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Tom Griffith - Trust Respect and a Shared Vision

May 1, 2019
Tom Griffith
Tom Griffith
Co-Founder, Chairman, Director Emma & Tom Foods - Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Social Enterprise, NED, Speaker with ICMI, Saxton & Celebrity Speakers
Watch or listen to podcast

Tom Griffith co-founded Emma & Tom’s in 2004 with his childhood friend Emma Welsh. Both share a passion for healthy choices, active life and everyday, balanced nutrition and saw a need for an Australian healthy, great tasting snack and juice alternative to sugary, preservative-riddled, over-processed options out there already.

Based on the simple and powerful philosophy ‘Look After Yourself’, Emma & Tom’s has grown to become one of Australia’s greatest startup business success stories and an internationally recognised brand. Boasting a range of whole fruit, naturally good for you products now available in over 6000 retail outlets nationwide, the business has expanded distribution to global markets and new consumer categories and continues to deliver their wholesome brand promise to thousands of people every day.

Tom’s background includes a diverse portfolio of business, finance, investment banking and innovation roles within Australia and internationally. Tom also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne, is a Chartered Accountant and has a Fellowship of Finance.

“We believe people are happier when they are healthier. We believe if you eat well, you stay well. We help people look after themselves.”

Tom is regularly sought after as a speaker on entrepreneurship, the business of startups, building brand and the secret to successful partnerships. Tom is also a passionate and outstanding community leader who contributes many pro bono hours to local social justice initiatives. Emma & Tom's contributes $100,000 annually to eliminate youth homelessness via The Unite Project with the Cotton On Group.

"If not now when, if not me, who?"
~ Mikhail Gorbachev
"The only shots you miss are the ones you don’t take"
~ Wayne Gretzky
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Show Notes

My Story

Tom Griffith was forced to leave his CFO role in London at a startup when it became financially unfeasible. He wasn’t sure of his next move until he found himself, and the role, on the slopes. He came across a health juice whilst on a skiing holiday, and became in love with the concept.

At age 12, he had met Emma Welsh. Emma did a Bachelor of Agricultural science and had worked in the FMCG and commerce field before completing an MBA and Insead in Paris. Naturally (pun intended), they were the perfect fit – Emma & Tom’s was born in 2004!

They spent 12 months together formalising their idea and forming the product. It was slow progress to start with, building their distributor base, commercialising recipes and creating the product. They finally put together four premium smoothies and had four pallets with 2,000 of each product on a pallet. With 8,000 juices with a 21-day expiry being produced every 7 days – time was ticking to make an impact.

Tom recalls the cornerstone of the strong relationships and connection with community that was forged in those initial months. They ran around Sydney and Melbourne visiting high-end independent retailers to help build the brand. It was a tough sell, particularly as every account needed three or four visits to make it happen. At one stage, they offered 12,000 free bottles to participants at a cycling event – epitomising their focus on targeting the customer and forging a strong brand amongst the community.

Emma & Tom’s know they’re the little guys. They know they have to continually work on their relationships, see the positive in every situation and innovate to survive. Nearly 15 years later, the brand has a customer base of over 3,000 independent retailers with international expansion already in the works. Their brand has evolved to include a ‘life bar’ range, natural ice tea and even milk products.

Tom and Emma have leveraged their respective experience to grow it to what it is today, Tom mainly focusing on the corporate, insurance and legal space as well as building on the company strategy with Emma. He believes they are where they are today because they back a superior product with superior service.

Advice To Self and Others

Take Advice

Tom and Emma constantly seek advice and perspective for their business, from all walks of life. He feels we need to be prepared to make mistakes, learn from them and get a little bit of help from others along the way.

Successful Habits

Tom is a strong believer in regular exercise, despite our schedule and travel commitments, to keep both physically and mentally fit.

Inspiration quotes

“If not now when, if not me, who?” – Mikhail Gorbachev

“The only shots you miss are the ones you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky

Recommended Reading

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Contacting Tom Griffith

Reach out to Tom via his LinkedIn (au.linkedin.com/in/tomgriffith1) and check out Emma & Tom’s website at emmaandtom.com




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