Sophie Williamson started Poppy & Olive in late 2013. Being diagnosed with Ceoliac disease at age five, she’d grown up experimenting with different foods and baking things from scratch given the limited availability of gluten free products on the market. She spoke to the team about her gluten-free venture.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“After working for three years in the public sector, I decided to follow my foodie passion and began selling gluten free baked goods and nut butters at local farmers markets around Auckland. As a health food enthusiast, I decided to focus solely on nut butters as there was a clear gap in the market for peanut butter alternatives. Once word got out, I received requests from retailers nationwide to stock my butters and the business grew from there. After three years of operating Poppy & Olive on my own, I approached the CleanPaleo boys and they decided it made great sense to join forces. Riot Foods (CleanPaleo’s parent company) acquired Poppy & Olive at the end of 2016. They took me on to continue running Poppy & Olive. This partnership has seen many exciting changes to the Poppy & Olive brand, including a brand overhaul, launching the new look/new range in late May 2017.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“Poppy & Olive currently has four core products – Smooth Almond Butter, Crunchy Almond Butter, Cashew Almond Butter and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. We’re the first to market with a Crunchy Almond Butter which is rapidly gaining popularity. All of our products are gluten free, vegan, free from refined sugars and paleo.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“We have just revealed a whole new look for Poppy & Olive – brighter labels, bigger jars and consolidated the product range which are now even healthier and more delicious. The new relationship with Riot Foods has allowed us to make these great changes without increasing the price, a win-win for everyone!”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“In the short term we’re looking to launch into more mainstream channels. We are also focussing on expanding supply to food service. We have exciting new products in development which will shake up the nut butter category towards the end of the year.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?
“Currently in alternative grocery channels such as Farro Fresh, Moore Wilson’s, Huckleberry Farms and many other specialty stores, as well as through our website – www.poppyandolive.co.nz . We also supply bulk nut butter to cafes across Auckland.”