Interview with Emily Grimaud – the woman behind Oh So Yummy bars

There are more successful women in different areas of life including entrepreneurs than ever before. Although we often hear about success stories of women entrepreneurs and professionals, rarely do we get an inside look at the personal challenges that came with that success. To change that, I am going to start a series of interviews with smart successful women entrepreneurs and professionals. They are real women with everyday struggles and conflicts, but have learned to embrace and engage their purpose.

Emily Grimaud is the woman behind Oh so Yummy, I met Emily for the first time around 4 years ago before she had even started this business as she had cooked for an event we once had and I always remembered the amazing food this sweet woman had prepared for us.

I am sure that by now everyone has seen Oh so yummy bars on the shelves in health shops; pharmacies; canteens – they are locally made healthy bars and if you haven’t tried them yet you need to make sure to go get yourself one of these amazing bars. My personal favourites are the chocolate hazelnut and the cranberry Pistachio <3 but they are all so so yummy!

We first asked Emily to tell us a little bit about herself and how she started her business.

Emily studied at the ITS and is a Chef by profession. She worked in London for some time and cooked in various restaurants in London and including in one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. She met Gordon Ramsay once, whilst she was making a cheese cake (Here I must say I’m a little jealous of Emily as I have quite the crush on Gordon Ramsay). After some time she moved back to Malta and had her son Oliver. After having her son, Emily realised she did not want to work in catering anymore as the lifestyle that came with being a Chef did not fit in with the lifestyle she was after. So she started researching different business ideas and exploring various avenues. She started preparing a few products and giving them to friends and family to try out and then several months later she started packaging a few hundred bars and selling them and they were selling out immediately. Within 6 months, she moved into a factory in Zebbug and was making a substantial amount of bars per week but orders for way more then she could handle alone, were coming in so she decided to expand and take manufacturing to an established company, where they are now produced. Emily now focuses on creating and expanding her brand. In fact, her role now is to source new clients, maintain relationships with her clients and of course create new ideas.

When you started out in business, what specific idea, purpose or vision was your key driving force?

When Emily first moved back to Malta she noticed that there was a lack of healthy eateries and healthy Maltese products and she wanted to explore that niche. She had 2 options either go into catering or start up her own business and even though the idea of being her own boss scared her she decided she was ready to take a leap into the unknown and focus on starting her own brand. Being her own boss gives Emily a lot of energy and motivation and she is now doing what she always dreamt of doing, that is, running a successful business of her own.

Do you have anyone helping you out?

I have 1 person working with me – Becky. Becky takes care of many of our clients, maintains relationships and visits retail outlets but we work very much together. Emily feels she needs to connect with someone to be able to work with them everyday. She is involved in everything that needs to be done – from doing deliveries to helping out in manufacturing process if needed; to maintaining relationships and developing new ideas. Apart from Becky, I work with plenty of third-party suppliers, such as my designer and food technologists.

Apart from the amazing taste of your bars to what do you attribute your success?

A close family member has been a mentor to me, opinions and constructive feedback are extremely important to me. Oliver is also a huge drive. When I am working late I always find comfort in knowing that I am doing this with him in mind. And of course I am doing what I love, this job gives me energy and I wake up everyday feeling motivated about my work and life.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Kindness. For me the way someone treats their family; co – workers; servers at restaurants etc says a lot about that persons character. 10 years from now I want to be able to say that whenever I could have helped someone, I did.

Why should I buy your bars?

Apart from the fact that they are made in Malta!? The Oh So Yummy bars are the perfect breakfast bar. They contain oats, nuts, calcium, protein, sunflower seeds, dates. They contain everything you need to start the day off right, to give you energy and maintain a healthy long term diet. If you are interested in counting calories and losing weight fast then the Oh So Yummy bars are not for you. These bars are for people who want a healthy lifestyle every day of their life. They are also perfect to pack in your handbags for people who are busy at work and don’t want to end up snacking on unhealthy food and for school lunch boxes for your kids to take to school. These bars literally only have what they say they have on the wrapper – nothing is artificial and you can be sure you are having a genuinely good product when eating this bar.

How do you strategically use your time as an entrepreneur? What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs use their time for?

Most importantly on Sunday evening I plan my whole week. I plan deliveries; paper work; accounts and I even plan time for things that could go wrong so that I can handle anything the day throws at me. I have a diary and I write everything down and that helps me visualise my week and be productive.

I also have short term goals and long term goals. I give myself realistic deadlines and I plan my week in a way that my short term goals will lead to my long term goals. For example, right know, I am working a new project and the goal is that these new products will be on the shelves by the end of January. Stay tuned, we have something for everyone 😉

What are your plans for the future?

We will soon be opening an office and a warehouse in Zebbug. We will be launching new products and we need more space for that. I am really excited about this new development. So keep watching the Oh So Yummy page for these developments.

Which blog post of ours is your favourite?

On the journey of a break up and beyond. It was a very real blog, it is very easy to relate to it because it signifies how you deal with change. It’s not an experience that defines you, but it is HOW you choose to deal with any given circumstance. We need to make the best out of everything, everyday and be grateful for this amazing chance at life.

All work and no play is no fun … So what do you like doing in your free time?

I am a book worm. I love all books and getting lost in a different reality they take me to. Stephen King is one of my favourite authors. I love going on hikes and little adventures and I try to get out of my comfort zone and pushing my limits. I am also a foodie so I love eating and cooking. The culinary scene in Malta has really taken off and I am excited to see where it will go. I also study Accounts, I love number crunching and I feel it is helping in giving me a clear picture of where I stand in business too.

I really enjoyed chatting with Emily – we have a lot in common and apart from being smart and successful she is an incredibly nice person. As someone who has been on a huge journey to become healthy I truly recommend her bars. You can check out her FB page for more information https://www.facebook.com/ohsoyummymalta/