Recently Sal and Scott sat down with Brands of Kin to take a walk down memory lane and explore the Farmer Jo story. You'll find a snippet of the article below, with the full read available here.
Pair your “typical Aussie girl” with a chatty Scotsman… and what do you get? Muesli with personality and flavour like you’ve never experienced before. No, it’s not something anyone would have guessed, so we’ll take you back to their humble beginnings and share the story behind our favourite breakfast bowl, courtesy of Farmer Jo.
Scott Tulloch grew up in the sleepy town of Drumchapel, Glasgow. And though he looks back upon his childhood fondly, when you meet Scott you understand how the slow-paced nature of his upbringing was exactly what fuelled him to seek adventure beyond what his hometown could offer. Scott is (as they say) ‘larger than life’. After a mere 30 seconds of conversation, you feel like you’re best mates. He’s charismatic, funny, outgoing (but not in an overbearing way) and just a great bloke really. So with all these inherent character traits, it’s no surprise that Scott left the humble region of Drumchapel for London, to pursue a career in acting. Or in Scott’s own words, to basically carve out a career doing “anything other than normal”.
It was here that during his ‘night time job’ as security bouncer at a busy bar, he met Sally. The warm and sunny Australian traveler. His future wife, co-creator of human(s) and business partner. Sally was there to replenish her funds after they took a sizable hit during her travels through Italy. A few jokes, drinks and appropriately flattering comments later — the two were a couple. Sally returned home to Australia to begin her own career in interior design, and Scott followed…
After relocating back to Australia, a few journeys were still ahead of Sally and Scott before Farmer Jo could come to fruition. While Sally worked with some top interior designers, Scott discovered his ‘gift of the gab’ through the work he did with artisanal and boutique coffee roasters — namely Toby’s Estate. It was with the birth of their first daughter Olivia, that the burning desire to over-step the norm and create their own lifestyle became overwhelming. Together as a united front, Sally and Scott knew they didn’t want their future to involve “working long hours for someone else”. And so their entrepreneurial story began to unfold.
Inspired by the uprising of artisanal products, the appreciation for them in the market place and the LACK of really delicious AND healthy muesli in that same marketplace — Farmer Jo began to take form. But not before a few other business ideas came… and went. The driving force behind landing on a product that would be the mechanism for their future life together, was intertwined with Scott’s belief that if they worked together and were “both headed in the same direction, the relationship would be stronger” and that anything they did together simply “couldn’t fail”. This belief led them to choose a life that put family first.
The leap from there, to the breakfast bowl isn’t quite what you’d expect. Having grown up with a healthy bowl of porridge for brekky everyday, Scott knew there was room for a more exciting breakfast offering. Sally’s childhood spent on the shores of the Sunshine Coast, inspired an appreciation for the natural flavours we’re so lucky to have from our local Australian produce. At the time, there did exist ‘healthy’ muesli offerings, though their main drawcard was always the amount of ingredients in the bag. The more, the better (or so these early adopters thought). So many ingredients, yet so little flavour. This is where they found their niche. Healthy muesli that actually tastes delicious. They designed their breakfast bowl around one hero ingredient and found what complimented that best. This was their huge point of difference. With Sally’s background in design, the whole muesli experience became very visual and sensory. The ingredients were chosen based not only on how it would taste, but how it could look. Because after all, we do eat with our eyes don’t we? This was a really clever approach and possibly one also influenced by Scott’s experience working with the coffee roasters, knowing that when it comes to selling a product in cafes or restaurants — the look is just as important as the taste. So they used their individually unique skills to build a breakfast bowl, and a brand.