$1m from one ‘magic’ ingredient
A FEW years ago, Sage Greenwood and her sister and brother-in-law noticed turmeric lattes were running out the door of their family-run Melbourne cafe.
In fact, the demand for the lattes made from the yellow spice was equal to the demand for regular coffee at the family's eatery, Evolve Fair Food Store - no mean feat in coffee-obsessed Melbourne.
But a quick Google search revealed ready-made turmeric latte mix wasn't available anywhere in the world.
So the trio started packaging their own batch as a hobby, sharing with friends and other cafe owners.
They also started drinking the beverage themselves, and were soon won over by turmeric's anti-inflammatory and gut health benefits.
Soon, the demand for their unbranded mix started taking off as well, so around two years ago they officially launched the Golden Grind brand and logo.
From that moment on, "it just went gangbusters," Ms Greenwood told news.com.au.
Within the first year of business, and using nothing but social media to market the products, Golden Grind was earning a six-figure revenue, and expanded from zero to 500 stockists in Australia.
That revenue grew by more than 100 per cent in the company's second year while the number of brand stockists also rapidly expanded by 250 per cent, with products including latte and smoothie blends, tea, beauty items and supplements now being sold in New Zealand, the US and the UK.
But now, the brand's rapid success has reached the next level thanks to an unexpected deal with the "world's best department store" Selfridges, after the UK company approached the trio out of the blue.
Thanks to that lucrative deal, Golden Grind is now on track to hit $1 million in sales within the next financial year.
For Ms Greenwood as well as her sister and brother-in-law, Tahli and Renwick Watts, the company's tearaway success has been surreal.
"It's changed all our lives for the better," Ms Greenwood said.
"We started it as a hobby business. We all lived together at the time so it made sense, and we were all passionate about the benefits of turmeric, because we were taking it ourselves.
"The deal with Selfridges is huge. We are super-excited to be recognised on that level.
"We didn't expect the world's number one department store to come to us wanting to stock our products - it's the biggest feather in our caps."
Ms Greenwood, who is also the managing director and part owner of modelling agency WINK Models, said the deal with Selfridges had allowed Golden Grind to move from a Melbourne start-up onto a global scale.
She said there was now a slew of new products and ranges in the pipeline.
Ms Greenwood said she believed Golden Grind had become a hit so quickly because Australians were equally fascinated by health and coffee.
"As a country we're really health-conscious and we're early adopters of things in the health and wellness industries," she said.
"We like the outdoors and are active as a country overall so that plays a big part, and we also have a strong cafe scene.
"Melbourne is a world leader in coffee and always has been thanks to our Italian heritage and the city is renowned for it globally. The cafe culture is so strong and people are willing to try new things - we've seen the popularity of cold brew, drip coffee and now there's even broccoli coffee."
WHAT IS TURMERIC?
• A plant that's part of the ginger family
• It has been celebrated for its health benefits and medicinal properties by a number of cultures
• Curcumin, a chemical contained within turmeric, is thought to benefit the body due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, neuroprotective and antimicrobial properties when eaten regularly
• But according to the Golden Grind website, it is not just the curcumin "working magic within the body" - all the compounds within the root are believed to enhance the absorption of curcumin