Dr Colette Reynolds is the founder of ‘Growing Healthy Eaters’, a Nutrition and Children’s Healthy Eating Coach and mother of two young boys. Colette offers practical and research-based advice, strategies and tools to help overcome the challenges of healthy eating; take the stress out of family mealtimes and develop lifelong healthy eating habits. This is an Irish based service available in person or online, providing one-to-one personalised parent support, workshops and classes to groups of parents and staff in companies, communities and school settings.
What was the seed and idea that developed into what is now your food business?
When I became a mum, myself I realised how challenging it can be to feed a family especially feeding children. It was an area I found challenges in despite my background. So, I felt I could offer a very valuable support to other parents in a similar position utilising and building on my existing psychology training and experience as a health coach.
The need for such a service was very apparent and definitely existed, there were no other providers were providing a service like this at the time in Ireland, so I took this gap as an opportunity and developed ‘Growing Healthy Eaters’.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome or lesson you have learnt as a female food entrepreneur?
My biggest hurdle was my limited experience and knowhow in how to operate a business as I as no previous business or marketing background. Which resulted in my biggest lesson from feeling the fear and reaching out to get help from experts in an area such as marketing to help me overcome my hurdle.
What advice would you give to aspiring female food entrepreneurs?
- Go get personalised support from experts such as mentoring from your Local Enterprise office or educational institute.
- Find out what has worked for other similar businesses and see can you implement similar strategies and take some things on board in your business.
- Do not be afraid to ask and get support from peers who are experiencing similar challenges or have in the past – important to learn from other people’s mistakes and realisations this will help shortcut your journey.
If there had been (female entrepreneurial) training available to you before you set up your business would you have engaged with it? Did you do any training?
Before I set up, I took part in no specific training. However, reflecting in hindsight it would have been great to avail of training before I set up or in the initial periods of business. Speaking personally, I didn’t even know what training was available, not to mention training for females.
If you’d like training what areas would you like to it on specifically?
Areas I would have loved to have had received training in are marketing, SEO for website, social media and IT for running a business.