Dad’s house gamble lands him Woolies deal

A Melbourne man who turned a lockdown idea into a decision to sell the family home is now earning $30,000 a month.

A father of three sold the family home in Melbourne to support his business idea after dealing with climbing the walls of his child during the city’s initial lockdown.

Stuart Smyth, whose children are 11, 9, and 2 years old, found themselves in the chaos of homeschooling when the pandemic hit, but he soon realized something wasn’t right.

“I could really feel my sons not being able to concentrate, stay focused and regulate their emotions during the day, and it was a combination of not being normal to go to school anymore and the fear of what the coronavirus was then was,” he told News.

“I saw the need to help them manage themselves during the day and started doing some research to see how I could help them.
“Young boys are voracious beasts, so they were cleaning out the pantry and fridge every day, and I wondered if there was some way to help them with their food.”

Having previously worked in sales and marketing for well-known food brands such as Cadbury, Lavazza and Schweppes, Mr Smyth was surprised to find that there was nothing on supermarket shelves that would help his children from a mental wellbeing perspective.

“It was focused on physical health, whether it was protein for muscle, collagen for the skin, or products for weight loss, and there was nothing specifically designed to help mental well-being,” he said.

The 48-year-old began working with food scientists to create a wellness bar based on a homemade recipe and tested it on his children, which he says showed a “noticeable difference” in their mood and focus.

The wellness bars are packed with natural brain-boosting ingredients such as tyrosine, which converts to dopamine and tryptophan, which turns into the happiness hormone serotonin, Mr Smyth said.

They also contain prebiotic fiber, as good gut health helps to manage mood, he added, fava beans for protein and omega 3 combined with fruits such as apple, raspberry and strawberry.

Mr. Smyth was so convinced of his idea that he sold the family’s three-bedroom home in the southeastern suburb of Glen Iris, where a typical home is valued at $2.2 million, according to REA.

“We really believed in this idea and sold the house and put that money into the business, instead of buying another house,” he revealed.

“As a result, we are currently renting. I felt like it was the time in life to really try. You have to take risks.”

But the gamble has paid off so far.

Launched six months ago, The Mood Food Company currently earns $30,000 per month in sales with the product stocked at over 150 independent grocers across Australia.

The father also struck a Woolworths deal, where the bars will be sold in packs of five and retail for $8, starting June 27 in more than 100 stores nationwide.

It also won Best New Brand at the Naturally Good Awards in May and expects to reach $1 million in annual sales.

Next, Mr. Smyth aims to create a range of wellness products for adults in their various life stages, including youth, middle-aged and seniors, while the company also looks to launch in the Middle East and Asia.

He said the company had also donated more than 13,000 bars to SecondBite, a national food rescue organization, and to family aid programs.

The demand for functional food products is seen worldwide with the nootropics market – ingredients that claim to improve cognitive function – currently projected to reach $US5.2 billion ($A7.5 billion) by 2026.

“People’s mental well-being is a global challenge and so we see it as a great opportunity for us to build a solid foundation and bring our products to the rest of the world,” he added.

Read related topics:MelbourneWoolworths

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