Camilla Barnard is co-founder of Rude Health. Ten years after setting up shop, they have just launched their first range of kids’ foods in Waitrose, and in Whole Foods, Ocado, and various independent stores from June. Camilla lives in Wandsworth, South West London, with her husband Nick and two children, Max, 10, and Emily, 12.

Why did you launch Rude Health?
When I was pregnant with my son Max, I found myself going through all the breakfast cereals I could find and realised there wasn’t a cereal that was both healthy and appetising that I actually wanted to put in my body. It became clear that there was a gap in the market for a genuinely nutritionally rich and delicious muesli and so we had the mad idea to create the world’s best muesli – and so we did. It’s still one of our bestsellers, and it’s rightfully called: The Ultimate Muesli.

How did you go about creating a business plan / getting investment?
We started with just enough money to buy all 23 ingredients for The Ultimate Muesli, some tubs to put it in and labels to stick on the tubs. Then we took it to local delis and shops to see if they’d stock it. When they did we spent a lot of time in those shops offering customers tastings and getting very valuable feedback, so you could say it was a living business plan, which kept changing as we kept learning, rather than a traditional fixed, written plan. We didn’t need to raise any money for the first two years of being in business.

The landscape has changed a lot since you launched 10 years ago – tell us about how you’ve grown / adapted
We make a lot more foods now. By the end of the year there will be 50 Rude Health cereals, snacks and dairy-free drinks. Making sure we have enough of them all and they are all delivered on time to the right place means we now have a team of 15 people. We’ve also benefited from the arrival of social media. It’s hard to believe that there was nothing when we started. When you can’t be in a shop offering samples of food, talking to people through social media is the next best thing.

Up until now, manufacturers have made children’s cereals over-complicated in terms of both the number of ingredients, and the supposed health messages.  Our approach is to keep the ingredients and the messages short and simple so parents can make their own choices. Honey Spelt Puffs is our first children’s food. What’s so exciting is that it is the first of many children’s foods in Rude Health – and all have been created with the same ethos – to make healthy eating exciting, for all the family.

What do you wish you’d known when you started out?
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know how long it takes to build a sustainable business, as it would have been overwhelming.

How has your working life changed since having kids?
I try to fit work around the children rather than the other way around, which means working when they are at school, in bed or doing something that I’m not involved in. It would be a lot easier to have a nanny or au pair, but I don’t want to, so I spend a ridiculous amount of time finding babysitters and sorting out lifts and play-dates.

How do you install healthy eating habits in your own kids?
We eat together most days and always have a huge breakfast together. Meals are a social time and a pleasure – usually.  I think that enjoying shared meals is what it’s all about. I try not to get hung up on what they will or won’t eat, as long as they are eating a reasonable variety of home-cooked food.

What ingredients do you always have in the cupboard?
All the usual ones, and a few particular favourites such as sesame in all its forms: oil, seeds, salt. We also have the best stocked cereal cupboard in the world, probably.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Both the children and the business will be all grown up. I really can’t imagine what that will be like, but I’d like to be spending lots of time with friends enjoying life in rude health.

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