Since the day I launched my own business I don’t think I’ve ever had any day that’s the same. For a routine lover this probably sounds like your worst nightmare, but for me when I struggled to withstand an intense 8 hour solid office job which I went straight into after graduating from Uni, due to illnesses and my fatigue I had to change this up to working when I felt I could, weather this was 7am or 9 o’clock at night, self employment and business planning commenced.
I went from building up my consultancy clients to managing match day hospitality at Chelsea Football Club to office temping and freelance event organising, I worked these jobs to pay the bills whilst building my own brands developed from my passion. After consulting for many different brands, mainly start ups in the food industry I worked on creating and developing the first… Co Fro, which is the first free-from Coconut soft serve frozen yogurt in the UK. Mastering the recipe and brand took over 2 years, however I finally launched it in 2015, with pop up cafes all across London, shows and events and then the launch of retail tubs in natural coconut and matcha flavour at the end of last year 2017.
I decided to create Co Fro because before I went ‘paleo’ I LOVED fro yo, after realising there was nothing on the market quite like it, that wasn’t full of processed ingredients and full refined sugar. I saw a gap and growth potential in the market to create something that satisfies our sweet tooth, allowing you to enjoy whatever your dietry requirements and preferences are, that isn’t full of nasties and tastes great!
I would be lying if I said creating a brand like this was easy, possibly one of the hardest and (daily) challenging things I’ve ever done. I am constantly learning on the go, dealing with accounts, technical things such as machinery, logistics, legislations, website creating, graphic design, suppliers and wholesalers to name a few. From the onset I had people telling me it wouldn’t work with such healthy ingredients, nor would there be a demand for a healthier fro yo! I hope to think my determination to never give up and positive mindset ignoring the doubters got me to where I am with the brand today. I think the hardest was doing it on my own, I am fortunate to have amazing support form my family, friends and partner but at times I haven’t felt more alone or disheartened when things haven’t gone to plan. But what I have learnt is that when one door closes another one opens and a hundred no’s result in a yes, just don’t give up!
One of the reasons I created the retail tubs was because I wanted to make the product accessible to all, not to mention for my love of matcha to create the first free from matcha dessert. With the increase in awareness of consuming quality natural ingredients full of good fats such as coconut, vegan friendly and free from refined sugar I hope the brand will grow organically with such an exciting and fast developing market. Over the next few months I have some very exiting announcements that I can’t wait to share with you, starting with Co Fro now being available in all Planet Organic stores across London!
So a day in the life of Tess…
I am going to use today as an example…
Getting woken up by my sausage dog Colin for food and attention is usually my alarm, I have my morning matcha and head to a Paola’s Body Barre Class, then straight to a Two Influence meeting, luckily over brunch, meetings over food are always the best! This is my other business I am co founder of; a brand influence and communications agency. Back home to walk Colin, shower and reply to an inbox full of emails to get back too. Lunch time, I had salmon Gnocchi, delicious! I then had to create a recipe for a brand I am working with on my blog, which I absolutely love as I love partnering with brands that also want to do good, create healthier products and make a more free from lifestyle more accessible and appealing.
Then across to Baker Street to have a meeting at Simple Health Kitchen, which is one of my Co Fro soft serve stores with another potential stockist, testing out a new bespoke flavour for them! Before heading home I had my last meeting of the day, across to Covent Garden with an agency that looks after some exciting brands I am potentially going to be working with under the London Paleo Girl umbrella. After this I am buzzing to head home to have my appointment with Flavia, my weekly treat to myself, she is a lymphatic drainage masseuse, not only is it super relaxing it has helped me physically with reducing water retention, increase circulation and gives my immune system a good boost. I believe a little bit of self love goes a long way and gives you the lift you sometimes need. Following this I love an evening walk with my husband, Adam to walk the dog, then I cook us dinner and catch up on emails and my to do list, if it wasn’t for Adam I think I would never sleep, so when he says laptop away I know that’s enough!
Even though I’ve done a 16 hour day, it doesn’t feel like work because I love what I do. Don’t get me wrong it’s stressful and challenging at times, but I feel very lucky to be part of the ‘health and wellness industry’ and have met so many great people along the way. I also love running my Instagram to share all my healthy tips, recipes and what I have learnt and experienced so far. It is a honour to be part of such an amazing community and to have this online family!
Follow Tessa on Instagram here and learn more about Co Fro here.