Matthew Hardie, Founder of Manuko, was working in a corporate business role at the age of twenty-two, where he quickly discovered he was lacking meaning in his work, and really struggled with what he wanted to do with his life.

Matthew spent his childhood on an organic farm in the Goulburn Valley, surrounded by healthy, delicious, organic food, but found it difficult to find once he moved to the city.

Matthew saw an opportunity to make healthy, delicious, organic food more readily available and accessible. Matthew refers to his movement as a “true food revolution”.

“I never thought of it as starting a business. It was more like a change I wanted to make in the world which kind of evolved into a business today.”

Manuko has a core range of premium organic, raw handcrafted products that are all gluten free, dairy free, and plant based. There are eight different raw chocolate slices and three raw chocolate truffle flavours, stocked in over 45 stores around Australia.

Initially, Matthew faced challenges with the production of his products. After developing a completely new product range and refining the business model, Manuko evolved rapidly. Manuko is currently operating out of a dedicated factory in Thornbury, very different to the spare bedroom Matthew originally started in. Despite the challenges, Matthew says it has been a great journey.

“The reason why I am participating in the Rocket Seeder Autumn Crop 18 program is to take a deep dive into my business model assumptions whilst developing a new product to add to my current product range,” said Matthew. “I am currently developing a new food product idea, combined with a sustainable packaging solution.”

Matthew explained that starting a business, and developing and launching new products, is a huge learning curve. “If there are challenges with the business model it is important to find out straight away. The Rocket Seeder program provides the opportunity to refine, grow, learn and build a better business.”

Keep an eye out for Manuko’s delicious products next time you need a treat that is good for your health, good for your taste buds, and good for the planet.