Healthy Business

‘Walk the talk’

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 in the idyllic sub-tropics of the Byron Bay hinterland.

Today’s technology allows them to keep the company small and the costs down. 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.

A healthy product – the basis of a small business

“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.

“What we really like about all the Marigold products is that not only are they healthy, but they actually taste delicious, too,” Christobel says. “They’re free of any MSG-type additives, or any artificial anythings. Just as an example, the bouillon is a welcome alternative to caffeine-based drinks. In fact after acquiring a taste for Marigold bouillon, Christopher stopped drinking coffee that he loves – but which can make him feel irritable and jumpy. Now he starts his day with a mug of Marigold instead.”

Adds Christopher: “Early on, we soon discovered that not only did the bouillon make a instant hot drink, but it was also great to use as a stock base for nourishing soups (just adding vegetables), as well as a flavouring for ‘souping-up’ salad dressings, casseroles, savouries, and rice and grain dishes.” People watching their weight love the fact that a cupful only contains 10-12 calories (depending on the variety).