The Frank n Al Chai Story; A Recipe for Success

The Frank n Al Chai Story; A Recipe for Success

Frank n Al Chai

Ponderings kicks off this edition with a burst of inspiration from creative humans transforming a passion and need into a thriving business. 

Beloved Ocean Grove local Kristen Carroll is one such human; her infectious and bubbly nature makes it no surprise that Frank n Al Chai has become a popular staple for those who want to be soothed and nurtured by this high-quality range of goodies. Have you tried the mulled wine kit? Your’s truly has- and there’s something uniquely next level and earthy about it, from the packaging to the flavour. It’s a soul pleaser. We pondered with Kristen, and her insights will leave you smiling. 

 

What are the origins of Frank n Al Chai?

Frank n Al Chai was born from a need to find something to replace coffee. I was on a meditation retreat with no coffee and woke with a headache I couldn’t get rid of on the second day. I didn’t realise till this point that it had such control over my body, so I set about trying to find a nice chai to replace my morning coffee. There are many great Chai’s out there, but many were too sweet or not strong enough for me or had caffeine in the tea used or weren’t organic, so I set about making my own.


What are some of the unexpected aspects in starting your business?

 

The most unexpected thing to happen when I started was Covid. It literally hit our shores as I started my business.

 

I was building a business as a yoga and meditation teacher at the time, so I had to put this to one side for a while. Looking back, I’m not sure I would have taken the business to where it is now if the pandemic didn’t happen.

 

A pleasant surprise was the open arms of the local small business community down the coast. Everyone was doing it pretty hard but still took time to give both myself and my product a go.

 

Your Products are raved about, what is it like to get success from something you have created?

So humbling…. I am pinching myself…people are authentic. When they taste Frank N Al Chai at markets, you can instantly tell if someone is into it or not, and people just take a sip and say Mmmmm, that’s beautiful. 

People contact me to tell me how much they love Frank n Al Chai. They send me pics and rave to their friends and family, who then come and rave to me at markets!! It’s the best!

 

Lanas Garden Ponderings

Did you ever have someone you looked up to in your childhood that might have influenced your ability to be so adaptive?

Growing up, I was a bit of a square peg and didn’t know who I was or what I was ‘supposed ‘to do.

My grandfather loved me for who I was, and I loved being with him. He was the guy who could make anything he needed out of what he had. He once made me a skateboard from some old roller skates and a plank of wood fashioned into a deck. We painted it white with an electrical tape stripe down the middle…to make it go faster!

He instilled in me the value of fun and giving things a go.

What was your background before Frank?

I have had a very interesting journey through my pursuit to find out why I am here. I worked in hospitality when I was younger, at music venues, so it was my work and my social life. I met my husband, Ricky, there too, so it worked out to be much more than a job. I also loved talking to people about their lives…people are so interesting. 

I also worked in a company called Avant Card for over 20 years! The free postcard company no longer exists, but I am great mates with the owner Pat, who always kept the planet in mind when she ran that company. She is a total girl boss!

I was a distribution manager for Victoria and learnt a lot about what people resonated with (marketing!) This helped me out heaps with my decision for packaging and how I wanted to present my product.

I was always drawn to meditation throughout my life. And in 2018, I completed a diploma in meditation and mindfulness. This formal study helped me realise that it wasn’t about the destination. It helped me to realise that I was on the right path and had always been and to continue living in the now and to just be

I put one of my beautiful meditations into each pack of Chai to help make the chai drinking experience that much more enjoyable.

What advice would you give to other people thinking of starting a business?

Running my own product-based business has given me a great sense of self-worth. I created this from a need I had and made it the best possible product. In addition, I made sure my product had a minimal harmful impact by using compostable packaging and only sourced the best possible organic ingredients.

I love this world I live in and only want to live as harmoniously as possible with it. However, it’s not all bottom line with me. When creating a product or service, it’s not hard to be mindful of the planet and all that inhabit it. Try not to be fooled by a plastic bag with a green leaf on it and the word ‘recyclable’. There is 4 times as much plastic used to make one ‘recyclable’ bag instead of the single-use degradable bags of the past. 

My supplier of compostable packaging said that people have never been buying more of these plastic bags, which makes me sad. The choice is easy, just don’t. There are other less harmful options. Most people bring their own bags to shop these days anyway.

