21 jobs later and Lynn Mann finally feels fulfilled. Her sense of well-being stems from Supernature, the multi-award winning cold pressed rapeseed oil business she and and her husband Chris started in 2011.
In a working life that has taken her from selling water filters, being a barmaid, a TV researcher, doing admin for Strathclyde Police, to psychotherapy – Lynn’s finally found her vocation.
It was setting up Supernature, a successful partnership business in the high-end food production sector, which allowed Lynn to feel that, at last, she’s using her considerable capabilities to their fullest.
But little did she know that when Chris planted the seed of the Supernature idea, her offer to help to with the business as a wee sideline, they’d really strike gold. Liquid gold.
The family’s cold pressed rapeseed oil started to flow early in 2011, right in the heart of the Midlothian countryside. And from the very first taste they knew Supernature oil was really something special.
Within months Supernature oil picked up its first foodie gong, and the beginnings of a loyal and devoted customer base, including number one fan, the Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart.
Producing such a delicious, genuinely fantastic food product that customers really love has made it easy for Lynn to market and sell Supernature. Her own passion for the oil and her belief in the business glows like the gorgeous golden stuff itself.
From the early beginnings, driving around Edinburgh trying to sell bottles of oil from the car and at farmers’ markets, Lynn now gets a real kick from the thought of Supernature oil sitting on kitchen shelves all over the country, and around the world.
Further foodie awards have flowed as the company introduced its range of infused oils – flavours to make salads and stir fries sing!
And it’s all homegrown goodness. Where once Supernature sent their rapeseed south for pressing, now every single step of the production process – from planting to pressing, bottling and boxing – happens right on the family farm’s doorstep. And expansion has meant employment for three local people, so far.
Of course, in business, there is plenty of midnight oil to be burned. What started as a wee sideline for Lynn soon turned into Supernature, superbusy. Blend in the needs of two children, the demands of running a working farmhouse, and the extra responsibility of taking on new Supernature staff, and Lynn’s got her work well and truly cut out for her.
Perhaps being in business was in Lynn’s genes all along – her father always encouraged her entrepreneurial ambitions. But overcoming some in-built cultural and social hurdles facing women has been a challenge for her. Like many others, she has hesitated to blow her own business trumpet. But with support from sources including the business accelerator that Lynn accessed, as well as from her bank, from Business Gateway and the EDGE Fund, Lynn has blown her own trumpet a lot more loudly, and a lot more often.
Lynn is delighted to be in at the beginning of what she sees as a cultural shift – the dawning of a new kind of future, one which sees a real buzz and vibrancy around young Scottish businesses. It’s great to see the light after the business black hole of the economic slump.
The future for Supernature looks certain to carry on with a golden glow. Lynn’s exploring the export market, and growth (both local and global) is firmly on the enterprise agenda, with their very own liquid gold oiling the engine of expansion.
My biggest challenge was
Overcoming in-built cultural and social hurdles facing women in business has been a challenge. However, the support I received from the EDGE fund and the business accelerator I joined allowed me to fulfil my ambition of owning an award winning business.