Meet the lady behind Chelle's Soulfoods

Cuzzie Performance was our very first real business venture - deciding to take the chance and open our doors was scary, exciting and full on. Since opening in November we have crossed paths with so many young people, who just like us, are taking a punt and going into business for themselves. It was guys and girls like this that inspired us to bring Cuzzie Performance to life and so we decided to share their stories with you! Hopefully, hearing the stories of other young entrepreneurs can inspire you to take a leap of faith and start building your own business.

In the first installment of our Young Entrepreneur Series we chat to Rochelle Hayes from Chelle's Soulfoods (whose delicious raw slices you'll find stocked in the Cuzzie Performance fridge).

What was it that inspired you to launch Chelle's Soulfoods?

I have always lived a healthy lifestyle and loved cooking. I started making raw desserts for myself, and my friends and family also loved them. So I decided to take it further and start to sell them at local cafes.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your business so far?

Biggest challenge would be keeping up with competitors. The raw food and health industry is growing rapidly and there are a lot of new businesses making similar foods. It can sometimes be challenging to have time to run the businesses daily tasks while continually producing new products.

Raw cakes - why are they so good for us?

Raw cakes are full of wholefoods. They are completely gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. We only use natural ingredients that are good for your body. Most raw desserts are made using a lot of nuts and coconut products, which are full of protein and good fats so are a healthier option rather than pre-packaged snacks full of sugar and other nasty ingredients your body doesn’t require.

If you could turn back the clock to when you were just launching Chelle's Soulfoods, what’s one piece of advice you would give yourself?

I would tell myself to be patient. Everything falls into place when it needs to, if you continue working hard.

What's your morning routine?

Most mornings I wake up at 6:00am and have a few glasses of water while getting ready, then I head to Pilates or out for a run. After I work out, in winter I usually eat oats with banana and berries and a herbal tea, or in summer I go for a smoothie bowl with nuts and fruit. Then I shower, get ready and it’s off to the kitchen for a 8-9am start.

We're all about keeping healthy here at Cuzzie, what's your number one health tip?  

Always stick to real foods- plenty of veggies and wholefoods. Avoid packaged ones as much as possible! And always make sure you’re eating- don’t skip meals or your body will pay for it!

How do you balance friends, family, your health and running your own business?

Health is number one priority. You can always make time to go for a half hour walk/run somewhere in the day, whether that be getting up a little earlier or pushing back your dinner time, it is always worth it. My weekly schedule is pretty busy so I try to see family or friends over dinner or on the weekends, luckily I’m surrounded by a pretty great bunch of people so they understand time is limited while running a business!

What's the best part about being your own boss?

Making your own hours is the best! Although my business does have a time limit as to when the desserts need to be made, I can always start early or work late and fit extra things in during my day.

What was your first job and what did you learn?

My first ever job was at a pizza shop in customer service. I learnt that even though you may not agree with them, it is always better to work towards the customers needs as best you can to make everyone happy in the long run!

How has social media played a role in your business?

Social media is simply AMAZING! I still am beyond amazed each day of how many people you can reach and share your products with. Probably 95% of my customers that order birthday/celebration cakes say they found Soulfoods through Facebook or Instagram. It really is a great business tool that you can use in so many ways to expand your business.

In 25 words or less sell the Chelle's Soulfoods dream...

A wholefoods café by the beach in Melbourne. Completely vegan, gluten, dairy & refined sugar free. Smoothies, juices, raw treats, takeaway meals. The ultimate dream!

What's your one tip for people thinking about launching their own business?

Just go for it! It is so scary but so rewarding. Number one tip would be keep believing in yourself, if you put in the hard work you can get anywhere you want to.

Follow Chelle's Soulfoods on instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with all her delicious treats!