If I was to give advice to someone wanting to start their own business, I would want them to make sure they were value-adding to the community in which they live. But, again, it’s about the trade you make. You get paid money to provide people with something that should equal or exceed that value, which will enrich people’s lives…no gimmicks… it’s such a great feeling.

Cubbyhouse or treehouse?

Definitely, treehouse, as it gives you so much more! (as long as you are not harming the tree, of course!)

You can climb up into it; you get a different perspective from ground level. It has an element of danger which is exciting. You can have a rope to swing on or a slide to make a quick exit. You have beautiful greenery all around you, be one with the birds…so much fun just thinking about it.

Check out Frank’n Al Chai on Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/franknal_chai

And the website  https://franknalchai.bigcartel.com/

Ponderers and counting...

Related Articles

Related

Ponder Kindness Part Two

There is nothing I like more than meeting a person who surprises you with a character that is refreshing and far from mundane.   This interview with Fr. Rod has created a joyful series of conversations that spark the mind. The most refreshing facet of this man...

read more

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course! Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for...

read more
Lana's Garden

Business with Heart – A Relishing Success

How does a love for fresh produce and the desire to share it turn into a business? What makes this Rhubarb Lady tick in our latest blog post.

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course! Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for...

Miss Universe Dr Olivia Wells Says You Can Take 15 Minutes a Day to Reframe Your Mindset

Our very own Miss Universe titleholder and paediatric registrar, Dr Olivia Wells is here to say you can reframe your mindset in 15 minutes a day.

Follow Us
Join

Subscribe & Support Positive storytelling

 

Business with Heart – A Relishing Success

Business with Heart – A Relishing Success

Lana's Garden

Is there anything more comforting than a Grandparent’s recipe? Traditional homestyle tucker made with love translates into soul food. You have a combo destined for success when you combine this with business. There is authenticity behind every great heart-filled business, a story resonating with people, beyond the buck and into the feels. 

The “Rhubarb Lady” of the South-West, Lana Campbell, optimises this with gusto. Lana’s Garden was founded on a passion for home-grown goodness that has flourished from relish, jam, and coulis to gift packs and even a tea towel range. The website has a treasure trove of scrumptious recipes to try your hand at. Did we mention the limited edition tote bag? 

We pondered with her on the story of Lana’s Garden. 

How did Lanas start? What was your inspiration?

My inspiration was family! Lana’s Garden was born from necessity and being able to spend time with my growing children.

 

What are some of the unexpected things that happened when you started?

Starting Lana’s Garden was a huge learning curve! At the start, there were mishaps such as ordering jars for my product that then had to find their way down a corrugated, country road to my house – there were a few broken jars along the way!

 

There were so many good, unexpected things like extended family and community support. I remember the first market we went to, Scott’s Creek market. My daughter Zoe and I set out for the day – we didn’t have a gazebo, only our product and a table. We started with 150 jars to sell, and WE SOLD OUT! I was very unsure and felt very vulnerable, but that was an exciting and unexpected way to start my business.

 

Everyone loves your beautiful products so much! What is it like to achieve success from your creations?

I am really passionate about this brand and what we have built. Because Lana’s Garden is based on my Grandmother’s Rhubarb Relish recipe, I have that will or want to succeed because I feel as though I’m representing my family.

 My uncle told everybody, ‘this is my mum’s recipe’. It made me feel so proud to represent my family like that, and it gave me a huge amount of satisfaction. One of the biggest things that I am proud of is that it is not something that I have taken over but something that I have created and built upon.

 

Did you ever have someone you looked up to in your childhood that might have influenced your ability to be so adaptive?

 

My dad. Even though I was raised in a traditional household, my dad instilled the sense to ‘give it a crack. He had me out fencing and fishing and all those sorts of things. Also, my Grandparents and people of the older generations – I saw my Grandparents being thrifty and sustainable, making amazing things out of what they had. It always comes back to family – they were all adaptable.

 

Both my Grandmothers and my mother did what needed to be done to keep the family ticking over. One Grandmother went off to the ammunitions factory, and the other worked in the telephone exchange – Pretty impressive on both accounts.

 

Mum was raised on a dairy farm, worked in retail, went back to the dairy farm, and found another job again – just watching my mum doing what needed to be done definitely inspired me to be adaptable in all aspects of my life.

 

 

Lanas Garden Ponderings

What was your background before Lanas Garden?

I had a hospitality and sales background – which was the perfect storm for what I’m doing now!

