A Mother’s passion project becomes Australia’s leading manufacturer of ‘better for you’ products.
If you haven’t heard of Cass Spies, founder and CEO of Twisted Healthy Treats, you’ve missed one of Australia’s quintessential success stories.
As Australia’s only all-women producer of ‘better for you’ Ice Cream and Frozen Yoghurt, Cass Spies is changing the narrative of entrepreneurs by pushing boundaries and adding some serious girl power to an industry largely dominated by big multinationals.
Twisted’s humble beginnings were born from the ever-relatable story of a mum feeling frustrated by the lack of healthy treats available in supermarkets.
“I was looking for a frozen treat to share with my daughter but after looking in the freezers, I couldn’t find anything that tasted delicious and was good for you”, says Cass.
Fast forward 12 years, Cass has not only turned Twisted into Australia’s leading manufacturer of ‘better for you’ products, but she has also interrupted the school canteen industry – much to parent’s relief – by providing all-natural, healthy and delicious treats in more than 5000 schools across Australia.
“I like to think that being a mother has influenced the way I run the business and my approach to the products that we make”, says Cass.
“Being a mum has changed me as a person and it is a huge part of my life and I don’t think that I can separate that part of my life from my role as the CEO of the company. There are so many aspects of how I run the company that come directly from the fact that I am a mum.”
But the past year has not been smooth sailing. With a global pandemic bringing her business to zero overnight, Cass’s first concern was her team.
However, the previous 11 years of continued growth and breaking down barriers paid off when a project they had been working on for over 2 years came to fruition. “Just as things were starting to look grim from the sales perspective, our first purchase order from corporate retailer Costco in the United States came in and we were able to turn our attention and all our energies to that. And that was a real game changer for the business.”
At a time when many businesses were struggling, Cass and her women-led management team were able to pivot and create a successful exporting business.
“We are about to close the door on the 20th forty-foot container for the year, which is really exciting.” But the success hasn’t just benefited Cass and her company.
“It’s been amazing for everybody in our supply chain,” says Cass.