Making organic food more accessible

June 14, 2024 BY

Matthew Hardie turned his passion for health into his own business.

The idea for Manuko was first conceived when its founder, Matthew Hardie, saw a need in the market for healthy, delicious organic food to be more available and accessible.

By 2012, he had turned his passion for health and well-being into a start-up enterprise, making and selling organic food products from his apartment in Melbourne.

Today, Manuko manufactures premium organic products and cacao treats from its factory in Torquay. Throughout the journey, their core purpose has remained unwavering: to create extraordinary products that deliver moments of joy while fostering a healthier life and a more sustainable world.

From the first delivery on a bike to their debut at the Torquay farmers market in 2015, and securing their maiden stockist, Manuko has grown organically and incrementally.

Constant experimentation and innovation have been key to their process, enabling them to discover new ways to create delicious treats, using organic wholefood ingredients.

They source certified organic ingredients and support sustainable agriculture, informed by Matt’s earlier years growing up on a biodynamic dairy farm in Victoria. This upbringing acquainted Matt with the sustainable agricultural practices he would carry through to Manuko.

Other sustainability initiatives include minimising food waste towards zero, repurposing cardboard waste into usable product cushioning, and planting 10 trees a day with their impact partner Trees for the Future.

The manufacturing journey has evolved from a home kitchen to a contract manufacturer, then to shared commercial kitchens, and finally to their own factory.

Manuko’s products are stocked in cafes and retailers. Photo: SUPPLIE

Over time, they have tested and refined their production methods, sourcing specialty equipment from around the world to perfect their products.

Matt’s partner Inga left her full-time job to join the business in 2018, and today, Manuko employs a dedicated team, supplying cafes, coffee roasters, and specialty retailers across Australia with their premium products.

Matt recently studied chocolate making in Northern Italy to refine their chocolate products, using their organic 70 per cent Peruvian chocolate.

All of the products are plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Their factory is open to the public three days a week: Wednesday and Thursday from 1pm to 5pm, and Friday from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

You can also find their products at many great cafes and retailers, head to manuko.com.au to learn more.


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