I started with a cooking apprenticeship at the local Hotel Warrnambool and the iconic Lady Bay Hotel. Then, after leaving hospitality to start a family, I worked for Tim and Caroline at Timboon Fine Icecream. I learned so much from working with them. This was my first experience working with a quality, family-run artisan food business.

 

Has anyone supported you in a special way you would like to mention?

I would like to shout out to all of the amazing women who have been a part of Lana’s Garden over the years – we would not be where we are without them.

 

What advice would you give to other people thinking of starting a business? 

Be prepared for a lot of challenges! But, like most challenges, ‘tackle it like you’re eating an elephant…one bite at a time.’

 

Go for it but make sure that you are in it for the right reasons – at the end of the day, having a passion for what you are creating keeps you going. It’s a lot of hard work, and if money is the only reason you are in it, you may as well go and work for someone else.

 

Cubbyhouse or treehouse? 

Definitely a treehouse!

Why? Because I feel like your view is unencumbered. You can see the landscape and dream big! I love a good treehouse.

Lana’s products are handmade in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia; they are gluten-free and vegan and do not contain artificial colours, artificial flavours or artificial preservatives. Our team tasted a delicious selection, and we particularly loved the Rhubarb and Fig Jam. To check out more of her Australian Made goodness, go to https://www.lanasgarden.com and don’t forget to check out her Insta page- full of inspo. 

Ponderers and counting...

Related Articles

Related

Ponder Kindness Part Two

There is nothing I like more than meeting a person who surprises you with a character that is refreshing and far from mundane.   This interview with Fr. Rod has created a joyful series of conversations that spark the mind. The most refreshing facet of this man...

read more

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course! Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for...

read more
Lana's Garden

Business with Heart – A Relishing Success

How does a love for fresh produce and the desire to share it turn into a business? What makes this Rhubarb Lady tick in our latest blog post.

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course! Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for...

Miss Universe Dr Olivia Wells Says You Can Take 15 Minutes a Day to Reframe Your Mindset

Our very own Miss Universe titleholder and paediatric registrar, Dr Olivia Wells is here to say you can reframe your mindset in 15 minutes a day.

Follow Us
Join

Subscribe & Support Positive storytelling

 

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course!

Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for Businesses event!

This evening will be filled with gifts from a panel of inspirational speakers who will share their insights and best practices for business and personal growth in 2022 to door prizes, refreshments and more. It’s going to be a fun, engaging and supportive evening whilst an informative packed night! BOOK NOW

The following panel of speakers will be sharing:

Dominique Ho from Viewpoint Digital Media (Digital Marketing Specialist):

  • Importance of a digital marketing strategy
  • Ways to engage with your audience
  • Say cheese! Thinking outside the box with your media assets

Sally Wilson from I Am Sally Wilson (Change Coach):

  • How to ditch stress and why
  • Freedom and choice – the superpowers we forget
  • Fun at the top of the list – a necessity, not a luxury

Mark Edmonds from MRE Consulting(Business Advisory):

  • The importance of business planning
  • How to eat an elephant without getting indigestion
  • Business planning considerations

Brenton Dunn from PTP Accounting (Business Accountant):

  • Pressure testing your cash flow forecast
  • Building the right cash flow structure
  • Reviewing cash flow results and taking action for success

Kirsten Macdonald from Ponderings Magazine (Business Storyteller):

  • The secrets to storytelling to increase your bottom line
  • Celebrating You- What the Big Wigs know
  • Self-Authoring and Business Growth

You will be able to engage and ask questions throughout the night.

We’re so grateful to have the support of our major sponsor and local family from JAX Tyres who are helping us tremendously with this event. We’re hosting this event at the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club and the whole $25 from each ticket sale from the evening will go to the OGSLSC to support them and all the work they do for our community to keep us safe!

Tickets are limited so please book quickly to avoid any FOMO (fear of missing out)! BOOK HERE!!

Miss Universe Dr Olivia Wells Says You Can Take 15 Minutes a Day to Reframe Your Mindset

Miss Universe Dr Olivia Wells Says You Can Take 15 Minutes a Day to Reframe Your Mindset

We all have those days where we feel like life is getting the best of us, especially in a world where a pandemic monopolises our lives. You might be feeling more stressed than usual, or maybe you’re just not sleeping well at night. Sometimes it can seem impossible to find time to do anything for yourself, let alone take care of your mental health and physical wellbeing. But don’t worry – there’s help! Meet our very own Miss Universe titleholder and pediatric registrar, Dr Olivia Wells! 

