Supernature

Supernature LogoSupernature Biz Owner

Supernature, made with love

Supernature, founded by Noele McEvoy, began as a passion project. Upon discovering that one of her daughters was unable to have dairy, gluten or processed sugar, Noele began making her own natural treats as a substitute for her favourite chocolate bars. Thus, Supernature was born.

“While it was a challenge to make delicious chocolate snacks with just a few natural ingredients, the results surprised everyone”, says Noele.  

 

 Inspired by her daughter

Noele’s daughter, Laura, was required to go on a very restrictive diet of no dairy, no wheat and no refined sugar- basically anything white.

“She was only 13 so I didn’t want her feeling left out at sleep-overs and movie nights, so I began to make chocolate snacks at home for her which she’d share with her friends and before long they all started to ask for “your mom’s sweets””, Noele remembers.

 Noele’s husband, Brendan, has been in the confectionary business for 30 years and along with a friend Simon they made the decision to make Noele’s creations available to buy.

“I had found it so hard to find chocolate for Laura that she liked as most of the healthier options were very dark and bitter in taste or looked healthy on the front of the pack but didn’t really deliver on their claims when you turned it over to look at the ingredient list.”

It became crucial that Supernature’s front packaging truly reflected the ingredients that were listed on the back. To deliver on this promise, Supernature’s chocolate is made using only 3 ingredients-cacao butter, coconut sugar, cacao powder. Everything is organic, vegan and coeliac-friendly.

 

Researching to create the perfect product

Noele tested all her recipes on the most honest of tasters- friends and family. They also used other resources such as Bord Bia library for up to date snack market research.

 

Making the decision to become self employed

Interestingly, all 3 of Supernature’s owners are from entrepreneurial families. Noele, Brendan and Simon’s parents all had their own small businesses, something which Noele credits for her entrepreneurial mind set.

“Brendan, my husband, started his own business back in 1998 so for all of our married life that has been our experience, so I guess creating our own employment has always been our road.”

They made the decision to take the leap with Supernature in August 2018 and ploughed ahead into the unknown.

 

Challenges & Opportunities

As mostly a full time mum for 20 years, setting up a business was a new and welcome challenge for Noele. She threw herself into the business and learned lots of new skills- making presentations, learning how to do orders, invoices, production planning, trade shows, social media, packing boxes, finding distributors, selling online- the variety of work is amazing.

For Noele, social media has probably been the biggest new experience; “As a mum who encouraged her children to experience real life and connection rather than spending time on their phone, now they are the ones reminding me to leave my phone off the table at dinnertime! Having to set up an Instagram account and make stories and posts and learn about influencers was a whole new world”

Another challenge Supernature faced was moving production from the kitchen to a production facility. By doing this they could focus on mass production.

“Making thousands of packs rather than a few for a sleepover was a big challenge but Simon really is Willy Wonka so we managed to get it done”, Noele smiles.

 

LEO Supports

Supernature’s team has really got on board with the supports the Local Enterprise Office can offer a business.

“LEO has been a great help, we have attended great workshops covering topics such as selling online, social media and financial capability.”

  • Green for Micro – 2021
  • Noele, Brendan and Simon applied for the Tame Grant in 2019
  • “We have made great use of our selling online and TAME grants. Attending trade shows is a very expensive business so the assistance from TAME is invaluable.”
  • Attended a number of training programme and networking events.
  • “Selling online and social media courses gave us really practical advice which we tried to implement during that time”
  • 1 to 1 mentoring
  • Supernature was awarded the Trading Online Voucher.
  • “Selling online has helped a lot during COVID as it allowed us to continue to build brand awareness and also learn more about our consumer.”
  • Supernature first attended a Business Advice Clinic in 2019

 

2021 & beyond

Noele hopes to attend some more trade shows in 2021 and 2022.

“It has been very difficult to meet buyers during COVID, so again TAME is really important for us”, she explains.

The team are focusing on launching some brand new Supernature products later this year and aim to continue to grow their listings both in Ireland and abroad. Exciting times ahead for Supernature!

 

 

Contact

Supernature

facebook.com/supernaturesnacks

instagram.com/supernature_snacks

hello@supernature.com

087 2456343