Chat with Sam Barak, founder of Well & Good
When did Well & Good start?
In 2005 I started Well & Good in the family garage, located in Melbourne.
Is cooking something you’ve always been passionate about?
Absolutely. Some of my earliest memories are working with my mother peeling potatoes for a local charity she was a part of. From the age of 15 I joined the Navy and trained as a Pastry Chef.
Why did it start?
I experienced first-hand a child missing out on birthday cake because of coeliac disease. Seeing the child’s disappointment was powerful motivation for me to create a range of cake mixes which could be eaten by everyone, even those with food allergies.
Who started it?
Myself, along with the help of my wife Yaffa, and longtime colleague and friend, Mark Tunchon.
What was the first product?
A decadent mud cake mix. I wanted to make a cake that not only tasted better than other gluten free options, but also held its own against mainstream cakes. The chocolate mud cake mix is still the flagship product of our range. This is due partly to the taste, but also due to its versatility. In addition to making a cake out of it, you can also make brownies, dessert pizza, cupcakes and heaps more.
Is it family owed now?
Yes, we are proudly a family owned and operated business.
What is its purpose?
Creating gluten free, allergy free food that people love to eat.
It’s easy to create gluten free food. Creating products that people actually enjoy eating is the challenge. This philosophy has helped us to grow into a leading gluten free manufacturer in Australia.
What drives you?
A love and passion for food. The idea of creating quality food for everyone, allergy or no allergy, continues to be the driving force behind everything I do.
How has the company changed over the years?
Originally, operating out of the garage, we are now a fast growing company with a purpose built, allergy free factory employing over 30 people. We have also commissioned a bakery that produces fresh baked bread that’s vegan, gluten free and allergen free.
What remains the same?
Our focus on product innovation. Producing delicious, indulgent food that puts a smile on people’s faces will always be out number one goal.
What’s the least favourite part of your job?
Reading emails. I am more the hands-on type.
What advice about business would you give to younger self?
It’s human nature to overestimate what we can achieve in a year, and underestimate what can be achieved in five years. If you believe in an idea, keep at it until you get that breakthrough. It will come if the idea is right.