 

Dr Olivia Wells is a Paediatric Registrar at the Royal Children’s Hospital. She has dedicated her life to helping children in groundbreaking medicine, along with an inspiring history of philanthropy in underprivileged countries. Her dedication also includes being an ambassador for many organisations, including Connor’s Run https://www.connorsrun.com/the-run. In 2013 she was the first Victorian woman to be crowned Miss Universe Australia and represent in Moscow. 

 

We ponder! 

 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

How did the process of Miss Universe help you to gain skills for what you do today?

 

In my year as Miss Universe, I had the opportunity to undertake charity work, and instead of doing just Instagram, Snaps, and you know, attending balls, I spend several with a group called Operation Smile doing overseas aid work in cleft lip and palate repairs in children in developing nations. As a result, I met a number of surgeons who became mentors and had an opportunity to develop my skillset with kids; this led to going into paediatric medicine. This also opened the way to doing other charity work within the healthcare field.

 

I guess that’s what I decided to get out of my year! I knew I didn’t want to be a TV presenter, and I didn’t want to be a model, and I didn’t want to be an influencer. But I was already in medical school, and I did want to be a doctor. 

 

Connor’s Run influence on your medical career?

 

I was already in medical school when I started working with Connor’s Run. I wanted to be a doctor well before then. I got involved with Connor’s Run and met one of my new mentors, Dr Jordan Hansford, a Paediatric Oncologist at RCH, and he was Connor’s Oncologist. Knowing that I wanted to get into paediatrics, part of doing that is doing research. So I pestered poor Jordan until he took me on. In the end, he said, yes, I’ve got a project, you can come in and work on this massive Excel spreadsheet ( I think it still gives me nightmares), and we’ll see how you go.

 

This grew into a great working relationship where I’ve been researching with Jordan as part of his team for years now. I fell in love specifically with paediatric Oncology and particularly Neuro-oncology or brain tumours. 

 

I have seen first-hand a lot of unsung heroes in groundbreaking medicine, people that dedicated a whole lot of life, years into this extraordinary work. Helping children live by the hour in some cases!

 

Well, that’s why I do it as well because I’m blown away by the work. Oncology; is this incredible space at the cutting edge of medical research, and every day, every week and every year, there’s something new coming out that gives hope. You’re also in a space where you can provide care and compassion to families in their greatest time of need and walk with someone on a journey that no one should ever have to walk on. So to be able to say that I’m here for you, to support you, and provide kindness, compassion, and dignity on this journey is humbling. 

 

With this workload and dedication, you use your social platform to encourage balance and healthy living. I am told you have a really interesting take on 15 minutes a day, can you tell us about it? 

 

At the moment I’m studying for a paediatric exam. This exam is my last big exam in my training period, and it’s the biggest scary one, the scariest one that I’ll ever sit. So my routine in the morning means I get up at 5:00 – 5:30 AM, I do an hour to an hour and a half of study, and then I try and do something active for just a little while. And then I go to work.

Some days I managed to get out for like a 15 or 20-minute run. And that’s great. Some days I’m exhausted, and I just think, you know what? Today I’m just going to congratulate myself for getting up and having done some extra study and doing this. Some days I have a day off, and I feel really good, and I’ll say, all right, I’ll go out and run 10K today because I just feel like it, and I enjoy it. And so, for me, it’s been actually really difficult to sort of have that compassion and hold the compassion for myself in not being amazing at everything.

 

I used to be a competitive swimmer. I was in state and national competitions. I’m very used to being quite athletic and fit, and this year, my physical fitness has taken a backseat to work and study-related things. That’s been hard to reconcile within myself. But I focused in September in the Connor’s Run Your Way Any Day is that something little for myself every day, even if it wasn’t what I would have previously expected to be amazing or something to toot my horn about on social media is still a pretty bloody good job, especially in a pandemic.

 

The positive affirmation is wonderful, and embracing the I WILL 

affirmation is powerful, like Connor did during his yoga therapy class. His was ‘I WILL be Awesome’ – yours can be anything.

 

What would be some of the ways that you’ve changed your self talk? Can you give an example?

