Founders Interview | Sara Trechman @ Well & Truly
Tell us a little bit about yourself & your brand...
I spent over 10 years heading up marketing departments across multiple industries including BskyB, Glanbia and Apple where I launched numerous brands and products across Europe.
In my spare time you can find me climbing mountains with my French husband in the Alps or Himalayas but less so recently as we have an 18 month old daughter and are about to have our second daughter.
Well&Truly is a naughty-ish snack brand. We have just as much flavour as the likes of McCoys or NikNaks but our snacks are made with all natural ingredients, no added sugar, no gluten and 40% less fat making them just that little bit naughty!
Why did you become interested in the world of snacks & drinks?
I have a background in nutrition and always wanted to set up a company that could help consumers make better choices. We all know that if you can change one item in people's shopping baskets it can have long term health benefits. Snacks were the perfect item to change as according to Mintel 94% of consumers snack and of those 36% snack at least twice a day.
The old kale crisps just didn’t quite hit the spot for us taste wise
What inspired you to do what you do?
My sister-in-law Maria and I both felt that there was a serious lack of great tasting snacks that weren’t really bad for you. The old kale crisps just didn’t quite hit the spot for us taste wise, so we set out to un-junk and improve the nutritional profiles of classic snacking favourites such as NikNaks without compromising on the great taste. Snacking should be a pleasure and we don’t think the word “guilt” should have anything to do with it.
What was your Eureka Moment when you knew you had a product which you could take to market?
The snacking market is hugely exciting, and there’s been a lot of innovation at the healthier end of the spectrum in recent years. We knew we were onto a winner when we took our first trial products to friends and family and they all said they couldn’t believe they tasted so great but were also healthier. The key to our success is our no-compromise approach when it comes to taste and health. In the snacking category taste is king, but today’s consumer also demand improved health credentials and the Well&Truly product range delivers both.
The key to our success is our no-compromise approach when it comes to taste and health.
What current & future trends does your product meet?
We wanted to simultaneously challenge the oh-so-clean world of ‘healthy eating’ and the outdated ‘guilty pleasures’ label of mainstream snacks. We also wanted to produce a product that was inclusive and could be enjoyed by coeliacs or consumers following a gluten free diet as a lifestyle choice. At Well & Truly our snacks are made with 40% less fat, no added sugar, no gluten and when possible Vegan.
What did you do before starting your company & what made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
I was consulting for numerous FMCG companies and missed being part of a team. One evening in Soho Maria and I were having a drink after work and we started chatting about what we wanted to do next. We decided that evening to do something together and that was when we both made the leap.
One of our biggest challenges is staying on top of cashflow to make sure we can continue to grow quickly.
What has been the hardest part of starting your business?
As a start-up you face challenges on a daily basis. You need to juggle so many roles and tasks which you don’t always have experience in, but being co-founders has helped us a lot as we always have someone to bounce ideas off and challenge each other. One of our biggest challenges is staying on top of cashflow to make sure we can continue to grow quickly. We’ve put in place several models to help us monitor this and stay one step ahead.
What has been the BEST mistake you’ve made & why?
We’ve made so many along the way but the most important thing is that we’ve learnt from each one and have become better leaders, entrepreneurs and business because of this.
What keeps you motivated?
The two things that bring a smile to my face and fill me with motivation are receiving emails from consumers who love our snacks or seeing someone buy a packet in one of the stores we are stocked in.
What do you do in your spare time outside of business life?
My husband and I love spending time together in the mountains (which is where we met). Now that we have an 18 month old daughter and soon to have another one we enjoy looking after them and introducing them to new adventures in the mountains.
What do you think are the key skills required to make yourself & your business a success in the world of snacks & drinks?
- Grit - keep on trying over and over and never accept a no
- Passion - loads of it to keep you going through all the ups and downs
- Go getters - you, your team and everyone you surround yourself with
What would you say is your biggest strength?
Problem solver - l love a challenge and we face these daily.
What would you say is your biggest weakness & how do you look to overcome this?
Patience - i always want everything done yesterday but we have an incredible team who i fully trust and rely on who instill patience in me.
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?
- Take time out to relook at the business and streamline all the functions to make Well&Truly a more profitable and efficient business.
- Cash is king so make sure you raise enough as early as possible.
- Invest time in new product development so that you can be a leader in innovation in the snacking category.
Any plans or predictions you can share with us for the rest of 2020?
The next 12 months will be hugely exciting and truly defining for Well&Truly as we embark on the next phase of our journey.
We just launched our first ever TV ad which clearly communicates our brand message ‘Well&Truly Naughty-ish Snacks’ and we are busy planning other brand activity to support this. We’ve got some fantastic NPD in the pipeline and we believe we will be the brand that will bring excitement and growth to the snacking space in 2021.