Meet Manuela –
the brain behind the pot
There’s a great story behind each brand, whether it’s from a big or small company: in factories, behind office desks, there are human beings like you and me.
An idea is one thing; making it something real is another. This is the story of how Manuela shared an idea, and it became AYEM™.
It’s a pretty healthy idea – are you a health fanatic?
No way. I’m health conscious because as a mum with four young kids and a full time job I love, I have to be on my game and on my toes all day long! And, my job is with a company whose mission is all about food and health. I have been working there for almost 20 years, these values match mine.
A very full life…
Like all of us, there are plenty of things I want to do and there is never quite enough time – and, time marches on and changes me in ways that catch me off guard. The occasional ache in my knee, the first grey hair, these things remind me that I am not superhuman! I want to be mindful about choices that can help me live the life I have: eating well is front and centre to living well for me!
When did inspiration for AYEM™ strike?
I would love to tell you the ultimate innovation fairytale, that I had a lightbulb moment one day, and that everything happened from there. It would be a great story, wouldn’t it? But I want to be honest about the journey to AYEM™. As I said before, I work in a company whose values I share, but I am even luckier than that: I work in a company that just created a start up accelerator, a place where people like me and my colleagues, if we have an idea we believe in, can find freedom and support to pursue it.
Inspiration for what became AYEM™ came quite naturally because through our collective focus on food and health, we talk with each other about the best ways to eat and how to support our health as we get older (no escaping this no matter how much we’d like to!). In looking for what to do for ourselves, we realised we could be helping others too!
What happened next?
Céline, one of my friends here, works at the scientific heart of the company and she had already been ‘playing’ with high quality proteins and DHA. I knew nothing about DHA, but I had some familiarity of the importance of proteins in general and as we age. We began to imagine how we could make it easier not only for ourselves to get what we need from our diets, but we could maybe find a way to produce something for others, too.
You’ve got us intrigued…
Celine’s a scientist, so she loves a challenge. We decided to ask for the company’s start up accelerator support. We felt we had something great in our hands and Emily, our business savvy angel, looked at what was out there, to see if there was anyone working on food with high quantities of proteins and DHA together. She found lots of products specifically created for sporty people with high levels of protein to boost the muscle side, a few products containing DHA, but nothing taking care of your body and mind in a single food product. Essentially, Emily joined us in the excitement: there was a gap in the market that we could fill!
You must have been so excited
Excited. Daunted. Inspired. All of those things. Our next big question was ‘how do we make it taste good?’. That’s where Oliver comes in. We asked him to make the blend for our pots. He’s the one to thank for making all this theory so edible.
How do you feel now?
I’m so proud of our little team for creating AYEM™ with such contagious energy. So many people have joined the adventure and given us positive input because they feel what we feel and see the point of what we’re doing. And I am grateful to the company that hosts us, because it gives us freedom and makes us feel powerful to pursue our adventure.
What’s next for AYEM™?
There’s still a long journey in front of us. Some things are yet to be done, and others need to be done better. We want people to try it and give us feedback. We’re real believers in collaboration. We want to know what people like and don’t like and how best AYEM™ can integrate into their routine.
How do people get in touch?
Just send me a note at Manuela@myAYEM.co.uk