Getting to the Heart of Business

The Story of a Famous Aussie Snack: Karen Lebsanft, Kurrajong Kitchen - Ep 5

February 18, 2021

Karen Lebsanft is a business powerhouse.

She's the woman behind Kurrajong Kitchen, the Aussie snack brand famous for their Lavosh crackers, first baked at a little restaurant in the foothills of the Blue Mountains - and now found in supermarkets across Australia.

Karen has won awards in Australia and the USA, she’s appeared on Foxtel's Industry Leaders TV Series, and is in demand as a speaker and business couples mentor.  

In our interview at Kurrajong Kitchen HQ (where we may or may not have pocketed some of those iconic crackers), Karen shared countless gems of wisdom learnt through nearly 30 years in the business.

You’ll hear some of the keys to the company’s growth – like customer care, and a tireless commitment to quality.  You’ll also learn how they’ve made it through several crisis moments – including droughts, recessions, a pandemic…. and a giant face-off with Arnott’s.

James and Jess wrap up with some digital marketing tips, such as monitoring what your customers are saying about you online.

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KEY MOMENTS IN THIS EPISODE

03:20 – Karen takes us back to 1993, to a little restaurant in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

09:29 – Growing a network of buyers was hard yakka –  one supermarket at a time.

12:00 – Big brands came along wanting to buy Kurrajong Kitchen out.

12:59 – Every business has to deal with some element of risk. Karen’s risk profile is high.  

14:42 – Kurrajong Kitchen’s resolve to stay all-Australian became crucial when COVID-19 hit. 

17:12 – Karen opens up about some of the mistakes and lessons learnt through her 28 years in business.

18:40 – When Arnott’s came out with a similar product, Karen thought she would lose everything.

23:09 – In 2012, Kurrajong Kitchen faced a major crisis.

29:20 – Karen shares some of her keys to resilience and stress management.  

32:00 – Brand isn’t just about logos, colour and design. It’s also about reputation and quality.

34:17 – How Karen’s childhood experiences shaped her future.

36:30 – Karen now spends a lot of her time mentoring other couples in business.  

37:49 – James and Jess discuss brand consistency; and share tips on social media marketing.

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