Nigel and Sara brought together their individual passions for design and food, and created Tasteology. Here, we talk to Sara about starting a business and a family at the same time.
Photography by Will Braden.
What was the inspiration behind Tasteology?
"I have a background in homewares and have always had a passion for design and a huge appreciation for craftmanship and locally made products. Nigel is a hobby chef and is always experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen. I grew tired of always having his ingredients and spice jars out on the kitchen bench so I decided to design something that would blend in with our décor and be more of a design feature rather than something you want to hide in a cupboard. Nigel was onboard straight away and started experimenting with new flavour combinations. Sourcing local and natural ingredients was important to us and we were lucky to find some local partners to work with for the supply and manufacturing. And just like that, Tasteology was born!"
What is the philosophy of Tasteology at its core and how do you think that works with Country Road?
"Tasteology is all about quality – from the packaging to the ingredients and the grinders we use, we want to make sure everything about our products tastes, feels and looks the best it can possibly be. To me, Country Road has always represented high quality design so we are thrilled to be working with such an iconic Australian brand."
"Our products are all made in Australia and we’re passionate about sourcing natural, Australian ingredients. I think our authentic and minimalist aesthetic is very aligned with the Country Road brand and the Tasteology products sit beautifully next to the Country Road kitchenware."
Tasteology and baby Axel came about at around the same time – how did you handle juggling the two?
"Balancing baby and business was definitely a tough one – Tasteology launched a few weeks after baby Axel was born and in hindsight it probably wasn't the best planning. Looking back at that first year now, the short answer to your question is that I'm really not sure how we made it through!"
"My Mum lives in Sweden and came over to help me for the first few months when Tasteology was taking off. Having that extra pair of hands and being able to send her off for a walk with Axel so I could power though my emails was a lifesaver! At times it was so hard to prioritise when both the business and my baby needed 100 percent of my attention, and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without my Mum."
"Before Axel I just didn't know how to switch off and slow down, I had been working at 110 percent for so long that having time off was a foreign concept to me. Having a baby I think forced me to slow down and appreciate the moment, and also to shift my focus and my expectations on myself. That was a huge learning curve for me. It also gave me a whole new respect for other women who juggle multiple children and a business or a demanding career!"
Nigel and yourself approached the project with different sets of strengths, how do you find working with each other? Did you have any rules you set out before the venture began?
"We complement each other really well in that we have very different strengths, so that made it easy to divide the responsibilities between us. We have had two businesses together in the past so we definitely learnt from those projects and it helped us set some ground rules for Tasteology. The biggest rule I think we laid down from the start was to try not talk about work at home and when we do need to sit down and go through things we go out to a café or make sure we are out of the house. We have also banned laptops and phones from the bedroom, as it is important to me that the bedroom is a calm, stress-free area for rest and sleep."
What are your favourite products?
"I love the Garlic Salt, I’m a huge garlic lover so I put that on pretty much everything. The new Garlic and Herb Salt we developed for Country Road is amazing as well, such a versatile blend that can be used across so many dishes."
"Nigel is big on chilli and hot food, so the original Chilli Salt has always been his favourite. Nigel had been wanting to create a salt that was even hotter, so earlier this year we launched our new Habanero Salt - it has a serious kick to it and it’s safe to say it is Nigel’s new favourite!"