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/

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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. 

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Hour of Power For Women’s Health Thanks To Innovative Doctor

Hour of Power For Women’s Health Thanks To Innovative Doctor

A new Medical Clinic launching this month will be a breath of fresh air for women. It could not come at a better time as our country battles the current health stumbling blocks of COVID. 

The initiative, delivered by Australian Skin Face Body is headed by Dr Renuka Balasubramaniam. The holistic approach this female-focused provider offers is radically different from the health standard, with consultations lasting a full hour as opposed to just minutes and health plans being created based on individual needs instead of generalized categories. 

12.8 million women in Australia make up just over 50 percent of the Australian population and almost half the Australian workforce. Based on the Australian Health Survey, -only 1 in 4 (26%)women had spoken to their GP about their emotional and psychological health. The National Health Survey shows that 1 in 2 Australian females have one or more of the ten selected common chronic conditions. A disturbing presentation of information. These chronic conditions including arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart, stroke and vascular disease, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and mental health conditions.

Over the years in general practice, Dr Balasubramaniam found that she attracted female patients and this focussed on everything from internal medicine, mental health to hormone disruptions encompassing all phases of life. The common theme ushered in the genius idea for a women-focused clinic with an extended time frame. 

“So often, time constraints, or interruptions, and general practice appointments prohibits women the space needed to discuss at length medical things perhaps they may feel embarrassed about. We want to help them hold their ground without being interrupted, be open about what is bothering them without being judged. We look at all facets, and then we make a management plan and activate this right away. We look at day-to-day living, lifestyle, work, personal life, relationships, holistically means covering all different aspects; including primary medical care. Integrating treatment is important, so there is a seamless approach to healthcare,” says Renuka. 

 

There is no time wasting either! “There’s a lot of homework; when women make an appointment, our team will email them through a thorough questionnaire. This is because I want these appointments to be targeted, not wasting time. I want to get that historical health picture to really hone in and develop some areas for targeting and management, and utilize the amazing up to date tech facilities at ASFB to meet health care needs and goals,” says the passionate physician. 

So what happens in this hour of power? 

Dr Balasubramaniam explains; 

“There is intensive health goal mapping. Why are they coming to see me? What needs to be done, what has been done in the past? For many women, they may have had a health concern and have not been happy with the management plan in place, or perhaps it was not resolved, or they have sat on a problem and not had expectations met, or perhaps they have had a negative experience.” 

I love every component of medicine; during my time in my degree, I moved around a lot, met many patients, and worked with some wonderful colleagues. Whilst I know not all health concerns can be fixed immediately, I really enjoy helping women, and it’s fulfilling to see them again and hear about their improvements. Empowering women back into good health and practice is important to me. 

 

“We work as a team to reach a common goal. But, ultimately, they are the boss; I am working for them to help them achieve better quality and healthier lifestyle. They need to take control of their health. I am there to help them do this!” 

How do I make an appointment?

The women’s health clinic is a private service, the reception team at ASFB can provide fee information upon booking your initial appointment or making an enquiry. Medicare rebates are available.

No referral is necessary to see Dr Renuka.

You can book a Women’s Health and Wellbeing session with Dr Renuka by calling 1300 502 732

References and further reading:

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia/latest-release#data-downloads

 

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health/contents/how-healthy/chronic-conditions

 

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health/contents/how-does-the-health-of-females-and-males-compare

 

https://consultations.health.gov.au/population-health-and-sport-division-1/establishing-a-national-womens-health-strategy/supporting_documents/Evidence%20ReviewThe%20current%20state%20of%20womens%20health.pdf

 

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Filming Fever Set To Flare Again in the Geelong Region

Filming Fever Set To Flare Again in the Geelong Region

What does Geelong have to do with the suffragette movement in New York City? Well, a hidden gem written by playwright Floyd Dell in 1915 about a love affair struck a chord with Geelong based actress Cassidy Krygger.

Enigma, a one-act play, has been reinvigorated and is set to be filmed in Geelong. With Aussie producer Jessica Orscik on board and her US-based production company, Diversity Pictures, Orscik is dedicated to edifying projects with diversity. 

This is the crowning stroke in what is set to be a shining light for Geelong in the face of an industry crippled by COVID. 

