Kayla Mossuto is a mother and caffeine lover on a mission to leave the world a better place for future generations via her Melbourne-base business Crema Joe – specialists in helping consumers to reduce waste with their reusable coffee pods.
“We’ve calculated that our capsule users are saving over 11.5 million pods from landfill yearly.”
Kayla started the business back in 2014, when like many others was shocked to learn that her capsule machine was contributing to the global landfill issue. (It’s estimated that 6 million+ coffee pods are used across Australia every day with the majority ending up in places like landfill and our oceans.) She established that there was a lack of education and sustainable products availability for capsule machines owners and five years later, Crema Joe is helping consumers enjoy their daily cuppa without the guilt.
Was your entrepreneurial journey linked to your personal one?
Absolutely. Aside from recognising that there was a lack of good sustainable alternatives for coffee pod machine owners, the second driver that led me to launch Crema Joe was not having enough time around my busy day job to spend with my bub. Our family-owned business has grown considerably, also allowing us to implement a corporate culture we believe in, providing a flexible work environment for our mostly-mama crew! We’re on a mission to leave the world a better place for our children, and have big plans for the future of Crema Joe.
Initially, what difficulties did you face?
We are first-time business owners, and getting our business up and running certainly took a lot of trial and error, from working with international suppliers to learning the value of outsourcing. We also spent months researching and product testing – this was a longer process than expected but has certainly been worthwhile in the long run in a sense that we now have an extremely in-depth product knowledge! On top of this, we had our son during a stage of fast-growth. The combination of having a newborn and growing my business was really tough…. by far one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced.
Who or what was integral to you overcoming these hurdles?
We are lucky to have an amazing supportive, business-minded network! We focused on utilising and leveraging this network, particularly in the early days when we new to the game.
Why do you believe social entrepreneurship is important?
Innovators looking to address positive social change are crucial to society. The success of the social entrepreneur literally results in an improved world through the lives of people connected to the cause! Organisations have the perfect opportunity to increase awareness and have a social impact via their public platform.
Other than your business, what other hats do you wear?
My background is actually in the creative field – I worked as a Graphic Designer and Retoucher for 10 years. I still enjoy being creative, and still pick up an odd job if any of my old clients get in touch. I find Retouching in particular to be quite relaxing – a break from the manic-ness that is Entrepreneurship!
Do you have any tips for those struggling to gain a successful work life balance?
We are honestly still working towards finding balance ourselves! I think it’s important to understand the value of your time. Nobody can “do it all”, and that’s ok. We very quickly learnt the importance of outsourcing. I’ve accepted that my time is more valuable than it has ever been before – I want to be either working on my business and driving social change, or spending quality time with my family. So whilst things are super fast-paced, I certainly believe in getting help where you need it, allowing you to enjoy and spend quality time with your loved ones.
How have your kids affected the way you structure your day?
It’s certainly increased my day substantially! My day is go-go-go from pre-dawn until late into the evening… and occasionally through the night as well! My son is a super busy little guy, so on “our” day together, I don’t plan to do any work. On the days he is in care or with a grandparent, I maximise every second of my time – time efficiency is key when you’re trying to run a business and have little ones at home.
When you think of your journey, what is the thing you are most proud of?
Our impact! We’ve calculated that our capsule users are saving over 11.5 million pods from landfill yearly. In the grand scheme of things, this is hardly a dint in the landfill issue that is reusable capsules, however this number continues to increase – we sure are proud to say that our change makers are contributing to such an important movement.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
When I first went back to work after having my son, I realised just how important a supportive, flexible and understanding working environment is for return-to-work mums. I’ve really developed a passion for supporting other working mums, so I honestly feel so blessed that I can now offer a supportive working environment for my own team. It’s a pretty good feeling to be able to say that not only are we making a difference, we’re having an incredible time doing it.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
We’ve always been very inspired be KeepCup – what they have done for the single-use cup issue is absolutely amazing. It’s incredible to see how KeepCup have contributed to bringing the “reusable” concept into the mainstream.
Here’s where you can get social with Crema Joe.