I first met Melissa when I purchased her amazing vegan cheese at various different markets. I used to stock up but now her beautiful products are in all of my favourite shops so I can buy them weekly – YAY!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what your life currently looks like?
I became vegan 4 years ago as soon as I heard the term bobby calves. I quit my job and started a fully vegan business. I am now a self-employed non-dairy cheese manufacturer and my life is consumed by trying to make the best preservative free hand made product as well and spread the word about veganism in a positive manner.
What do you feel your mission is?
In my life I just want to see the end of cruelty and corruption, I do my best to encourage others to ask more questions and not just take the word of big business and government.
What led you to the path you are on now?
Bobby calves, it broke my heart that we treated animals like this. Like many people I didn’t ever think how milk and cheese products got to my plate. That in turn made me seek out truth for other foods as well as cosmetics, cleaning and clothing. I am pretty sure I had never heard the term or knowingly met a vegan until after I became one myself. I wish I had known sooner.
What has been your biggest challenge or rock bottom moment?
They never stop as a vegan and being self-employed especially in such a small market. It’s not unusual for people to walk up to me at markets and accuse me of not supporting farmers and or get angry at me for selling a non-dairy product. That being said if they hang around long enough sometimes they will hear what I have to say. The biggest hurdle and saddest moment however has been dealing with councils in regards to the business, they have caused continued stress and do little to assist small businesses. There have been times purely based on my dealings with them that I wanted to throw the towel in and be done with it.
How did you use that difficult period as a catalyst for positive change in your life?
I am still struggling with it however I am super lucky to be in contact with many other vegan businesses especially Vegan Styles and The Goodness Bureau who have been amazing support throughout the last three years. It’s knowing people like them that help keep your head up and make you believe in yourself.
What has been the highest point in your life so far?
I have highs all the time, but the biggest was meeting and being able to spend the rest of my life with my husband Anth, he is incredibly supportive and understanding.
What positive impact do you want to make in the world?
I want to help people see behind the lies and hopefully prevent the world being a failure for the next generations of earthlings.
What is most important to you?
All the beings in our household, we have fur babies as well as rescued feather babies and of course family and friends 😀
How do you handle low days?
I use essential oils and breathing techniques to recheck myself, and I get hugs from Anth.
What do you do stay in the flow and inspired?
Who or what are the people, blogs, podcasts, music or books that have helped you the most?
Melbourne Vegan Business network and close friends.
Books: Clare Mann’s Communicate31 and Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan’ Selfish, Scared and Stupid.
Music: Anything new age.
What’s the best advice you would give in regards to your experiences?
Have people you can talk to, not just ‘yes’ people – people you respect that respect you to have proper conversations with.
How can people find you/ get in touch with you?