Kate Weiss on living a life of plenty
When Kate Weiss’s daughter was born with a rare genetic syndrome, her whole life was irrevocably changed. Weiss had already been through a complicated pregnancy and difficult birth, but once Amy was born, the tiny infant failed to thrive and develop. It was only after five years that Amy was finally diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome – a condition characterised by short stature and learning difficulties.
“After giving birth to Amy, it threw us overnight,” Weiss recalls. “Not just becoming parents but becoming carers. It really took us a few years to get our heads around it.”
Normally an optimistic and outgoing person by nature, Weiss found herself going through a “pretty dark” period following Amy’s birth.
“I had been such an active and busy person, and suddenly all my energies were needed for mothering,” she says. “Of course, I adore mothering, but I also felt I needed something else as well. I needed something to recharge and replenish me.”
For most of us, recharging and replenishing would probably mean something along the lines of taking up yoga, or spending the day getting pampered at a fancy spa. For Weiss, it meant starting her own business – Table of Plenty.
“Some people who knew me at that time – especially parents of children with disabilities – said it was an odd choice to start a business as something to replenish and recharge you,” Weiss says. “But I look at running a business and being an entrepreneur as being creative – we’re the creators of the business world. And what gives me energy is creativity.”
Table of Plenty began with just one product – dukkah – which was inspired by Weiss’s love of travel and of savoury foods. It was launched before dukkah was really a “thing”, but after selling at farmers’ markets for a while, the product was launched into Woolworths in 2006.
From there, Table of Plenty has grown into a genuine success story, and now sells a variety of healthy products, from muesli and rice cakes to kefir.
“We never wanted to be a singular brand,” Weiss says. “The name Table of Plenty really comes from the philosophy behind the brand, which we call a ‘life of plenty’ – a holistic philosophy of food being your medicine, of nature knowing best, and of nourishing your body from the inside to the outside.
“It’s about being a leader in your own life, taking personal responsibility, and also celebrating the planet that we live on – the plenty that the planet provides for us.”
Table of Plenty also works closely with the disabled community, and has created thousands of hours’ work for people with disabilities, from logistics and packing to blending products.
“It’s very obvious why the cause is so close to our hearts,” Weiss says. “When Amy was born we realised that a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable, and that there is always room for improvement. We continue to provide work opportunities and create pathways for training for people with disabilities wherever we can.”
As it is quoted on Table of Plenty’s website, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”. By embracing opportunity in a time of adversity, Kate Weiss has shown that the destination can be very beautiful indeed. And, as the rest of this quote, attributed to motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, promises, “The best is yet to come”.
You can find out more about Table of Plenty, including their newest product offerings, at tableofplenty.com.au