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Karen Lebsanft - Great Companies Women Entrepreneur Award Winner 2020

Karen Lebsanft

The Kurrajong Kitchen Group

Manufacturing - Wholsesaler - Brand Owner

Company Details

The Kurrajong Kitchen Group is a proud family owned business established in Australia baking Lavosh flatbread Since 1993. Proudly supporting Aussie farmers and building from a team of two beginning in a restaurant to a team of 40 we bake pack distribute and manage our brand in house. Our purpose is to support an entertaining and snacking experience.

What challenges have you overcome to reach where you are now

Beginning as a team of two originally baking and serving Lavosh Flatbread in our restaurant in Kurrajong NSW Australia demand for this product grew as our customers would take home the packets of Lavosh from the basket at the door to entertain and impress their friends. From 30 packets per week to now 756000 pieces per day we still bake with the same love and dedication as if we were serving them to you in the restaurant. Educating the Australian consumer on flatbread 27 years ago was a challenge. We proudly taught the Australian consumer what flatbread was and now sit in pantries across the nation. The challenge of growth in staff numbers from a team of 2 to a team of 40 requires systems structure and recognized culture by which to grow. We call ourselves the KK family. We are very proud to to have remained an Australian manufacturer with changing employment law and increased standards of manufacture part of the challenges. In 2012 after 19 years in business, we felt a delayed affect of the GFC. Having made some internal decisions that nearly saw us lose the business entirely, we ,manged to re-model the business and not lose any staff. An incredibly challenging time. An increase in flour pricing of 29% in January 2019 which translated to a 5% increase at the wholesale price could not be recovered from the retail market for 5 months. This put the business under enourmous pressure. By working with our supplier partners we managed to maintain the business and remain an Australian manufacturer supporting our Aussie wheat farmers. A challenge of which we are very proud.

What message you want to give for other aspiring women entrepreneurs

Stay true to yourself as you move through business and value your values and beliefs

To what do you attribute your success

A great support team -Strength Resilience and courage -

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