Producer Focus: Jo's Absolute Nutrition

'Just keep going!' It can be tough running a business, but don't give up on something you're passionate about.

Over the next couple of weeks, we're going to be bringing you an insight into some of our great producers. Fresh The Good Food Market has always championed new and innovative producers from around the Ireland and beyond. These companies are incredibly important to our stores. They give us points of difference, variety and of course, they make our customers happy! 

Over the years, we've had the pleasure of working with hundreds of producers, many of which have grown into brilliant companies. It's always fantastic to meet and work with great people who are passionate and dedicated about their business. Jo Davey from Absolute Nutrition epitomises these characteristics! We caught up with Jo below for ten quick questions to give you a brief insight into what Jo's business is about, why she started and what it's like running a food business...

Hi Jo, for readers who are not familiar with you, who are you?
My name is Jo Davey, I'm from Dublin and I'm the owner of Snack Food Co., Jo's Absolute Nutrition.

What gave you the idea behind starting Jo's Absolute Nutrition?
I've always been a keen baker at home and love to make healthier snacks that still taste good. I was very busy with work and 4 small children so I started making energy balls and protein balls for us all to snack on during the day because I couldn't find anything similar in stores at the time. A few local gyms then asked me to make snacks and treats for them and it went from there. We now supply over 500 accounts in Ireland and sell online to Ireland & UK.
 
What's the best part of your job?

The diversity of running a business. Being in our bakery with the girls one minute and then pitching to buyers Dragon Den style the next! There's so much going on all the time and I've been pushed so far out of my comfort zone in the past 6 years its surreal. I love it. I also love the amount of amazing new people we get to meet along the way. We've made some great friends in the food and retail business. 

What's the worst?

When anything goes wrong it's my responsibility but the more time goes on the more I'm able to deal with it. I have some great friends in food manufacturing that are always on hand to lend some advice. And at times trying to juggle work and a large family can be a challenge but I also have great family support. 

What's your top tip for other entrepreneurs who wish to start a food business?

Know your category and market inside out. Is there room for another brand there / are you different to your competitors? How? These are all important questions that will remain whether you're established or a start up. Where do you see yourself in the market?

Best piece of advice you've ever been given?

'Just keep going'! It can be tough running a business, but don't give up on something you're passionate about. You'll learn something from every challenge. 

Is there a particular food business you admire?

Any Irish Food Business that has stood the test of time, McCambridge Bread, Ballymaloe and Irish companies that started the same time as me. Strong Roots, The Fresh Fish Deli, Mama Nagi's. These are all staples in our house every week. 

You're surrounded by food/drink in your job, what's your personal favourite thing to enjoy?
From my own range my two favourites are Coconut Bites and Caffe Mocha Bliss Balls and then aside from that my absolute favourite thing to munch on is cheese, crackers and Ballymaloe Relish! 

What does being listed with Fresh The Good Food Market mean for your brand?

As an Irish Brand we're so proud to be listed with Fresh. We want to provide people with a high quality snack, made locally using the best ingredients and Fresh is the perfect place to find us. Their range of Irish food producers is amazing and they are a pleasure to work with. The only hard part is trying not to do deliveries to Fresh myself as I come out with bags of delicious food and shopping :) 

What do you do when you're not working? 

Hang out with my kids. There's 4 different personalities, all creative and they love to have a laugh. Spending time with them as they're growing up is a pleasure and there's never a dull moment! 

From everyone at Fresh The Good Food Market, we'd like to thank Jo Davey for her time. You can find all of Jo's Absolute Nutrition snacks in our stores and on www.freshonline.ie