More than a little inspiring, Krygger sought inspiration as she battled Multiple Sclerosis, and plunged herself into the world of script, story and art. Diagnosed in 2018, the humble and dedicated actress has forged forward to bring diversity and inspiration to audiences. 

“The moment I read Enigma, I fell in love with it. A one-act play, Enigma tells the story of a love affair, the story could be told today, and I contemplated a narrative with a twist, what if the affair happened between two women? Thus began the journey, a period piece with strong female characters to reinvigorate a masterpiece.” 

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“When I was diagnosed in 2018, I desperately needed stories to escape into. I also realised I wanted people with Multiple Sclerosis to look up to the industry that I love. I feel there are limited opportunities for people with disabilities; even though this is slowly changing, I would love to be a part of that change,” says Cassidy. 

Filming took place at the Wormbete Estate in Winchelsea, the period piece will be an excellent addition to what the Geelong region has to offer artistically, with film crews historically bringing great fortune to regional areas. The SeaChange effect, coined after the series name filmed in Barwon Heads from 1998 to 2000 by the ABC, with a stellar cast including star Sigrid Thorton- showed how prosperous filming can be for regional areas. Films such as The Dressmaker, Mad Max, and Tomorrow When the War Began showcases the elements our area offers. 

Playright Floyd Dell

It is so exciting to inject some more excitement into the town I love so much. However with COVID impacting the industry so severely we are personally looking for collaboration by those wanting to invest in the project to help get it going. It is a very expensive process, even with our personal free contributions” says Cassidy. 

If you would like to be a part of the Enigma launch, and you would like to show your support for this exciting project; join us by clicking here- Daisy Productions

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Lights, Camera Action in Geelong

Lights, Camera Action in Geelong

Montanna Macdonald

Montanna Macdonald

Journalist Ponderings

As safe COVID-19 practices draw more Hollywood actors to Australian shores, the Geelong region is just one of many booming cities with film industry potential. 

With an abundance of opportunity for major film productions, the Geelong region’s future is looking promising. Some previous Geelong film sets include Mad Max, the Dressmaker, Paper Champions, not to mention multiple streaming service shows like Netflix’s show Rostered On and teen series currently filming on the Surfcoast, Surviving Summer.

The arts and entertainment industry is struggling with restrictions on gathering, events, and tourism globally. Still, funding resources and COVID-SAFE film production in Australia is an exciting avenue for future filmmakers, jobs, and encouraging investment back into the arts and hearts of Aussie towns. 

A new foundation in Geelong called the Geelong Waterfront Film Foundation is paving the way for encouraging filmmakers to produce in town, with tax deductible funding and grants available for film production in Geelong. A game changer in an entertainment industry that is battling through a pandemic. 

Ponderings met with Executive Director of the Geelong Waterfront Film Foundation, Belinda Lyle, for an interview to discuss the exciting opportunities, resources and support for local emerging artists the Foundation can provide.

What does the Geelong Waterfront Film Foundation want to achieve in Geelong? 

“A group of local stakeholders are now working to create an environment in which a sustainable local film and TV industry are possible. With diverse and impressive natural landscape Geelong is destined for the screen. Urban areas, semi-rural landscapes and beautiful coastline see Geelong and surrounding as an ideal area for filmmaking. Let’s establish a filmmaking hub with a framework in place to make it easy to film in the area!” 

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What is Geelong Waterfront Film? 

 

“Geelong Waterfront Film (GWF) is set up as a Foundation, in which once adequately funded via local investors, backers and the community at large will assist filmmakers financially should they choose to film in the region.”

“The brainchild of the Foundation, Geelong Accountant Mr Patrick Rowan, found when producers currently come to the region, they are usually looking for ways to raise completion of finance for final production. As an Accountant, he was often approached to recommend investors. Establishment of the Waterfront Film Foundation allows investors to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation which in turn can be a grant or investment to those filming in the region.”

How does Geelong Waterfront Film support local emerging talent in the region?

“GWF is committed to supporting local and emerging filmmakers, creating another funding stream for them. Through its financial support, the Foundation allows for more diverse voices to be heard as this could mean the difference between a film being made or not. This extensive project now also has a newly established board consisting of various artists and Geelong professionals. 

What achievements has the board managed so far?

