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Melbourne Couple Launches Healthy Dessert Business

Desserts are bad for you—right? Not if they come from SOLLUS, a year-old company that has developed a line of desserts made from wholesome, natural ingredients, including raw organic fruits, nuts, healthy fats and sweeteners, and other superfoods. SOLLUS desserts are raw, paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and have no refined sugar.

Laelle Woodham and her husband David, who live in Melbourne, had been wanting to start their own business for a few years. A year and a half ago they took the leap. Laelle quit her job to pursue her passion for healthy eating and start her own business focused on healthy desserts.

They joined a Start and Grow Your Own Business course organised by the Self Reliance Centre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Laelle and David met once a week with facilitators Elder Ray and Sister Dawn Jose, senior missionaries for the Church, who taught classes based on twelve key principles of success, the first of which is to have faith in God and invite His help, but realize He won’t do it for you. The course helps participants understand that they have to take action, and the best time is now.

Other principles include using time wisely, managing money and solving problems. These principles are often taught using video examples, including Laelle’s favourite, Pig and Sheep.

Laelle began developing recipes for her scrumptious desserts, a process that took six months of “blood, sweat, and tears” and lots of experimenting and tasting. She came up with six fabulous products that meet her standards of taste and visual appeal using only wholesome and natural ingredients. The words she incorporated into the names for her desserts reflect her positive attitude:  Fusion, Friendship, Joy, Abundance, Beginnings and Glory.

Her first customer was a cafe, where she expected she might sell 30 in a week. Instead, 160 were sold, which was a huge boost to her confidence. Over time they found other specialty grocery stores and restaurants that wanted to carry the SOLLUS line and also developed relationships with caterers and customers who could order online.

The business got another big boost when she was invited to stock her desserts in the Players’ Box at the January 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, the second-highest attended tennis tournament in the world. She was asked to also come up with protein balls for the players, which were wildly popular and are now part of her regular line.

SOLLUS currently serves the Melbourne area, but Laelle has plans to go Australia-wide. She and David follow the twelve principles they learned in the Self-Reliance course every day. "The Start and Grow Your Own Business Program was exactly what I needed at the time. I could never have achieved the success we are experiencing without it. When you dedicate your day to the Lord, it is amazing what happens,” Laelle said with a big smile.

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