THE WHOLE FOOD KITCHEN
Working in an organic grocery store making dips, Ben was urged by customers to go out and launch his own line of dips. Ben gave 2 weeks notice and from there The Whole Food Kitchen was born.
A former hippy and Melbourne local with a background in film making and who plays in a wedding band in his spare time, Ben might not have planned this path, but we're sure glad he's followed it.
We had a chat with Ben to find out more about the story behind The Whole Food Kitchen.
Who are the team behind The Whole Food Kitchen and what made you launch?
The team comprises of me and my 2 trusty assistants. Almost all of the production is done personally by me.
I was making dips and soups in an organic grocery store and had garnered a fair following of customers. Every week people were coming in and telling me that I really should go out on my own and start up Ben's Organic Dips. Finally, I took the plunge and gave 2 weeks notice but had absolutely no idea how I was going to go about starting up. It was amazingly fortuitous that at this exact point in time a man approached me with a tiny dip brand and asked if I would like to purchase the business complete with a registered food premises as a going concern. He handed me the blue print of a small scale dip manufacturer from which I was able to grow.
What does a day in the life of The Whole Food Kitchen team look like?
Food flying all over the place, the phone ringing off the hook or wedged between my shoulder and ear, machines whirring around, music going at full volume, a million delicious smells filling the entire building.
Before launching The Whole Food Kitchen, what did you do?
My background is actually in documentary film making. I studied at a film school in California and had been living in New York for many years working in this field before returning to Aus for family reasons. Once home I soon transformed into a mega hippy, drove across Australia in a beaten up HJ60 diesel Land Cruiser and spent some time living in the desert, before finally decided to following a career somehow related to sustainable agriculture.
What was involved in developing The Whole Food Kitchen range and do you have any plans to add to it in the future?
Most of my recipes come from the time I spent cooking products out of a grocery store direct to the public. Those customers were brutally honest and inadvertently formed 3 years of my market research. I have many many plans for exciting new products.
When you're not busy with The Whole Food Kitchen, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I play in a very loud wedding band. That's not a joke, I actually seriously do.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three things, what would they be?
1 My little mongrel dog
2 A piano
3 My surfboard