In a candid and insightful interview, Heidene Lawrance, the founder of Tubby’s Kitchen, shares her remarkable journey of self-discovery and transformation through the power of cannabis.
This interview delves into her personal story, the inspiration behind her venture, and the extraordinary milestones that Tubby’s Kitchen has achieved, all while navigating the challenges of her health and the ever-evolving cannabis industry.
Join us as we explore her motivations, commitment to innovation, and the unique mission that sets Tubby’s Kitchen apart in the world of cannabis and entrepreneurship.
Hi Heidene! Can you tell us about yourself and your company, Tubby’s Kitchen?
Life is a constant challenge, and it amazes me how we must rewrite our inner dialogue to adapt to change. I remain amazed by life, by the changes it demands, and its challenges of self-imposed restriction or freedom. Cannabis at this moment in history, has provided Tubbys Kitchen the opportunity to meet all those challenges.
What inspired you to start Tubby’s Kitchen?
At 40, my epilepsy spiralled out of control, leaving me feeling adrift. It wasn’t until I turned 44 that I truly saw myself again. My son and brother suggested I try cannabis to manage my seizures, and it worked wonders. After enduring 20 daily seizures for months, they reduced to just 12 a month. With my cognitive abilities returning, I delved into research, discovering the potential of CBD. This newfound knowledge led to the creation of CBD teas and spices. Transitioning from a corporate consultant to a SASSA Disability recipient, this journey offered a fresh start, made possible with unwavering support from my son, Dillan.
Can you share any significant milestones or achievements of your business so far?
Simply starting. There was no other option. And it was a significant life-altering challenge, which has made our journey nothing short of extraordinary. It all began with a simple but profound act—choosing to start anew, because I knew getting a “new job in the corporate world” no longer able to drive, in the middle of COVID-19, still having 10-12 seizures a month was simply impossible.
In the humblest of beginnings, we started in my mum’s kitchen, dining room and lounge, armed with nothing more than an R1300.00 SASSA Disability Grant. Progress was swift, as we transitioned to the garage when my son, Dillan, secured employment. Fortunately, we attracted support from dedicated investors such as Aions Creative Technology, a venture builder and business incubator, who has provided us with immense support and guidance throughout our journey and has significantly contributed to the growth of our business.
And now, today, we proudly stand in a state-of-the-art GMP factory, marking our evolution from a modest startup. With an e-commerce presence, driven by social media, and our products gracing select stores, our journey has expanded beyond our wildest expectations! Not only are we thriving, but we’ve also ventured into the realm of co-manufacturing for other budding enterprises in the Agro-processing industry, and we are collaborating with the government. Our milestones aren’t just markers of our success; they are a testament to the remarkable power of resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in the journey of starting anew.
How do you stay motivated and continue to innovate in your industry?
Ah, the most important question! Staying motivated and fostering innovation in our industry is a deeply personal journey for me. I’ve always believed in the distinction between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is a daily necessity, sometimes feeling like a heavy burden, while pure inspiration is a spark that ignites once and can fuel a lifetime of passion. For me, that spark of inspiration, for this specific challenge, came from my own life’s journey, where my disability served as the impetus for this remarkable endeavour.
Through every twist and turn, my sister Beulah has been an unwavering source of support, an anchor in the stormy seas of business, and a driving force in our shared vision. Together, we have witnessed the transformative impact of cannabis on people’s lives. Beulah was there from the very beginning, standing alongside us as Tubby’s Kitchen emerged, and we’ve witnessed the Cannabis Industry in South Africa grow and evolve.
Our journey has been, nerve-wracking, thrilling, painful, joyous, successful and everything else in between that comes with revolution. It is incredibly fulfilling to see our factory meet and surpass all regulatory standards, positioning us to embrace new regulations, embark on pioneering research and development, and extend a helping hand to fellow SMEs. The ever-evolving landscape of our industry serves as a wellspring of daily inspiration for us, motivating us to push boundaries and make a lasting impact.
What sets my business apart from others?
What truly sets us apart is the heart of our mission. We are fuelled by a profound commitment that transcends profit margins. We are not just about business; we are driven by an unyielding passion for excellence, a fervent belief in individual freedom, and an unwavering mission to shape the Cannabis Industry in cooperation with the Government. Our purpose extends beyond commerce; it is about fostering economic growth and harnessing the collective wealth of our great nation, stirring the very essence of pride and hope.
We are dedicated to more than just figures. We are committed to excellence, freedom and the building of the Cannabis Industry with our Leaders in Government, our economy, and the wealth of our Nation.
Can you share any advice for aspiring females in your industry?
“My Sister, you are Worthy of this journey. You are Capable of walking this road. You are Deserving of the Crown on your head Queen. Make the time every day to find and enjoy the Calm and Courage within You, to never give up, that you will always know, without a doubt, that you are a Masterpiece.”
Getting to know you:
If I had to choose one person, alive or dead, as my inspiration, who would it be? Whitney Houston
What is my favourite hobby? Reading
What is my daily mantra? “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 37v7.
Thank you, Heidene!