Toowoomba businesswoman Kylie Martin has taken out a national award for entrepreneurship.

The founder and director of GF (Gloriously Free) Oats Australia won the gold award in the food and beverage category of the AusMumpreneurs Awards 2019 in Melbourne on Friday. She was also a finalist in the people’s choice category.

Ms Martin explained GF Oats Australia (Gloriously Free Oats) were sourced from GF Harvest in the USA and then distributed across Australasia from their warehouse in Meringandan, just north of the Garden City.

“They are one of the purest uncontaminated oats in the world today and are certified gluten-free in various nations around the world,” she said.

“However, in Australia, they are unable to be labelled gluten-free due to current labelling restrictions.”

Ms Martin said she was thrilled to win the prestigious award.

“It really is a credit to my partner and fellow director Garry McGeorge and our GF Oats team that I was able to accept this award on everyone’ behalf,” she said.

“We’ve all worked really hard to bring a great product to Australia and New Zealand, and we have some exciting expansion plans that go beyond the traditional breakfast food category for oats.

“Through our market research and monitoring of food trends we’ve found there’s a great opportunity to manufacture some more vegan snack food options which we started earlier this year by producing Anzac biscuits using our GF oats.

“We’re now looking to launch vegan choc-chip biscuits next month and have pre-sold 10,000 packets so far.

“They will be distributed through vending machines, school canteens and nursing homes with plans for them to be available more widely down the track.”

She said the business had grown by 25 per cent year-on-year since they rebranded in 2016. However, there were some misconceptions about what it took to be a successful business.

“I have been looking at these awards for Australian businesswomen for some time and they have gone from strength to strength from when they started 10 years ago.

“At the awards ceremony, they were saying there were 24 people at the inaugural presentation, a stark contrast to this year where there were 480 guests, including a high calibre of women representing well-recognised Australian brands.

“I see a parallel with GF Oats as some people think many businesses are an overnight success, but in our case, it’s also taken a full decade to get to where we are now.”

Ms Martin said the awards had focused on the business’s three major achievements in the past year which had included securing their own warehouse, expanding the product range to ensure they were a year-round product, and putting together a team of various experts to be able to produce GF oats domestically.

“It really is our 2020 vision to have GF oats grown, harvested and distributed from Australia,” she said.

“We have some other wonderful plans in the pipeline too, so watch this space.”

Ms Martin has three adult children who had various food intolerances, prompting her initial quest to find suitable food options to meet their dietary needs.

“From this humble beginning of a concerned mum wanting to do the best for her family we’ve been able to help so many other individuals and families.

“That’s another real win in my book.”


Caption: Toowoomba businesswoman Kylie Martin with her gold award at the AusMumpreneurs Awards ceremony in Melbourne last week.

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