Founders Interview | Cathy Moseley @ Boundless
Hey, I’m Cathy- the founder of Boundless Activated Snacking!
Our mission is pretty simple: we make activated snacks that are healthy by nature and bold in flavour.
Our range of activated nuts & seeds is all about being kind to the gut, without ever compromising on taste - healthy doesn’t have to equal boring.
Why did you become interested in the world of snacks & drinks?
I’ve always been a total foodie and have been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places & taste cuisines from around the world.
So, after 20+ years I decided to leave my job in the city to set up a street food stand in Bristol to do what I loved full time. Cooking for 100s of people a day, I ended up not having a chance to eat myself, and found myself disappointed by the snack shelves in supermarkets.
So I took matters into my own hands…
What inspired you to do what you do?
Honestly, a lot of it came down to the disappointing selection of snacks out there.
If you wanted something healthy, chances are the bars on the shelves tasted like cardboard, and if you wanted tasty then you could say goodbye to any nutritional benefits.
Add gluten & dairy free to the mix and it’s ten times harder to satisfy your cravings, without spending a fortune!
Boundless fills a gap in the snacking world: we’re a brand that’s affordable, accessible with regards to dietary requirements, and we genuinely taste good.
What was your Eureka Moment when you knew you had a product which you could take to market?
As I mentioned briefly, Boundless was originally created for me to snack on whilst working on the food stand, nothing more.
It was only when friends, family and customers became more interested in the daring combinations of nuts & seeds I was snacking on than the food I was making them that I realised I was on to something!
What current & future trends does your product meet?
As a nation, we snack more than ever – our own consumer research has shown that on average our customers snack 2-4 times a day.
However, trends are also showing an increased demand for healthier snacking choices.
It makes sense; if we’re consuming more than ever, we want something good to come out of it, right?
Not to mention people are seeing beyond the marketing spiel & looking at what’s really in their food.
Consumers want something tasty & healthy, and we fit both of those brackets. We vow to use 100% natural ingredients, keeping the list as short as possible & only using words people understand. Activation is all about good gut health - looking after your body, made easy.
What did you do before starting your company & what made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Before starting Boundless, I worked for several years as a commodities trader in London.
The leap into entrepreneurship was kind of an inevitable for me; I loved food and always knew one day I’d be doing something with it.
What has been the hardest part of starting your business?
Our method, 1000%.
Activation is centuries old, it’s the process of soaking nuts & seeds in water to kickstart germination and was originally used by the Aztecs & Aborigines. We’ve of course has to modernise it, and this took a long time – I spent months perfecting the method in my kitchen, there’s such a science behind it.
Anyway, moving from activating snacks in my kitchen to industrial scale activation?
I was constantly told it couldn’t be done by manufacturers, or that I’d have to change my method or add artificial ingredients to make it more commercially viable - something I was not willing to do.
Eventually we found our manufacturer, who worked incredibly hard to make the great product we now sell!
What has been the BEST mistake you’ve made & why?
The best mistake we’ve made is getting a listing far bigger than our brand, far too soon.
We weren’t ready for it: we had barely any on-shelf experience, didn’t have the logistics side in order, and it was too big of a jump.
Inevitably, we lost that listing, but it lit a fire in us to make sure that it never happened again.
What keeps you motivated?
Sounds cliché, but the team I have around me keeps me motivated.
We’re still a very small team of 5, and everyone’s role is so integral to the business. Keeping the office small means we’re there to witness everyone’s success; whether it’s a new listing in a farm shop or a supermarket, selling 1 case or 10 pallets.
Everyone is as excited now by each win as they were at the beginning, and having that energy in a business is really special.
What do you do in your spare time outside of business life?
I still love to cook, and love experimenting in the kitchen on the weekend.
I’m also a big fan of reading, and I have a dog who is totally my baby; she even has her own desk space in the office bigger than mine! I love going for long walks with her as well.
Oh, and my absolute guilty pleasure is watching The Real Housewives…
What do you think are the key skills required to make yourself & your business a success in the world of snacks & drinks?
Innovation is key.
A lot of the market is oversaturated now, and brands are becoming lazy and copying each other’s products.
Fine if you’re one of the big guys, but if you want to make it work from the get go you really need to bring something new to the table.
What would you say is your biggest strength?
I don’t take no for an answer!
I know that I have a great product, and when you try it chances are you’re gonna like it, so I’m pretty adamant that people give us a go!
Some of our biggest listings in fact have been sort of ‘accidental’ – buyers who weren’t initially interested in us, or didn’t have space for us in their category, but after talking them into trying us they agreed that we’ve got something special.
It’s so important that you have belief in what you’re doing, and I definitely do!
What would you say is your biggest weakness & how do you look to overcome this?
I find it hard to switch off from the business.
Even on my days off, I can find myself scrolling through my emails – I don’t want to miss anything!
Overall, though, it is a weakness. I’m not saying don’t be committed to the business, of course not, but I am saying that downtime is equally as important.
If you’re not 100%, how can you give 100% to what you’re doing?
Taking some time away from things helps you come back with a clearer head, better focus and direction.
Like I said, I’m a shocker for taking my own advice on this one, but I really am trying!
If you could sit down with yourself for a pint/glass of wine/coffee this time last year…..what would be the 3 most important tips you would give yourself knowing what you know now?
1) Things can take a while in this industry, so have patience with them, it’s a marathon not a sprint.
2) Make sure to listen to the advice you give others.
3) Gut health is the future, you’re onto a winner!
Any plans or predictions you can share with us for the rest of 2020?
2020 for Boundless will be about spreading our message, showing people the power of activation, and continuing to have so much fun with what we’re doing.