill-sets ideal to operate a small home business.
Walking the talk
“Since recovering from cancer over 30 years ago”, Christopher explains, “I’ve had to be pretty conscious about the food I eat. So when we came across Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon living overseas in the early 1990s, it really appealed to us – both as a healthy food product, and the foundation for a small, sustainable business.”
Approaching the U.K. manufacturer, they were able to secure an exclusive distributorship to import the product in Australia and New Zealand. In the U.K., Marigold products are highly regarded in the health-food world, and have earned the respect and support of many leading celebrity chefs. Their first shipment arrived in Australia in April 1995.
Raising Climate Awareness
Both Christobel and Christopher are actively involved in raising community awareness on the climate issue, donating their time, and funding from their earnings from Marigold Health Foods. With Zero Emissions Byron, they sponsored a public event at Byron Theatre in which Professor Will Steffen presented THE BIG U-TURN AHEAD, Calling Australia to action on Climate Change. View the YouTube of Professor Steffen’s presentation here. Christobel is now chair of Zero Emissions Byron, whose purpose is to accelerate Byron Shire’s transition to net zero emissions by 2025.
Values-led local work
Christobel and Christopher are involved in a number of organisations and undertake volunteer work within their local community. Christobel has been working for many years with the Bangalow Parklands group (@BangalowParklands) to improve and upgrade a natural park and kids playground in the heart of Bangalow, and also writes regularly for the local monthly magazine, The Bangalow Herald. Christopher also participates on Byron Council’s Sustainability & Emissions Reduction Advisory Committee.