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Episode 5 // Season 1

The Story of a Famous Aussie Snack

Karen Lebsanft, Kurrajong Kitchen CEO - Ep 5

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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 US, she’s appeared on Foxtel’s Industry Leaders TV Series, and is in demand as a speaker and a business 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.

Key Moments in This Episode

03:20 – Karen takes us back to 1993, to a little restaurant in Kurrajong.

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

12:59 – Every business has to deal with risk. Some more than others!

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 another major crisis.

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

32:00 – Brand isn’t just about logos and design – but also reputation and quality.

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

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

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