In our latest ‘What’s Cooking’, we hear from Vicki Veranese, Founder of Alive and Wild. When Vicki was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in the late 90’s, she became determined to find a way to get better and bring vitality back to her life.
Vicki birthed her raw plant based food business by combining sheer creativity, conscious living and her extensive knowledge about raw food and its chemical composition. Since launching her business, Vicki has been able to offer her highest values of health and self-expression to the world.
Vicki now runs retreats that focus on clean eating and living, and she owns a food truck business that offers catering services.
Vicki shares with ‘What’s Cooking’ how a recent financial reboot of her business is looking like a profitable decision as she projects future positive growth.
Being clear and grounded has helped Vicki deal with the ups and downs that come with any business. And her determination to continue offering healthier food choices to the world is only getting started.
Your business name: Alive and Wild.
How would you describe the business you are in? Living Live Raw Plant Based Cuisine Picnics • Platters • Pantry Boxes • Food Trailer • Retreats • Online Store
Having a solid sense of self and good emotional grounding is essential for the disappointments.
What do you love about your work?
I get to combine my two great passions : consciousness and creativity. The alchemy of working with something alive – the textures and tastes, the colour and the art of presentation, takes all my innovation, imagination and juju. The self expression feeds me at every level of my Being.
What part of your job would you gladly give away?
Give away as in gift? The finished product. Give away as in leave behind? Red tape and admin.
If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?
Be wary of your expectations and assumptions. Just because you have a fantastic product, there is an uncharted journey until others know the awesome. Business is cutthroat – you really see the truth of people in the way they conduct themselves. Suddenly when you are now a commodity to make money from or have become a competitor in the market, the dynamic completely changes. Having a solid sense of self and good emotional grounding is essential for the disappointments. For example when people don’t love your business and support it the way you do (yet they expect you to boot and rally for them). Don’t take it personally.
Women start business 41% of the time to solve a problem? Sometimes this means we have a great vision but don’t have enough resources to sustain our business for the long term. Tell us what resources you started your business with.
Finance – this ‘reboot’ of Alive and Wild is fairly new. So right now its breaking even, paying for itself. If the growth so far is an indicator, I expect within the next 6 months I’ll be rockin it.
As you know we are passionate about women #backingthemselves. So tell us about a time in the last twelve months that you’re really proud of.
When I got my first platter order. The lady told me she read a write up in the local paper about me and then read my website and liked what I had to say. It was her 70th Birthday and I felt so honoured that she chose me to do the food for her special day and that someone actually responded to the advertising. It was the most humbling and celebrating moment and still brings a smile and flush of pride when I recall it.
As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?
Regulations – I abhor admin, rules and the details that go with it, but it is a necessary evil and something I think I could improve on.
The world is changing so fast and technology enables us to do so much more. We’re interested in which app you could not live without and why?
The weather app. I have tank water and am always wondering when it is going to rain. Socially its Instagram. I love the pics and seeing what other foodies are doing, it’s always inspirational.
Why did you decide to become a member of Females in Food®
It was time. Something in the vibe drew me and #backyourself spoke to me in such a way that I grabbed the opportunity. Saying “yes” and joining up was what I consider the first tangible step I took to following through on backing myself.
We love to celebrate the successes. Can you give us an example of how VIP membership to Females in Food has positively impacted your business?
The Facebook group has been a real treasure not just for information but also for positive women unreservedly there for each other. It’s helped me to regain my faith that it can exist. The enquiries and questions that are posed to the group and also the goal setting and planning activities has given me focus and accountability. It’s fed me creatively and given my ideas structure and perspective. Being a part of this Collective has also given me a sense of solidarity, like I am part of something bigger not just this little startup in the Byron Hinterland.
Thank you Vicki for sharing your story with us. We love to learn about what inspired a woman to start her business and how bringing together her values and passion can make for an exciting and focused brand. Health and wellness are such a high priority in our culture and your knowledge, experience and creativity make for a perfect offering to those who also highly value their overall wellbeing.
Interested in joining our community but missed out on becoming a Females in Food VIP member? Make sure you are the first to find out when enrolment opens again. Join our waitlist here.
Want to read more about another successful Females in Food VIP member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with founder of My Other Kitchen, Jane DelRosso.
We’d love to hear your comments about what’s inspired you in this ‘What’s Cooking’ interview or any one of our other blog posts. At Females in Food we believe in many voices and know the importance of building a community. Your comments are important for women who may be feeling alone, just so they know they aren’t alone and that in fact there is a big #empoweredcollective right behind them.
The Females in Food team