17 Feb Talking Hungry Babies – Bliss Bites by Sam
MSCL talks Hungry Babies and Where they Like to Hang with Surf Coast Bliss Bite Maven – Sam Lester
Bliss Bites By Sam…
Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. — Sophocles
MSCL – Hey Sam! You’ve certainly taken the bliss ball – or bliss bite – scene to another level. We first came upon Bliss Bites by Sam at OneSpa, RACV Torquay Resort, and were excited to learn of their origin. We love all things local, and all the amazing people behind these things.
Now, we’ve taste tested our fair share of bliss bitey concoctions over the years, and I’m sure you’ll agree, there are bliss bites, and then there are bliss bombs – with the emphasis on the ‘bomb’ bit. Bliss Bites by Sam – we are happy to report – fall into the former category, and we can reliably report that they are most certainly of the bliss variety.
Bliss Bites by Sam are no ordinary bite. We’ve done our homework on this one. Tell us why. What’s so special?
SAM – All the bliss bites and dry mixes are based on using wholefoods and superfoods, and contain ingredients that not only taste delicious, but also serve to boost health. All bites are also raw and refined sugar free. Much of the range– with the exception of the lactation bites – are gluten free, too.
MSCL – What’s behind what’s actually in Bliss Bites by Sam, Sam? How did you come up with the idea of blending ingredients for the benefit of nursing mothers? It’s a pretty hungry pastime, that’s a given – both ends.
SAM – When I was breastfeeding my own children, I became frustrated with the high sugar and filler packed snacks on offer for breastfeeding mums, so I began making my own – quick and easy snacks to boost milk supply and to raise my energy level. After lots of interest from family and friends, I ventured into creating a brand to put on the market.
MSCL – Do you have a background in nutrition, food or health science? Or did you train in the culinary arts?
SAM – From day dot, I’ve always loved food and health. I have a degree in teaching and health sciences, and a passion for nutrition – which has increased since having my own children.
MSCL – From where do you source your ingredients? Tell us a little about how you decide what taste sensations to put into the bites. They don’t have anything naughty in them, so we’re wondering what makes them taste so good.
Oh, and we’re happy you’re making Bliss Bites by Sam for the rest of the population, too – those of us without baby attached. How do the varieties differ?
SAM – All the ingredients used in the products are sourced from organic suppliers, when possible. I order many of my home and business supplies through the wonderful My Wholesome Pantry here on the Surf Coast, and I source the probiotic cacao used in the Balance blend from Happy Body Co.
It’s so easy to eat healthy, without the refined sugars and preservatives that exist in most packaged products these days. My protein bliss bites use a raw, sprouted pea protein, and are sweetened by medjool dates used as a base. The dry mixes give the option to add in rice malt syrup, if desired. I also use pure peppermint oil in the Peppermint Pattie Bites, which is amazing.
In addition to the lactatation dry mixes, I make a Balance blend – and I use Australia’s first heat-resistant probiotic cacao. This blend contains the healthy fats in almonds and peanuts, which gives it a beautiful peanut butter taste – and maca powder, which stabilises hormones and boosts energy and stamina levels; it’s also been known to boost libido *wink wink*!
MSCL – As a small business owner and operator, how do you manage your time? With a young family in the wings, we’re sure you wear many hats. And how many days a week do you devote to the production side of the business?
SAM – I like to think of it as organised chaos haha! I add the Balance blend to my own smoothies daily for energy, that’s for sure.
I’ve literally just now bought a wall planner, to see if this helps with time management. I work as a physical education teacher two days a week. But I’m always home for drop-offs and pick-ups, and with my little ones on the days I’m not teaching.
All my bliss bites production is done as soon as the little ones are snoozing. I’m often working at night and into the small hours.
I’m also in the process of starting up another venture here on the Surf Coast, running activities for preschool- aged children. I’m super excited about that. It’s called Little Tackers Active Play. Stay tuned!
