Kate's Story on beginning a successful brand with husband Tal...
My Motivation for Table of Plenty has been the same since we first began. To create a company that would connect my passion for wholesome food, with working towards a greater purpose...
I’ve always been blessed with an optimistic nature and sailed through life seemingly unscathed by anything, yet with the birth of Amy in October 2000, even my optimism was challenged.
No one can prepare you for the shock of a complicated pregnancy and birth. As a healthy 28-year-old in a low-risk category, all seemed fine. At 6 months it became clear that all was not well and after a month of waiting, Amy was delivered prematurely and the journey began. There was no clear diagnosis at the time and we were told to wait and see.
She was a tiny wee thing, yet surprisingly strong and she had a will to survive from the first moment that was unmistakable. She came home with us, after a stay in the special care nursery, at only 1.5kg and I was with her day and night, taking care of her every need. I think at the time, I was in denial and thought that a Mother’s love can heal all. I hoped that she would catch up and grow and that all would be OK, but as the months and years went on she fell further behind. It took us 5 years to receive her diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.
When Amy was 8 months old I had to return to my job in a US-based IT firm, managing a sales team for Australia and NZ. It was a demanding job and required my full focus and long hours to do it justice. After a while, it became clear to me that I could not do the job well and be the Mother that I wanted to be and that Amy needed.
Our life was becoming more and more isolated as Amy’s difficulties grew. Everyday activities that we took for granted were not so simple anymore. Going shopping or spending time with friends who had kids was difficult as Amy would get into trouble with inappropriate behaviour and although people were nice about it, apart from the very few, it was clear that they were uncomfortable. In the end I felt I was squeezed out of my job and found myself at home full-time with Amy.
All my plans for the future and the illusion of a predictable life came crashing down. This was my lowest point and I fell into a depression. There have been times when I have stared at the same spot on the wall for hours with not a thought in my head and numb to my surroundings. I felt paralysed and I didn’t recognise myself – where was that unstoppable, optimistic girl I knew? I had to find from deep inside the courage to claim my life back and to find a way to rekindle and rediscover my passion.
On the up and up
Tal and I came to grips with our reality and decided to start our own business, a business that would allow me to reconnect to my passion for life and for Tal to liberate his entrepreneurial spirit. I have always been creative and love to make something out of nothing. I also love the exotic, deep rich flavours of spices and herbs and I have always travelled, to see other cultures, their traditions and foods and experimented with them. I fell in love with the spice markets of the Middle East when I was living there and the seed of Table of Plenty was planted.
With each idea and step forward in the business, our confidence and enthusiasm returned. It was clear that no one was going to hand us our ideal life on a plate, it would have to be created.
We also knew that our reasons are the fuel that will get the business up and running and they are as central to it today as they were then.
- To reconnect to passion for life – this was the short-term spark that began it.
- To build a business that will be a platform to sustain Amy financially throughout her life – long-term motivation.
- To build a business that will support organisations that help people with disabilities – long-term motivation.
Our vision for the business was and is to create food products that will help other families to navigate their busy lives and be able to put a decent healthy meal on the table
- Our products will use good, healthy ingredients.
- Our products will draw on my wealth of knowledge about flavours, nutrition and ingredients and be innovative and tasty.
- Our products will be quick and easy to prepare.
- Our customers will be able to trust that the products that they are buying are made from natural/real ingredients, made with care and are good value.
- The business will also be family friendly and be flexible in allowing us to fulfil all our roles in life, as parents, as individuals and as breadwinners.
Our business is flourising and has been growing rapidly and because of this we have joined forces with like-minded business partners to form up a unique and powerful healthy food platform for Australia – Openway Food Co.
This is an exciting new chapter that Tal and I are looking forward, allowing Table of Plenty to continue to grow and contribute in it’s unique way.
Our products are available in Coles, Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse and many other leading independent supermarkets, speciality shops and health stores and include our products and exported across the world.
Kate and Tal Weiss are available for Media & Speaking Engagements. Please email email@example.com to discuss your upcoming media or speaking events.