We have a small grant from the City of Greater Geelong to establish a database of people in the industry. There’s so much talent in Geelong – experienced and emerging filmmakers, directors, lighting & sound engineers, actors, – post-production experts, we are continually surprised with who’s coming out of the woodwork.”

“We want people to be able to come to Geelong to film and know there’s expert talent here to help with the production. The evolving database will help point people in the right direction.”

“In the BIG picture, GWF wants to host the Waterfront Film Festival, think Cannes and Sundance – red carpet and limos – all on Geelong’s stunning Waterfront. This would certainly attract international attention. Wheels are in motion for local film awards and the criteria that must be filmed in the Geelong region. This is a chance to showcase existing and up and coming talent.”

Belinda Lyle, Executive Director GWF.

Belinda Lyle, Executive Director GWF.

 If you are an actor or an aspiring filmmaker, how can you get involved?

 

  • Sign up for the Industry database. It costs $20 per annum to set up to be listed on the website database. Your talents are also promoted through WFF’s social media. It’s not only actors and filmmakers – anyone involved with the industry can sign up to the database!

 

  • Member-only events are planned for down the track offering networking opportunities. 

 

  • There are also opportunities for businesses to get involved with sponsorship. 

 

  • We also run several working committees if anyone wants to be involved with the project. 

 

  • Film-buffs and people interested in the arts can also sign up as a “Friend of Geelong Waterfront Film” for $20. Tax-deductible donations can also be made to the Foundation. 

 

The future of film in Geelong is an exciting avenue for jobs, emerging local talent and tourism, and we look forward to watching this space! To find out how you can support- jump over to: https://www.geelongwaterfrontfilm.com.au 

 

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The Number 36

The Number 36

Here’s a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special?

In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler’s Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an American track and field athlete. At the Berlin Games, he won 4 gold medals. Hosted in Berlin, Germany chancellor Hitler opened the games, and much of the world would be fooled with propaganda. Many international guests were unaware that the regime had temporarily hidden anti-Jewish signs and the roundup of Roma in Berlin. 800 Roma residing in Berlin were arrested and placed under guard in a special camp in the suburb of Marzahn. Jewish sportspeople were unable to compete. Boycotts rumbled but never took off. Interesting fact; Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas convinced Owens to wear a pair of his sneakers and Jesse became the first sports-sponsored African American. 

Zoologist, activist and superstar academic David Suzuki was born in 1936. The advocate for swift climate change response is a leader around the world and an expert on nature. His foundation states: The right to a healthy environment is the simple yet powerful idea that everyone should be able to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat safe food and to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

 

“When we forget that we are embedded in the natural world, we also forget that what we do to our surroundings we are doing to ourselves.”

According to Jewish legend in every generation, there are 36 saintly people Lamed Vav Tzadikim who will save the world. Unrecognized by their fellow humans and unknown even to each other, they are said to pursue humble occupations such as artisans or water-carriers.

36 is the perfect number. Perfect number: a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper divisors. The smallest perfect number is 6, which is the sum of 1, 2, and 3. 

+36 is the country code for Belgium 

Ethel Scull 36 Times was Andy Warhol’s very first commissioned portrait and the genesis of his business- making portraits at the request of wealthy celebs. 

36 Gods assembled the various parts of the first human before Tāne, the god of forests and birds breathed life into its nostrils, according to Maori legend. 

In Numerology the number 36 represents energies that accomplish creative goals for helping humankind.

A checkers board has 36 tiles.

1836 (MDCCCXXXVI) was a leap year and is the year Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico. 

Pontius Pilate, the guy who gave the order to kill Jesus, died in 36CE. He was also a Roman knight. 

Harvard University was established in 1636. 

Barbara Streisand has 36 Studio Albums.

Marilyn Munroe, Bob Marley and Princess Diana all passed away tragically at age 36.

Last but not least in gematria (a form of Jewish numerology), the number 18 stands for “life”, because the Hebrew letters that spell chai, meaning “living”, add up to 18. Because 36 = 2×18, it represents “two lives”. (Zwerin, Rabbi Raymond A. (September 15, 2002). “The 36 – Who Are They?”)

Now I wonder if you start noticing the number 36? If you do, drop us a line! media@ponderings.com.au 

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