Smoothie Bombs by CINZIA COZZOLINO
Before she became a nutritionist, Cinzia lived on welfare and raised her daughters for 12 years on an income of less than $30,000. Though it was a struggle financially she was passionate about real food and always gave her girls the most nutritious food possible. It was this that led her to create Smoothie Bombs at her kitchen bench.
Cinzia’s youngest daughter, Lana was a fussy eater. She wouldn’t have a meal in the morning but she would happily drink something. To give her smoothies some sustenance, Cinzia started to combine the nuts and seeds and superfood ingredients that they had in their cupboard into pre-portioned boosters
And so, Smoothie Bombs was born
Today we chat with Cinzia from Smoothie Bombs and hear her tips for food entrepreneurs
It’s been a challenge and a lot of hard work over the past 7 years. It’s our purpose and passion that keeps us going. We are available at every Chemist Warehouse as well as health food shops, good food and supplement stores
Cinzia, what are Smoothie Bombs?
Smoothie Bombs are a smoothie booster. They have 10 certified organic ingredients in them and the purpose of them really is to help someone make a really nutritious smoothie at home without much effort. It is all pre-portioned and ready to go. Just drop it into a blender with a piece of fruit and liquid like milk or coconut water or water and you’ve got it all ready!
How long have you been in business?
From its conception, from the first idea, its been 7 years and the business has been operational for 5 years
So the first couple of years were spent perfecting the product?
Absolutely, so it was me testing it on my family and friends and I also had couple of friends that owned cafes so I was really lucky to be able to let them try them and give them to their customers so they were being bought relatively early on as a food service product
Initially you started producing your smoothie bombs in your own kitchen, is that right?
Yes, I made them primarily because I had a very fussy eater at home and I just finished my degree as a nutritionist and I needed to try and solve this problem in my own house which was that my 13 year old was going off to high school without eating anything and that really concerned me so I needed to come up with something that had a lot of nutrition that she would still eat or drink
I knew she would have a chocolate milkshake so I made a chocolate flavoured one that had all these extra things in it
So your daughter was really your first guinea pig and test subject!
Yes she was and now she is my business partner! She is now 19 and she and I work together
What would you say has been your biggest challenge?
There’s a couple, because when you are starting out you need to know how many you are predicting you are going to need so you can order the packaging. And then there is cash flow that you need to stay on top of.
You need to know how to balance what you are buying to what is being sold so that you don’t affect your cash flow too much.
Also knowing the legalities, the things that you should and shouldn’t be doing, what all the requirements are. I think I did some of it at the start but I wish I had had more advice on some of the stuff that I hadn’t done because it later came up and bit me on the bum!
Would you like to share some advice with our readers and listeners?
Get a couple of mentors, a couple of people that have been in business, that are ahead of you that can divulge some important factors that they experienced that they can tell you
Whats the one thing that’s had the biggest impact on your success?
Social media without a question. I can’t imagine that the business would be as successful as it is without having such a strong social media base. We have 43,000 followers on Instagram and about 10,000 on Facebook. That has really generated the brand’s story and the whole concept behind the brand
We put a lot of time into our social media to make it real, to convey the story and because our social media has been strong, it has brought us a lot of big clients
We picked up Chemist Warehouse because of that, they contacted us. We are also getting a lot of international companies contacting us purely because of our social media page
Where can we buy Smoothie Bombs?
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cinzia! If you would like to listen to our interview with Cinzia, just click on the audio player below