Kate Weiss accepting her Telstra award
Victorian entrepreneur Kate Weiss credits her two children with giving her the motivation to start her food business, Table of Plenty.
Fourteen years ago, Weiss’ daughter, Amy, was born with a rare genetic disorder and it was the experience of caring for Amy that led Weiss to leave her job managing the sales team for a US-based IT firm and begin work on a nutrition and wellbeing based food business that would become Table of Plenty.
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Last night Weiss was recognised by her peers, winning the Telstra Business Women’s Award for Business Owner of the Year. Speaking to SmartCompany this morning, Weiss says Amy and her eight-year-old son Ethan are what keeps her going.
“It’s a real juggle, that’s for sure,” says Weiss. “Yesterday I had to go to my son’s dress rehearsal instead of the play, but they see me doing what I’m passionate about, working to make things better.”
“A big motivation is to create a better place for my children to grow up in.”
Table of Plenty spices, cereals and snacks are stocked in major supermarkets in Australia and exported to numerous countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Dubai and New Zealand. And Weiss says Europe and the US are next on her list.
Weiss’ company is on track to turn over $10 million this year, which Weiss says has been helped in part by a doubling of the Table of Plenty muesli range.
Next year will bring even more product innovations, with Weiss revealing she has a bunch of new products in the works that will build on her company’s mantra: ‘Food you can trust from one mother to another.’
“I want to do a lot more in the snacking area,” she says. “I think there is a big demand for healthy snacks.”
Weiss admits she was “really overwhelmed” to receive an award last night and to be counted in a “room of such wonderful women doing amazing things”, including Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, Anne Cross, who is the chief executive of UnitingCare Queensland, and Young Business Woman of the Year, Tina Tower, who is the founder of Begin Bright.
“I’m thrilled, honoured and humbled,” Weiss says.
And she believes the recognition will only add to the company’s growth.
“In the real world of commerciality, the more exposure and brand awareness the better,” she says.
“It’s fantastic for Table of Plenty. We’re a small family business with a big heart behind it and I hope this award encourages people to get behind us and other small family businesses.”