Julie Gillingham was a dental hygienist when she fell in love with the keto lifestyle. After giving birth to two children, she loved how keto made her feel. The sleep was better, she had more energy and of course, the weight loss was a bonus. She did miss eating ice cream though. And pizza!

“When my family was following keto strictly, we would have pizza once a week but could never find a pizza base that was both tasty and affordable.” So she decided to try making them herself. Julie had hit on the right pain point because anyone doing keto knows that giving up bread is the hardest bit. Not because of its doughy goodness but rather because you need a ‘base’ for the food you cook or to mop up that curry.

Julie eventually traded in her mask and scrubs for an apron & chefs cap to pursue her dream of running and growing Keto Smart Bakes full time. The range of products she offers has continued to expand from pizza bases to bagels, tortillas and garlic bread, with more to come!

The unique thing about Keto Smart Bakes is that everything is made in small batches, hand-crafted and freshly baked weekly. “I work on a pre-order basis and that can be a bit challenging for new customers because we live in such an instantaneous world. But my customers know that I am a solopreneur and that I’m also a mom. They know that I put so much into my business and my products that it’s worth the wait.”

Specifically, we chat about:

  • As a small business owner, finding the balance between work life and home life
  • Working around production challenges when everything is hand-crafted
  • Making ‘convenience’ products that are still worth the wait

Listen to the Podcast Here:

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Favourite quotes:

“I’ve had people come and ask me are you even a business because every time they try to pre-order we have already sold out.”

“I was creating the things that people were missing. BLT’s, pizza, bagels, people miss eating those on keto and they don’t always enjoy baking those themselves. If you can buy these products then it makes eating keto easier.”

“People keep coming back because of the quality. Everything is made in small batches. I hand roll the bagels. I’m not a huge factory but rather one person that’s trying to make a difference.”