Packed: Real food subscription lunchbox service in Melbourne.
Upon returning to work, Skye soon found the lunchbox drill monotonous and exhausting. She wondered, “If only someone could create high quality real food lunchboxes for me a couple of days per week.” That was the light-bulb moment! Packed was born to fulfil a gap that was missing – delivering healthy and fresh lunches to schools and allowing parents a break from the daily lunchbox grind. This interview with Skye from Packed, uncovers more favourable features about this innovative service helping both kids and their parents.
HOOD MAMA SPECIAL: Book party catering with Packed in 2017 and receive 10% off. Bookings need to be confirmed by the end of May. Join the hood to grab the discount code.
1.Why did you create 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 lunchboxes, without compromising on quality and nutrition.
2. How did Packed begin?
When I returned to work as a mother, I was suddenly giving up a lot more to show up to work. I decided just enjoying my work most of the time wasn’t enough. If I was going to employ a nanny, use day care or aftercare, miss school excursions or being the classroom volunteer, then I truly needed to feel passionate about my work. I have always loved cooking and nutrition, but despite this, I often found the lunchbox drill monotonous or exhausting. If only someone could create high quality real food lunchboxes for me a couple of days per week…Hmm!
3. How does Packed make mother’s lives better or brighter?
We all want to provide our kids with healthy, colourful lunchboxes that they will enjoy. We know that it often takes many attempts before a child will accept a new food, and yet it’s easier to just give them vegemite sandwiches every day. We know that packet food from the supermarket is generally full of sugar, artificial colours and flavours, bad fats and excess packaging, but it’s fast. And they like it. And we’re tired. Packed takes that stress away from you – providing a full healthy lunch for your child. It’s super easy to order online. You can subscribe for one or two days for the term at the beginning of the term and never worry about a cut off lunch order time again. Just cruise through the term knowing you have a break on Mondays or Fridays, or whichever day you choose. I couldn’t find a healthy, fresh, sustainable solution to my working mother lunchbox woes, so I created one!
4. How does it make you feel when someone orders from Packed?
I love it! I love hearing somebody tried something I posted on my Instagram page, or that they have tried recipes I’ve recommended. I love hearing that people value my service and enjoy my food.
5. What is your most popular product?
We’re still working on signing up our first school (call me!). I’m interested in building long term genuine relationships with schools, so this will take time. Fortunately, I’ve had some awesome holiday programs sign up for Packed lunches. The holidays are such a juggle for working parents. Who decided to give kids 12 weeks’ school holidays and their parents 4 weeks annual leave?! I remember people saying to me, ‘Oh you won’t know yourself now they’ve started school!’. Well, as a working mum, it was actually a lot harder. No more long daycare hours with flexible pick up time, and suddenly we had to organise school holidays. The last thing you want to do during school holidays is the lunchboxes, and most programs don’t offer a lunch option, so it’s great to be able to fill that gap.
6. What’s the most common frequently-asked-question about Packed?
What if my child doesn’t like the food?
Fussy eating is a problem that is close to my heart. At one point, one of my children would only eat plain carbs and fruit. And I can promise you, the best way to overcome fussiness is to keep offering a broad and varied diet. I believe in a division of responsibility when it comes to healthy eating: the parent chooses what goes on the plate (or in the lunchbox), the child chooses what they will eat. When you register with Packed, you will be asked to select some of your child’s favourite fruits and vegetables from a long list. We will always make sure there is a familiar preferred food in their lunchbox from their list. You also have the ability to select specific main menu items for your child.
7. Describe one thing mamas would be surprised about from behind-the-scenes of Packed.
I’m still slaving away at my own kids’ lunchboxes well past 9pm most nights wishing someone would do it for me.
8. What aspect about Packed do you love the most?
Trying new recipes and finding things that my boys love.
9. When you’re not in business mode, what do you love to do?
You’ll find me twisted into a pretzel at Happy Melon, enjoying a quiet coffee or reading a good book.
10. Any exciting plans for 2017?
It’s all exciting at this point. We’re right at launch stage, getting our lunches out to holiday programs for the first time and my big business goal for 2017 is to partner with our first primary school. Two or three by the end of the year would be amazing.
Packed supplies real food lunchboxes to children in pre-school to grade 3. We build relationships with local schools that do not have their own tuckshop and deliver directly to school. Packed is exactly as it sounds. Packed full of goodness. Packed for you and ready to go.
Biz owner: Skye Abraham
Favourite café: This is the hardest question anybody has ever asked me. I’m going to cheat and say Top Shop in Byron Bay.
Coffee order: Flat white.
Hood: Packed service areas - City of Stonnington, City of Glen Eira, City of Port Philip and Brighton.
Join the hood to receive the HOOD MAMA SPECIAL.
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