Melbourne dad sells family home to launch The Mood Food Company

A Melbourne man who turned a lockdown idea into a decision to sell the family home is now making $30,000 a month.

A dad-of-three sold the family home in Melbourne to back his business idea after dealing with his kid’s climbing the walls during the city’s first lockdown.

Stuart Smyth, whose kids are aged 11, 9 and 2, was thrown into the chaos of homeschooling when the pandemic hit but he quickly realised something wasn’t right.

“I could really notice my sons’ inability to concentrate, maintain focus and regulate their emotions during the day and it was a combination of being out of their normal routine being out of school and anxieties of what coronavirus was back then,” he told news.com.au.

“I was seeing a need to help them manage themselves during the day and started to do some research to see how could I help them.
“With young boys they are ravenous beasts, so they were cleaning out the pantry and fridge every day, and I wondered if there was a way to help them out with their food.”

Having previously worked in sales and marketing for well known food brands including Cadbury, Lavazza and Schweppes, Mr Smyth was surprised to find there was nothing on the supermarket shelves that would help his children from a mental wellbeing perspective.

“It focused on physical health whether is was protein for muscles, collagen for skin or weight loss products and there was nothing out their specifically designed to help mental wellbeing,” he said.

The 48-year-old began working with food scientists to create a wellbeing bar from a homemade recipe and tested them on his kids, which he said showed a “noticeable difference” in their mood and focus.

The wellbeing bars are packed with natural brain boosting ingredients such as tyrosine, which converts into dopamine and tryptophan which changes into the happy hormone serotonin, Mr Smyth said.

They also include prebiotic fibre as good gut health helps to manage mood, he added, fava beans for protein and omega 3 combined with fruits such as apple, raspberry and strawberry.

Mr Smyth was so confident about his idea he sold the family’s three bedroom home in the southeastern suburb of Glen Iris, where a typical house is valued at $2.2 million, according to REA.

“We really believed in this idea and sold the house and put that money into the business, instead of getting another house,” he revealed.

“We are renting at the moment as a result. I felt like it’s the time in life to really have a go and have a crack. You’ve got to take some risks.”

But the gamble has paid off so far.

The Mood Food Company launched six months ago and is currently making $30,000 a month in sales with the product stocked in more than 150 independent grocers across Australia.

The dad also scored a Woolworths deal, with the bars which come in a five pack and retail for $8, to be sold in more than 100 stores nationally from June 27.

It also won the won Best New Brand at the Naturally Good Awards in May and expects to reach an annual turnover of $1 million.

Next up, Mr Smyth wants to create a range of wellbeing products for adults in their different life stages, including young, middle age and seniors, while the company is also looking to launch in the Middle East and Asia.

He said the company had also donated more than 13,000 bars to SecondBite, a national food rescue organisation, as well as family relief programs.

Demand for functional food products is being seen globally with the nootropics market – ingredients that claim to improve cognitive function – currently predicted to reach $US5.2 billion ($A7.5 billion) by 2026.

“People’s mental wellbeing is a global challenge and that’s why we feel it’s a great opportunity for us to build a solid base and take our products to the rest of world,” he added.

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