Business

Rising from the ashes of business disaster - with yoghurt

TUBS OF HEALTH: South Lismore entrepreneur Peter McKee, owner of Tree Frog Company, with his latest product – a vegan sugar-free coconut yoghurt.
TUBS OF HEALTH: South Lismore entrepreneur Peter McKee, owner of Tree Frog Company, with his latest product – a vegan sugar-free coconut yoghurt. Cathy Adams

IT WAS "poverty" that inspired South Lismore entrepreneur Peter McKee to come up with his latest product, an innovative, vegan, sugar-free coconut yoghurt.

Three years ago Mr McKee's South Lismore hummus business was going gangbusters until margin pressure by his biggest buyers pushed him to the brink of disaster.

Within 12 months, the business went from nine employees to two. He also lost $100,000 and was forced to remortgage his home to keep the business alive.

But like any true entrepreneur with grit, Mr McKee has begun his rise from the ashes.

"It has been struggle, struggle, struggle to get back. I had to refinance my home, had to sell several beloved personal possessions, just to get by," Mr McKee said.

"But I'm still here. I had to come up with some new products," he said.

His hoped-for salvation has come in the form of Frogyog, his take on the myriad of coconut products currently exploding in health food markets worldwide.

The forerunner in the coconut yogurt market is Sunshine Coast's Co-Yo, and he admitted it was an inspiration.

"They're the number one player. It was groundbreaking of them to do it."

Frogyog takes it one step further however, because it's sugar-free, a blessing to all those people watching their intake of the white stuff.

It's taken a painstaking nine months to come up with the right recipe, to get the thickness, flavour and look just right.

The product made its debut at Lismore's North Coast National last month.

"We've done six batches now and I've been distributing through one local distributor from Potts Point to Macksville," Mr McKee said.

About Real Foods

TWENTY years ago, South Lismore-based Mike's Real Foods pioneered gourmet hummus varieties such as black olive hummus, sweet chilli, and sundried tomato before anyone else was doing it.

That led to a supply agreement with Coles and Woolworths which lasted for 17 years.

Mr McKee would like to see labelling laws improved to educate people exactly about where food comes from, so people can appreciate what's truly local.

Topics:  business entrepreneurs



LISTEN: Resident airs frustrations over parking debacle

Paid parking has pushed hospital commuters into suburbia, proving problematic for residents.

Parking pressures felt in suburbia of hospital precinct

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

NSW Sport comments on Lennox Head Ski Jump

An artist impression of the Ski jump facility at Lennox Head. The size of the structure has upset locals, but it may not be as big as it appears in the artist impression.

Lennox Head Ski Jump on its four week exhibition

Local Partners

Lismore City Council to demolish much-loved Lake Pool

LISMORE City councillors have backed down from spending $2.75 million to refurbish the Lismore Lake Pool, the scene of many happy childhood memories.


First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Stories Troy Cassar-Daley carries around

LEGEND: Troy Cassar-Daley after receiving the Golden Guitar Award for Album of the Year during the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

You can see him in Ballina this weekend

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!