Carman’s Fine Foods founder and managing director Carolyn Creswell has won the Ernst & Young 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in southern region youth category.
Consisting of six judging criteria including entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity, innovation and global impact, the awards is the largest in Australia with previous overall winners including Janine Ellis of Boost Juice, John Ilhan of Crazy Johns and Craig Winkler of MYOB.
As an 18-year-old university student, Creswell worked part time at a bakery toasting muesli and selling it to local cafés and food stores.
Fifteen years ago she bought the bakery for $1,000 after the owners were unable to sell it and transformed it into a national and, soon to be international, success.
Carman’s cereal range is now stocked in Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, Myer, David Jones and leading independent health stores and Creswell is now concentrating on developing the business globally having recently expanded into NTUC Fairprice in Singapore and Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the UK.
Carolyn attributes Carman’s success to having open communication with her consumers — her email address is printed on the back of Carman’s muesli boxes — and developing a genuine product range that delivers on health and nutrition.
As a result of their homemade taste and low sugar and sodium levels, Carman’s muesli and bar ranges are currently the top selling gourmet products in their categories.