Nathan Wakeford has an approach to business — and life — that’s as smooth and evocative as a cup of one of his Somage Foods drinking chocolates.
“Don’t waste your time by doing anything than what you’re passionate about. Once you have that nailed, everything just becomes effortless,” Wakeford says in an illuminating video interview with Anthill Editor-in-Chief/Overlord James Tuckerman.
Wakeford started the Melbourne-based business five years ago with partner Ben Kelly. Somage Food specialises in organic drinking chocolates and teas. The company’s branding wraps itself in the stories of the foods’ journey, which emphasises quality ingredients with earth-friendly practices.
Today, Somage Foods supplies about 30 coffee companies and is found in about 800 cafes in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The company plans to expand to Taiwan and the United Kingdom this year.
One of Wakeford’s main approaches is to see an existing products and determine he can do better. There’s a new product line coming out sometime this month that will reflect that philosophy. It’s all hush-hush now, but stay tuned.
Wakeford keeps numerous irons in the fire. He teaches entrepreneurship at Peter Christo’s Pitch Club in Melbourne. His Twitter account describes him as whole food evangelist; lecturer; philanthropist; TM practitioner; entrepreneur; lover and snob of specialty tea and chocolate.
Like many successful entrepreneurs, Wakeford says starting a business primarily to make money is a dead end; the main thing, he says, is to be devoted to your craft.
“If you have passion about it,” he says, “if other people see the value in it that you do, money is just an exchange of that value.”