Mike and Chantel Priddy, Greenleaf Organics

Mike and Chantel Priddy founded their organic health food company Greenleaf Organics a year after the birth of their first son, Rocco. From an early age, it became clear he was intolerant of certain foods, reacting particularly negatively to non-organic produce. Rocco’s hardship led the Priddys to seek out the best produce for their child, and subsequently themselves. By combining Chantel’s background in production with Mike’s experiences in services and hospitality, the couple have built a business around their desire to create products for the marketplace that can benefit consumers’ health. “What started as a family ethos has turned into a full-blown passion and purpose,” the couple told SupermarketNews. “Greenleaf Organics is about more than just beverages, it’s about family and community.”

The company recently launched its new range of SWITCHEL tonic drinks. Inspired by the famed, summertime Caribbean drink which rose to popularity in the late 17th century, Greenleaf Organics has taken the SWITCHEL concept and run with it to create a delightfully refreshing apple cider vinegar-based functional beverage. A highlight for Mike and Chantel this year was breaking into the supermarket realm. “We have always wanted to get our products into as many people’s hands as possible.” The breakthrough could not have come at a better time, as the health and wellness industry attracts more and more consumers wanting to make more informed decisions about their food habits. Say the Priddys, “We have seen an obvious upsurge in people becoming conscious about what they consume and what they offer their families. There are product lines and services that just didn’t exist a few years ago.”

In addition to their new SWITCHEL, Greenleaf Organics produces a number of health beverages, including hemp and cashew plant-based milks, smoothies and juices, and compact immunity shots. All of Greenleaf Organic’s products are BioGro-certified. Manufacturing any food or beverage product comes with challenges, but those challenges can be even more pronounced when the product in question is organic. “If you knew all the challenges from the start, you’d most likely be scared off,” the couple told us, “but we love a challenge and believe we are offering some of the most unique and beneficial products in the marketplace.” As a company, they also strive to ensure that their goals concerning sustainability are being met. “The marketplace is increasingly demanding these issues be transparent and we are more than happy to be leaders in the field.”

Another challenge the Priddys face that many businesses do not is that of running a family business. “It has some obvious difficulties,” they admitted, “but they are overcome with constant communication and dialogue. Having boundaries in place is key.” Ensuring they switch off and take time away from work is an important part of the couple’s working life together, and whilst there are extra barriers to be overcome, they don’t regret a thing. “There is a huge strength that comes from having a partnership that is based on the same value system and having each other’s back.” The benefits don’t end there – “We can also take our kids to work whenever we like, have the flexibility of scheduling, and we can have a coffee break every half hour!”

Greenleaf Organics are proud supporters of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. “With direct involvement and a portion of our sales, we intend to help in whatever way we can to support this amazing organisation.”