European Business: Mrs. Staudacher, organic is in, and snacks are abundant. Why did you make the decision to launch organic snacks from foodloose anyway?
Katharina Staudacher: I think we ourselves contributed a little to organic being in. foodloose was founded in 2010. At that time, there were hardly any organic snacks that were not only healthy and sustainable, but also fun. We wanted to draw organic out of the often-so-serious eco-nook and create a lifestyle product. In the meantime, a number of other snack brands with a similar approach have hit the market, and I’m glad to see that clearly organic is now cool and stylish too.
European Business: You give your nut bars unusual names like Poppy Limona, Garden Gusto and Poesie Amelie. Is that an expression of having fun with creativity or ingenious marketing?
Katharina Staudacher: Both. We want to surprise and enthrall our customers. Our bars have these names because each one was inspired by a very personal story. The idea for Poppy Limona came from a small cafe in the USA where I tried an absolutely fantastic muffin with lemon and poppy seed during a road trip. And Poesie Amelie is named after a very good friend and her traditional roast apple dinner every year. Each bar is special and therefore needs a special name. Besides that, we just have fun being a little different from classic industrial products and standing out on the shelves.
“Our bars have these names because each one was inspired by a very personal story.” Katharina StaudacherFounder and Managing Director
European Business: Start-ups are often founded by men. Are women less courageous when it comes to founding companies?
Katharina Staudacher: No, I don’t think so. But women particularly in their 30s – the classic age of founders – are busy with family planning for that time. Then, for a lot of them, security has priority for a while, and they often return to their old jobs part-time. Many women are then frustrated because challenging activities fail to materialize and there’s so much potential that employers don’t tap. I think it’s extremely important that people use that potential and do something great with it. That’s why founding a company is actually perfect from such a position. Nonetheless, it should of course be able to be reconciled with the common desire to have a family. That in particular is often possible with self-employment, though. That’s why I think it would be great if many more women founded companies and shaped their private and professional futures without thinking in either/or.
“As a mother, I’m much more even-tempered when I also pursue my professional goals and can do something challenging and exciting.” Katharina StaudacherFounder and Managing Director
European Business: Key word mompreneurs: You’re the mother of three children and an entrepreneur at the same time. How do you manage to maintain the balance between the two areas?
Katharina Staudacher: It works out better at some times than at others – and certainly you often have a latent guilty conscience towards both sides. However, as a mother, I’m much more even-tempered when I also pursue my professional goals and can do something challenging and exciting. I found out that, for me, it’s great to set fixed times and daily routines. In the mornings, I work; in the afternoons, I’m entirely focused on my children and prefer not to be disturbed by work, and in the evenings, I’m generally back on my laptop. But it’s a huge help that my husband is so supportive and gives me space.
European Business: To conclude, would you complete the following sentence please: When I have time at my own disposal, …
Katharina Staudacher: …I sit with my children on the living room carpet, and we take our time constructing Brio train sets.
Interview: Markus Büssecker