It’s every mama’s dream: to take some time off the monotonous (and thankless!) task of preparing school lunches. Imagine being able to order nutritious, additive-free, refined sugar-free, and most importantly, kid-approved lunches? Imagine no more, because we’re thrilled to introduce you to Eastside mama, Skye Abraham, the founder of Packed. Skye has her sights set delivering freshly made lunches directly to registered schools. If you think that’s the most exciting news in the world of busy family life, wait until you read about the healthy party catering service she already has going!
Can you please tell us a little bit about your kids and where you live?
I have three boys – identical twins Benji and Elijah (8) and Remy (6). We live in Malvern.
What were you doing before you had kids? What led you to create Packed?
I was working in strategy and planning at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service before I had children and continued in that role for seven years before I started Packed.
I think there is a real gap in the market for good quality healthy, fresh, convenient kids’ food. Parents are increasingly aware of the impact of sugar and additives in processed packaged foods on their children’s health and behaviour, but that doesn’t mean we always have the time to make food from scratch. Packed is designed to give parents a healthy little break from food preparation, without compromising on quality and nutrition. We currently deliver healthy children’s party catering, but our goal is to move into schools as a tuckshop alternative.
Have you always been passionate about cooking and nutrition?
Yes! I’ve always loved good food and as a teenager became really interested in health and nutrition and considered becoming a naturopath. I always considered it more of a passion than a vocation, but last year I thought, why not focus on the thing I am most passionate about?!
Can you tell us about the services that Packed provides?
Packed started out as a lunchbox delivery service idea. I’m still keen to develop this, but healthy parties have really taken off and are easier for me to manage at this stage of the business. I’m still working out how to make the lunch model financially viable – it needs to be through a strong relationship with a single school, but I haven’t found the right opportunity yet. In the meantime, I’m loving the creativity that comes with party catering!
What is the best thing that motherhood has taught you?
It’s really taught me to prioritise. Whether that means on a day-to-day basis juggling multiple needs and priorities, or on a more macro level looking at how I spend my time and energy, motherhood is all about prioritisation. The other big one has been learning to ask for and accept help. Just say yes.
Do you have any advice for mums thinking about starting a business?
I find most mums start their business for a combination of two reasons – it’s something they’re passionate about, and they’re looking for better flexibility in hours so they can be there for their children. My advice is to make sure it’s financially viable as well. Otherwise it’s a hobby or a side-hustle, not a business. And that’s fine, but you need to be clear about your financial goals from the outset. My other advice is that sometimes near enough is good enough – if you always wait for each piece of the business to be perfect, you will never launch anything. You can finesse and perfect as you go, but you must start somewhere.
How do you juggle motherhood and running a business?
I’ve chosen a business that is mostly confined to school hours, so that is a good start. The party catering on the weekend I need family support to achieve, but I have the benefit of being able to say yes or no to jobs depending on our availability.
I try to make the most of pockets of dead time. I take my laptop with me to appointments or activities for the kids where I’m left in a waiting room. I don’t connect Wi-Fi, so it’s a solid hour of blogging or menu planning time guaranteed.
I’m also learning to let go of the need for things to happen ‘RIGHT NOW!’. I have three young kids – they are my priority and as much as it goes against my personality, my business will be coming around the mountain when she comes.
Can you share with us your funniest parenting story?
I kind of feel bad that this one doesn’t even involve me (maybe that’s why I find it funny?). My mum was kind enough to look after our twins when they were 2.5 while my husband and I went to New York with baby Remy for my 30th. We were out at a fancy restaurant overlooking Central Park when my mum messaged to say that she thought she would just check in on the twins during their day nap only to find that they were not asleep at all. They had helped themselves to the industrial sized Sudocrem under the change table and had painted each other and the carpet. It’s a water-proof barrier cream… I can only imagine how hard that was to clean up! Love you mum!
Find Skye at www.packed.com.au