What is the 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians.
Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Janine Zappini-Rosa, NSW (b. 1985)
Name: Janine Zappini-Rosa
Age: 28 (Born: March 1985)
Known for: Simply Raw
“Honestly, I’m insane!” says Janine Zappini-Rosa, about what defines her an entrepreneur.
The founder of Simply Raw is watching her health food business take off, but to hear her say it, she just seems grateful that she isn’t living hand to mouth.
“I’ve had no funding or savings, but the passion to create truly healthy snacks,” says the 28-year-old, who has adhered to a plant-based diet for the past seven years. “I’ve never been busier in my life, but at the same time, I’ve never been happier!”
Simply Raw – which Zappini-Rosa runs with her husband, Sebastian – grew out of their shared commitment to encouraging healthier eating, in response to the troubling rise in Australia of obesity and diseases caused by nutritional deficiency.
Simply Raw’s specialty superfood bars are 100% raw, organic, vegan, and totally delicious. In place of added sugars, oils and preservatives, you’ll find on the label smart alternatives like vanilla bean, medjool dates and lucuma. Bar flavours include lemon macadamia, sesame nougat, and – if you’re nuts about health but not about nuts – coconut rough, with a heaping of cacao.
As of this writing, the bars are sold in over 500 retail and online stores. And that’s just Year Two.
Zappini-Rosa’s secret weapon? When she isn’t munching on grains and nuts, she excels at crunching data. “I would not have been able to build a business on a tight budget as we did without forecasting, managing cash flow and knowing our numbers,” she reveals.
She also understands that the superfood bars themselves are only the second most super part of the brand equation. First and foremost is empowering the sales reps. “Our biggest and most successful tactic is training our ambassadors to talk, educate and sell our products, because we have taught them to love what the brand stands for,” Zappni-Rosa says.
Stellar rapport with ambassadors also carries over to Simply Raw’s franchisers. She considers the day she won her first franchise customer as her defining sales achievement.
“We built a relationship with them based on shared ethics, morals and on the fact that they love our products and appreciate the quality,” she says. “Finding shared interest is the secret!”
Au contraire, Zappini-Rosa’s dieting and business principles may be saner than she thinks.
Janine Zappini-Rosa’s tips for young entrepreneurs:
“Fail, fail fast and learn from your mistakes. Never stop believing in yourself. A tonic of passion, risk, insanity and determination is the secret to success. Aim to exceed your goals and you will succeed.”
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.