Amy Klitscher – The Sustainable Food Co.

What is your business? What do you do?

The Sustainable Food Co. is a plant-based and zero-waste event catering company. We also offer private chef experiences that follow the same sustainability values. We are very proud to be NZ’s first zero-waste catering company, and we contribute absolutely zero waste to landfill throughout our entire process from sourcing to serving. This involves us working with suppliers to source our ingredients in reusable packaging rather than single use packaging. 

How did you get started? What is your story?

(Excuse the past tense) – Trained in Environmental Management and a certified Vegan Chef, Amy – Founder and Queen of Everything at The SFC – always knew these two topics combined together like two peas in a pod. Having worked in the food industry since her very first job picking strawberries at 15, and at a NGO tackling plastic pollution in our environment, the amount of waste – both plastic and food – ending up in landfills here in NZ absolutely dismayed her. 

While working her way around the Pacific Islands as a volunteer cook, Amy was using as little plastic as possible in every meal. The more she cooked, the more it became obvious that her love for the kitchen was more than just a hobby, and the idea of delivering waste-free meals on a larger scale back home started brewing. Amy’s planning process begun while still travelling the world – she explored and expanded her passion everywhere she went, learning from leaders in the food sustainability movement in Australia, The Cook Islands and continuing in Bali.

Flash forward to today and now The SFC is delivering zero-waste meals across Auckland, with hopes of expanding and contributing more and more towards the rising movement of sustainable food.

What is your why? Why do you do what you do?

Food holds so much power in terms of it can be healthy for human health as well as the health of our planet, simultaneously. By offering plant-based and zero-waste catering I hope to contribute to the movement of food sustainability, inspire and encourage others to do the same, and contribute to healthier happier people, as well as a healthier environment. 

What other activities do you juggle whilst being a business owner, and how do you stay on top of everything? Any organisational tips you can share?

I’m a massive list person! I write lists all the time. When I wake up, before I go to sleep, whenever I start to feel overwhelmed. 
Currently quite a bit of my time is spent working on my Certificate for Plant-based Nutrition – I’m loving diving deep into that side of things. I also love playing tennis, going on camping trips, and I spend as much time in the ocean as I can – whether that’s surfing, swimming, or running. What I eat makes a huge difference on my mood and energy levels throughout the day too – I eat plenty of fruit, nuts, avocados and epic salads. 

What is your most recent favourite quote?
Health is wealth. Couldn’t be more true – in terms of human health and the health of our planet! 

Also not on your question list but I wondered if this could be useful – My top 5x tips for taking plant-based food from yum to YUM:  – chop your veggies up differently each time. Bigger, smaller, longer, thinner, square, round etc.  – Get lots of different colours going on – think beetroots, yellow capsicums, fresh green herbs, purple cabbage.  – Add something crunchy on top such as toasted seeds or nuts. – Top with a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs to the top of any dish. Always seems to lift it! – Add some little bursts of sweetness e.g. dried apricots, currants, grated apple. 

What’s one piece of advice you would ask a business mentor (the Robinson Duo) in regards to starting/managing/growing a business? This can be a current question or a question you had at the start of your business journey

How do you keep focussed on what adds value to the business and what will grow your business in the best way, as opposed to what you want to do and what skills and areas come naturally to you; what you want to do. i.e. prioritising workload each week I often have so much I want to do and so little time!