MSCL – Who was your first target audience? And how did you first market Bliss Bites by Sam?
SAM – My first target audience was definitely breastfeeding mums. I then expanded the reach of the produce to anyone looking for nutritious and delicious snacks that actually serve a purpose. Social Media – and word of mouth – have been incredible marketing tools, too.
MSCL – We’re sure you’d agree, the people living in and around the Surf Coast are so enthusiastically supportive of each another. People are genuinely interested in one another, what everybody’s into, and is doing – or are about to do.
Was it the case of you taking a gargantuan leap of faith into the market? Tell us a bit about the research that went into the realisation of your dream. How long from inception to lift-off?
SAM – All my ideas seem to spring up very quickly – not always a good thing. Community support has been incredible. There’s absolutely nowhere else I’d rather live than here in Torquay. I’m a strong believer in #supportlocal, and hold true to the ethos wholeheartedly myself.
When I first researched my business model, I wanted to make sure that my products would fill a gap in the market, and have a point of difference. No one likes a copy cat!
MSCL – We don’t need to talk business all the time, so we’ll jump in with our favourite question. We ask everybody this!
What are you listening to right now? And reading? And watching?
SAM – I’m listening to Sarah Blasko, after falling in love with her beautiful voice at the 4th Night concert.
I’m watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix – absolutely heartbreaking, but I feel it’s so important for parents to be understanding of the need for resilience in our little ones.
I am the biggest book worm. Although I don’t seem to have enough time to read much at the moment, which is something I know I must change. Do cookbooks count? At this very moment, I’m flicking through Lola Berry!
MSCL – What’s in a day for you, Sam? You must have a degree in time management! How do you stay motivated; and what inspires you?
SAM – Yin yoga is my new saviour – literally – as it’s so calming. I love all the classes at One Lifestyle & Spa. Metafit is my favourite for boosting endorphins – and I can get in and out quickly. It’s so easy to stay motivated with little ones who look up to me. I think its really important that children see their parents as valuable role models who contribute to society in positive ways. It’s important, too, that little ones witness their parents taking care of themselves, and looking after their own health, as well as the health of the family. Monkey see; monkey do!
MSCL – What do you do in your down time – as a family? If it’s the beach, do you have a favourite place along the coast to just plonk? Or a favourite cafe – place to eat? Or if not a specific favourite, somewhere you’d recommend to friends from afar?
And if you have any other magical things that come out of your kitchen, perhaps you could share them with us, too?
SAM – The beach is a definite favourite with our family, as we seem to have two little fish for children; they’re just drawn to the water. We love Cosy Corner for a kid friendly experience, but tend to head out to Point Addis when the crowds become a little too much in the peak holiday season.
And yes, much of my down time is spent in the kitchen. I love creating things, and am fast becoming obsessed with concocting delicious lunchboxes for my little preppy. A favourite at our house is my Lolly Soup; it’s based on a traditional family recipe – slow-cooked lamb shanks in bone broth, with lots of vegies and passata!
MSCL – Where else can we find Bliss Bites by Sam, Sam? They’re such lovely treaty things to take when visiting a brand new mum. Do any local medical centres or hospital gift departments stock your products? Is this an area that you may venture into in the future?
SAM – My protein bliss bites are at One Lifestyle Fitness – RACV Torquay Resort. You can find the Balance and Lactation Blends at East Fruit Market, Geelong; Geelong Wholefoods; and Flow Mumma Pilates & Yoga here in Torquay; Lemon Tree Wellness in Alice Springs – just in case you’re travelling that way; Wholefood Merchants in Greensborough. Hospital gift departments are a fabulous idea…now you’ve inspired me!
MSCL – We’re pulling out of this interview now, Sam. It’s just making us too bliss bites hungry…
Thanks so much for talking with My Surf Coast Life, Sam. We wish you every good thing for an epic bliss bite rollout for years to come.