 

I started journaling a lot; I try and sit down and write as much as I can. I reflect on something I did well that day, why I did it well and what skills this showed. So I might say, for instance, one day I did a great faster run than usual, but I did that well because I had looked after myself by eating well the day before and using positive self-talk on my run. Or it might be that I had a special interaction with a colleague at work or with a patient. Or I could actively listen to someone to take on board their feedback or their concerns or whatever it may be. I’ve found it’s been really helpful. It’s one thing to ask what am I grateful for or what am I good at? But to take that next step and ask, what is it about me that allows me to be good at this? And recognise that. This also brings these aspects to the front of your mind, and you can continue working on them as well.

 

It became like a self-fulfilling prophecy where I was mindful of how kind or dedicated or how well I communicated. Being mindful of that one day means that the next day I can employ these skills. I can build on them.

 

What’s something about being Miss Universe that our readers might not know about? 

 

Oh, that’s a hard one. I think there are so many things. I mean, firstly, it’s not as glamorous as what people may believe! The number of times I had to do a clothing change with the towel around me or in the car because I was trying to get from event to event. And of course, you can’t wear the same thing at two events. It’s a bit ridiculous. So now you see, she’s wearing the same track pants now for days in a row! 

 

What’s something our readers might not know about being a paediatrician? 

 

Bubbles are your best friend! Kid crying, bubbles. Suppose the child doesn’t want to be touched to examine -bubbles! Kids getting a drip put in? Bubbles. Just because you can- bubbles! I carried a bubble wand like a stethoscope! 

 

It’s changed with COVID, of course. So I’ve had to resort to stickers and like single-use things. But pre COVID when it was not a faux pas just to blow your secretions bubbles were the best thing ever.

 

Would you choose a tree house or a cubby house?

 

Treehouse.

 

Parting pondering?

This period is really difficult for all of us. And I think the one really important thing is that we have kindness and compassion for ourselves and others. And once you can start being kind and compassionate to yourself, you can start bringing that forward to others.

 

About Connors Run: 

 

Connor’s Run is the brainchild of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation. 

This year Connor’s Run has raised over 2 million dollars for Children’s Brain Cancer. 

 

In September 2011, 17-year-old Robert Connor Dawes ran from his home in Sandringham to the boatsheds on the Yarra. He’d started his training for the upcoming rowing season early, as he wanted to make the Brighton Grammar 1st VIII. Not loving running, he did the 18.8 km because he was determined to be the best he could be. Little did he know that there was more than fierce determination in his head: there was also a tumour growing. Connor had unknowingly begun his battle.

 

Two months later, Connor was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma. Major surgery resulted in the loss of movement to his right side, impaired vision and severe short term memory loss. His body was broken, but his mind was not. He was determined to improve and spent hours each day on his physical and mental rehabilitation. The intense radiation and later chemotherapy followed. But throughout all this, Connor never stopped smiling. He stayed positive, philosophical and true to his mantra: “I will be awesome”.

 

For 16 months, Connor’s brilliant mind, strong body and gentle soul faced off against an ependymoma. Like many others, his brains and brawn gave it all to fight against the poor odds. But on April 20, 2013, Connor’s own battle ended. 

 

Inspired by his spirit of Aeternum Fortis, the RCD Foundation was created as a tribute to him and other brain tumour fighters.

 

Over the past eight years, Connor’s Run has evolved into Australia’s biggest event for paediatric brain cancer, with thousands of young runners now participating in the event. Many come back year after year, each time generating more funds raised and more attention for the #1 cancer killer in young Australians.

 

You can donate any time and get involved -see the below links for info: 

 

https://rcdfoundation.org

https://www.connorsrun.com/the-run

 

Ponderers and counting...

Related Articles

Related

Ponder Kindness Part Two

There is nothing I like more than meeting a person who surprises you with a character that is refreshing and far from mundane.   This interview with Fr. Rod has created a joyful series of conversations that spark the mind. The most refreshing facet of this man...

read more

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course! Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for...

read more
Lana's Garden

Business with Heart – A Relishing Success

How does a love for fresh produce and the desire to share it turn into a business? What makes this Rhubarb Lady tick in our latest blog post.

Christmas Gifts For Business

2021 has been a difficult time for so many businesses in our community so we thought, what can we do to be of service? How can we support Ocean Grove business owners? You give them something special that continues to give of course! Welcome to your Christmas Gifts for...

Miss Universe Dr Olivia Wells Says You Can Take 15 Minutes a Day to Reframe Your Mindset

Our very own Miss Universe titleholder and paediatric registrar, Dr Olivia Wells is here to say you can reframe your mindset in 15 minutes a day.

Follow Us

Join

Subscribe & Support Positive storytelling

 

%d bloggers like this: