You know you have met someone who has truly found their passion when their entire presence brightens the room and their eyes light up when asked about their work. This is what we discovered when talking to Deloitte Private client Ted Tolfree about his award winning business, Crisp Creative Salads that he runs with his wife Shey. Following successful careers as business consultants, the couple started their business and within 18 months have successfully opened 2 locations in Melbourne CBD with over 30 staff. This year they won the Telstra business awards for 2014 Vic Start-Up. Their inspiring acceptance speech can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hClQMCAtFQ4&feature=youtu.be The journey from start up to award winning business After 8 years working for a large consultancy firm, the couple lived in New York where, they found that “when it comes to food, New Yorkers get what they want, whereas in Australia we get what we’re given” Upon returning to Australia, they saw an opportunity to put the power in the consumer’s hands and cater for people who want to make healthy choices about what they eat. Combining passion and ambition, they started planning their business and embarked on their journey. We spoke with Ted about his journey: We knew entrepreneurship was right for us, as we have always had ambition to try new things. We were constantly moving cities, looking for the next opportunity and challenging ourselves. As they say it’s better to try something and fail than never try at all. It’s always been our objective to start our own business and we saw a market opportunity in Melbourne. Entering this industry was the right move at the right time. There are always barriers of entry into certain industries, but this one was accessible. It was an incredible journey, from preparing a business plan, to getting sign off from the bank, approval from the landlord and then actually being up and running. It felt like it was moving along so fast and we expected road blocks every step of the way, but amazingly, we found ourselves setting up this business and before we knew it we were saying, wow – this is actually happening. I had to resign from my job as a consultant to focus on the business, before we even started trading. Winning the Telstra Start-up award was incredible! It was amazing, unexpected and a great endorsement as Telstra really digs deep down into your business when deciding on the winner. Deloitte Private has been part of our winning team and worked with us every step of the way. We’re looking forward to seeing where to next. Next week – Ted’s advice to budding entrepreneurs who want to go out on their own.