Carman’s was founded in 1992 by Carolyn Creswell. The then 18 year old first-year university student bought the small muesli business where she worked part-time for $1,000. At the time, they supplied a few cafes and delis around Melbourne.
It’s amazing where life can lead you…One day I was told that I was to lose my job as the business was to be sold. I immediately thought, “You could buy this little business! You love the muesli and you make it already!” My offer of $1,000 was eventually accepted and Carman’s was born. It was a life changing decision. Finishing my degree proved challenging as I made deliveries before morning lectures and balanced the books in the library during lunch breaks.
Fast-forward to present and Carman’s gourmet range is now available in all major supermarkets across Australia, as well as being exported to many countries around the world.
Carolyn sits on the Boards of The Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation and the Human Rights Legal Centre. She is an Ambassador for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and Smiling Mind. Most recently, Carolyn has accepted the position of Patron of the St Kilda Gatehouse.
Carolyn’s business acumen has led to a number of accolades including being named the 2012 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year and the winner of 2007 Ernst & Young’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is also a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As a proud mother of four young children with her husband Peter, Carolyn has a strong commitment to healthy work-life balance which is also reflected in the supportive culture of the Carman’s office.
As a mother of four young children, my passion for real food with real ingredients is stronger than ever. I am so proud of what Carman’s has become. I hope you share my passion and enjoyment of Carman’s too!
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I still pinch myself when I remember back 24 years ago to when I was an 18 year old Uni student, personally hand making and packing each and every single packet of Carman’s muesli. I used to make deliveries next to Linfox semi-trailers out the back of my little Daewoo hatch back.
Back then, my boyfriend at the time, Pete, would get emergency phone calls from me saying that I had just received a huge order and that he was needed to come and pack muesli with me into the wee hours.
With no advertising budget, my mum’s marketing tactic was to stand in a store and announce THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING MUESLI to anyone within vague earshot. Mum’s marketing tactics haven’t changed that much, but I have. I’m now a wife to that wonderful emergency muesli packer, a mother to 4 beautiful children and a proud employer to the best team of people you could possibly wish to work with. I really do pinch myself with all that we have achieved over the years.
MY BEST ADVICE
I am often asked for my best advice and I think it’s pretty simple really:
Success is doing the best you can with what you’ve got.
Attitude is everything.
If you always believe the ‘glass is half full’,
You’ll find that it rubs off on those around you
and leads to a happier and healthier life.
This is something I live by and I truly believe that this is why Carman's has become the company it is today. We are aware that we are a small fish in a big ocean, but we don't let that worry us. We try and focus on finding the positive in every situation, having pride and a great attitude about what we do. We hope you think that it shows and you find your glass half full too!
“It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow.”