My name is Mena Imasekha and I’m the Founder of Omnutri, a healthy lifestyle brand that makes organic almond mylk and raw vegan and gluten free snacks. I’m also a certified health/wellness coach which means I help people with their diet/ nutrition, weight loss, weight management, fitness, stress management and general well being. I love what I do! Everybody deserves to be healthier, happier and have the confidence to live the life they want.
Omnutri is a healthy lifestyle brand that makes freshly made almond mylk and raw vegan snacks that are 100% raw, 100% natural and 100% refined sugar free. We believe that what you eat is a key part of wellness, so we provide healthy snacks that are delicious and packed full of nutrients to boost people’s health. We also provide nutritional services in the form of a wellness programme and meal plans.
Tell us about you and your Educational Background?
I studied Biology at Imperial College. I, at one time, wanted to be a science writer or go into public health, specifically dealing with infectious diseases, but by the time I had finished my degree I changed my mind. So, I went on to do other things like corporate social responsibility and working for a crowd funding platform that helped raise money for charities. About two years ago, after a long time of being passionate about healthy eating and exercise, I decided I wanted to help people be healthier, so I enrolled in one of the biggest nutrition schools in the world based in New York.
How long have you been in business?
Omnutri started just over a year and a half ago. We started with the raw vegan brownies and then a few months later started making freshly made almond mylk, which are our biggest sellers to date and now we also make energy balls.
Tell us about the service you provide?
We make freshly made almond mylk in four flavours: plain almond mylk, which is a lactose free replacement for normal drinking milk, and vanilla, cacao and matcha green tea, which are healthy snack beverages designed for drinking on the go. They also make pretty good pre-work out drinks or additions to smoothies or shakes. We also make super indulgent raw super food brownies, which contain four super food for an extra dose of health and beauty and raw energy balls for snacking on the go. All our products are designed to boost health and beautify people from the inside out.
As for our wellness services we create meal plans to help people eat healthier and control their portion sizes, for those who need it. We also run a wellness programme that was created for people who really want to transform their health and for people who are super busy and need extra support. We found that most of the people we spoke to need the support and we are really happy to help with that. We want people to have all the right tools they need to improve their health.
What inspired you to start this sort of business?
I love food and I’m very passionate about healthy eating, exercise and other aspects of wellness. I was a vegetarian for about 3 years, a vegan for one and now I’m partially vegan. Seeing my body and health transform as my diet improved, both as a meat eater and a non-meat eater, was definitely a big factor in realizing and experiencing first hand how important diet is to health. Somewhere along the line I began wanting to share that with people and help them along their own journey. Other things that inspired me when I stared Omnutri were: providing affordable and yummy snacks that are healthy and good for you; the idea that food can beautify you from the inside out (a lot of the ingredients we use in our products are particularly good for your skin) and; like I mentioned earlier the desire to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
How did you find the business when you first started?
To be honest I just sort of went for it and the response was positive. There were hard times of course, but I just remember being grateful for my experiences and the chance to connect with people who I would never have met.
What are the challenges you faced?
Most of the challenges I’ve faced are really to do with my own self, sometimes feeling like I couldn’t really do it and then being so tired at the end of last year as I had actually burnt myself out, but now I have much more confidence in myself and I’ve learnt to balance my energies so that I don’t burn myself out. I keep quite active when I can and sleeping well is really important to me so that I can start the day with a clear mind and lots of energy.
What is your staff strength, and how do you manage them?
We have a really small team and I pretty much let everybody be a leader in their own space as it encourages people to grow and know the value they add. We work as a team, which makes things a lot easier for me and the dynamics very friendly and peaceful.
Did you have to train your staff so they can effectively advice your clients?
Well I’m the only one who currently advises our clients on nutrition and health, but the team are well equipped to talk about all the products we make.
What is most exciting about what you do?
I think the most exciting thing about what I do is helping people be a healthier and happier version of them. I love connecting with people and helping them see that they can really deal with the struggles they face about their weight, their self esteem etc. I also love the fact that what I do is so broad, some people don’t struggle with their weight but they want to know how they can be healthier, or reduce their stress levels, or how they can think less negatively or get a better work-life balance. I love that I can help people with each of these aspects and, that no matter how long we work together for, that I am able to impact peoples’ lives more positively.
What is the vision for the company?
The company vision is a large one that kind of gets bigger by day. I think we ultimately want to deal with wellness in as many tangents that we can. We can’t and don’t want to do everything, but we believe that wellness is multifaceted and we want to provide a transformative experience for people through allowing them to experience a few of these facets. And not just experience it but have this experience of experience transform them in a positive way. We want people to be healthy, happy and really living this life as the best versions of themselves.
What word of advice would you render to women and men who want to start a business in your field?
I think this advice cuts across any industry, just start. Once you start everything begins to pull itself together. It might not be easy or always fun, but if you keep plugging you will get there. And also believe in yourself, we all have what it takes to do it, we just need to know it and believe it.