GIRL POWER. MEET THE 2 LADIES BEHIND KALE & CO.

The Kale & Co. girls share their top business tips, what it's like to be a boss, their personal journey and their commitment to their business and focus of helping people to eat healthily. Plus, looks like they have some exciting things planned in the next few months!

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MEET MICHELE.

What is your background and how did you start up Kale & Co.?
What tips / advice would you give to people who’d like to start up their own business?

With 10 years of hospitality behind me, I can safely you don’t always have to have prior knowledge/experience of a business you start! I was literally “thrown” into the food industry in order to satisfy the Immigration criteria for my visa, as we had made the move to Perth from South Africa. A personal joke amongst friends and family to have me in a kitchen since I was never the most domesticated person, but it has proved that if you apply yourself wholeheartedly, you can do absolutely anything!

Want to start up your own business? Well, there is lots of information available out there to assist people in starting up your own but to keep it simple it is absolutely imperative that an owner is “hands-on” in their business.

One of the best pieces of advice I had when I started up my first business in food retail was that I needed to know how to do absolutely everything in my business. Initially it seemed that was an impossible task, particularly since this was a totally new arena for me, but the importance of knowing how to do and deal with each aspect of your business is invaluable and is also a great management tool. I never have asked/expected any of my staff to do what I have not done!

How long ago did you start up Kale & Co?

It was developed as a stand-alone business whilst operating my cafe @ PANACHE which exploded when Jenna joined the business and we introduced a range of healthy options in the Perth CBD. I encouraged my daughter, Jenna, to develop Kale and Co, as a separate entity, as we recognised that there was a gap for an alternate way to the “juice detox” trend.  In consultation with Julie Meek, a dietician/nutritionist, Kale and Co. was the first company in Perth to develop a meal plan programme to work alongside the fact that our bodies naturally detox and cleanse every day but the process can be enhanced by including whole, real foods that both nourish and cleanse from the inside out.

Do you inspire your workers to empower themselves in the workplace?

I know that I have learned many things on my own journey which have assisted me to become the person I am today. Believing in yourself, standing up for your rights, stepping out of your comfort zone are just some of the “pearls” that come up in conversation as we share our own personal stories in the workplace.  I would like to think that these exchanges of ideas/experiences have been empowering and/or of help to many of those who have worked alongside me.


What are the benefits of working alongside your daughter, as co-owner of Kale & Co?

For many years, I operated as a sole owner and the hugest benefit is now having a partner to share everything with. We complement each other in our strengths as Jenna is the creative force and responsible for the superfood menu development behind Kale and Co, whilst I have the benefit of business, financial and marketing experience. Whilst we already shared a very good mother and daughter bond, this experience of working together has extended and expanded the level of our relationship. So many facets of each of us have been exposed during this time. She is my beautiful daughter, my partner and my friend so I consider I am very blessed that this opportunity has been part of my life.

Do you both have any exciting plans for Kale & Co?

Yes! Yes! Yes! The beauty of a small hands-on operation is the ability to keep on developing, evolving and changing. We constantly are reviewing our service and food offering and we have changes planned to meet niche market requirements as well as addressing the explosion of people looking for healthy options.  Plus …. some big changes for us end April/early May :-)

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MEET JENNA

Give us a brief background about you.

Born and bred in South Africa, our move from Johannesburg to Perth was almost 15 years ago. I’m 30 years of age, (a Taurus!), love the creative side of life and have always had a passion for healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle. 

Why did you get involved in this journey?

My career began in Media & Marketing after graduating from UWA with a Bachelor of Arts / Communication and Media degree. I worked at Perth Glory Football Club as a Media and Marketing coordinator for a number years as well as Kurv Magazine, editing and writing. I also have worked in events looking after the City to Surf for Activ both regionally and locally. I have always had an interest in healthy eating and food. Mum had her cafe in the city and we both saw a need for healthy eats to offer the city workers alternatives to the standard St Georges’ Terrace "panini and coffee". I decided to leave my career for 6 months to help set up ‘The Green Label’, a superfood menu for her @PANACHE cafe. Now, 6 years later we are still working together and have been passionately involved with our ever growing Kale & Co. for the last 3 years!

What gives you the most satisfaction about what you are doing?

It’s so satisfying helping to show people you can still eat food that tastes really good and not deprive yourself in any way. As each delivery van leaves really nice feeling knowing you are facilitating a healthy eating lifestyle and assisting people in achieving their weightless and health goals. Running our own business is something I am truly grateful for each day. We have some very exciting plans ahead too, and we cannot wait to share!

What is important to you in running your own business?

I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t put in 110% of my effort to ensure we are producing and delivering the best possible product. Running your own business definitely comes with sacrifice, as work priorities most definitely take precedence. Work is on my mind 24/7! However, it’s so important to create a healthy work / lifestyle balance, so taking some time out each day to focus on ‘me’ is something that keeps me really happy.

I’m very lucky to have my incredible husband at home to bounce off ideas with, or give me an objective point of view. Working with mum is also really special (of course challenging at times!), but having someone you can trust and work towards the same goal together is something I treasure greatly. 

A happy work environment is one that is so important too. Without our incredible team of chefs, juicers and delivery team, Kale & Co. wouldn’t be what we are, so I take the time each day to encourage and praise our staff. That’s a pretty easy job when we get to test taste their delicious food.!

Who is your favourite woman 'powerhouse.'

I’ve always loved Anna Wintour. She’s powerful, stylish and full of fashion and cultural wisdom. And, my mum. I have learnt so much from her, not only business wise, but she has instilled such wonderful values of honesty, respect and believing in myself. She's the true powerhouse. 

1 comment

  • Andrew: March 20, 2018

    I love the read and love learning more about what drives you both! Now only if you’d deliver to Portland!!!

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