We sat down with Cathryn Zielinski, founder of breakfast and snack brand Simply Seedz to discuss the inspiration behind the brand, being a UK based product and future plans.
1. Tell us about your brand.
At Simplyseedz, we’ve set out to create truly healthy, easy to prepare and enjoy, breakfast and snacks that have not been compromised with hidden nasties or poor-quality ingredients. We’re passionate about transparency in the food industry. There are many ‘good for you’ labelled products out there, which when you check the ingredients, they are shockingly full of sugar and salt. Simplyseedz is challenging the supermarket brand cereal aisle.
Featuring big oats and pumpkin and sunflower seeds, our fruity porridge is high in fibre, heart-healthy, and has very low sugar content made from a maximum of five pure ingredients. Our range has a totally natural taste as the real flavours and textures come through.
2. Where did the name for your brand come from?
The brand name came about because I’m addicted to seeds and as all my simple recipes included seeds, it became Simplyseedz – the Z being the first initial of my surname. Simple really!
3. Where can we find Simplyseedz?
During 2020, we have mainly been selling directly via our website and other marketplaces such as Borough Box and Amazon, but we also supply a growing list of independent coffee shops and retailers across the UK. You can often find us at a festival or event, and we cannot wait for those to return in 2021, as we’ve missed meeting our fans and new customers.
4. What gave you the inspiration to start Simplyseedz?
I needed to change my lifestyle and eating habits as I had got used to skipping breakfast and snacks while out on the road in my previous corporate life. Having survived a pulmonary embolism, while this was not diet-related, I started making my own breakfast cereals and toasting seeds purely for my own and my family’s health because I couldn’t find what I wanted in the supermarket aisles.
Following redundancy, and not knowing how long it would take to get another job back in the corporate world, Simplyseedz became a project to keep the grey matter from going any greyer.
Little did I know that this would become a full-time job and occupation!
5. What is the thing you love most about your job?
I love seeing and hearing how my products have made an impact on my customer’s overall health. Each order and each review or message I receive is what makes me realise what I’m doing is what is missing from the standard cereals. I’m proud to have created products that genuinely make a difference with such a feel-good factor.
6. Do you have a favourite product?
Well, I love them all of course, as each recipe was created in my home kitchen, using ingredients that I like. The Dark Chocolate & Ginger porridge was a special request by my son, and this is a very popular flavour, often selling out. It sounds decadent, but it only contains 10% sugar content from the ginger and the dark chocolate.
7. What is your biggest seller?
Our biggest seller is our Apple & Cinnamon porridge, it definitely has a taste of Christmas, followed jointly by Date & Apricot and Dark Chocolate & Ginger.
8. How do you go about creating new products?
I often get new product inspiration from speaking with our customers, learning what they like but also I love being creative in the kitchen. My husband usually refers to me as Mrs War Mother, as I can make a tasty dish, without following a recipe. I think I’ve developed my skills from my Granny when as a child, I’d be in her kitchen joining her making cakes and desserts. I think she’d be very proud of where I am now.
9. Where are your products made?
Initially, we produced everything in my home kitchen in Worcestershire. But eventually, production had to move as it became impossible to create the volume needed in response to orders.
Our production is outsourced to contract manufacturer in Wales, so it’s all made in the UK.
10. Are there any new additions in the pipeline?
We have several new innovative products in the pipeline that we are looking to introduce, hopefully in 2021. Watch this space!
11. Aside from your brand products, what’s your favourite food & drink?
I enjoy a good flavoursome curry, especially my husband’s Dopiaza. He went on an Indian cookery course and learned lots. It’s a big favourite and allows him to get in the kitchen which I obviously don’t mind!
I love paella and risotto too and tend to choose savoury over sweet.