#NewtoNext: Anna Peck, Oswald Co.
Smart women conquering a niche is absolutely our jam. That’s why we were so pleased to learn about Anna Peck, who is bringing a much-needed, low sugar option to the confiture aisle. She tells us more about the business she founded, Oswald Co.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and Oswald Co.
My name is Anna Peck and I’m from sunny Sydney, Australia. I’ve always been a health nut, I grew up eating a ton of fresh fruits and veg and loved to cook and host. Many years later I moved to New York for work and didn’t have as much time for myself and cooking and relied more on the grocery shelves. I found that I didn’t trust a lot of what I was seeing, and this was never more true than when it came to the jam aisle. So I was back in my kitchen whipping up my Chia Smash, and sharing with friends as I’ve always done. I wanted to bring more people to the table, and show how eating can not only be delicious and nourishing but also feel seamless and carefree. In 2019 I launched Oswald Co. to do just this.
You’re on a mission to make nourishment deliciously easy, why does the jam market need a shakeup?
There’s been a ton of incredible innovation in the food world, from chickpea pasta, to cassava tortillas and corn chips, endless nut butters, sugar-free sparkling beverages and more. Yet I wasn’t seeing anything in the jam category, and when you check out what’s on the shelf today, the overwhelming theme is sugar. A little later on in this journey when I was naming my product, Chia Smash, I learned that FDA regulation requires that for a jam to be called ‘jam’ it has to contain at least 55% sugar by weight. An upsetting fact, but one which certainly validated that a shakeup was needed!
Can you tell us about something that surprised you about manufacturing a food product?
Making something in your kitchen is not the same as making something for commercial use. Ingredients and recipes don’t just scale as you make bigger batches, so there’s lots of experimenting and tweaking as you grow to get it just right!
You were one of five founders chosen to pitch for money at our Enthuse Foundation pitch competition. Do you have any tips for women who are exploring pitching and pulling together a fundraising deck?
Put yourself out there; enter the competition, sign up for pitch opportunities, share your story. Preparation is certainly important, but you’re not going to feel 100% ready, and you’ll learn something new each time you get out there that will make you even better the next time.
What, if anything, did you learn from the experience?
The before and after is just as important as the pitch itself. Events like the Enthuse Foundation pitch competition are a great opportunity to meet others in the same space, whether it’s fellow founders, industry experts, investors or even new customers!
What do you know about entrepreneurship now that you wish you knew when you started?
I don’t think this should be a surprise, but it’s relentless. 🙂
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