Meet the Maker: Jemma Turner, Mylk Made

Mylk Made’s founder and director, Jemma Turner has a background in Project Coordination (in particular the engineering industry) along with other coordination roles. She had always been interested in entrepreneurship and had felt that owning her own business would be a fulfilling lifestyle, but it did feel like a pipe dream.

“The idea of Mylk Made came about in Indonesia during a year long trip with my partner; a café had a similar concept which made so much sense for so many reasons such as sustainability, waste reduction and convenience,” explained Turner.

“My general enthusiasm for plant-based foods and sustainability mixed with the desire to start my own business was exactly the motivation I needed to take the plunge and make Mylk Made happen when we returned home.”

It was a balancing act to begin with; juggling a full-time job and working on Mylk Made after hours. Turner noted she was fortunate to have the guidance of her parents who have been on many small business journeys of their own, which was crucial to setting Mylk Made up with the proper foundations. 

“Nearly two years on, my mum Corinne and I run Mylk Made together, along with a small team of kitchen staff and sales reps.”

Mylk Made is your typical ‘start up’ story. Literally born in a shed, and still in a shed, but it has expanded. 

“When I came home from Indonesia, I asked my parents if Max (my partner) could build a small commercial kitchen in their shed. The 6x8m shed was full to the brim with storage; family treasures, bikes, fishing gear and more, but thankfully dad (hesitantly) agreed to let us take over a small section. Fast forward, and we have grown to take over the whole thing and have even had to build more storage outside of it.

“We are so fortunate to be able to run the business from a home-based commercial kitchen. Mylk Made is a family run business and our premises (and staff) reflect that.”

The company’s Mylk Bases have been created using the best spray free or organic ingredients where possible. Best efforts have gone into sourcing New Zealand grown nuts and seeds where available, including Macadamias, Hazelnuts and Hemp. Things that don’t grow here like almonds, Mylk Made make the best decision which aligns with the brand’s values, in this case it’s sourcing almonds from Australia rather than the USA. 

The team at Mylk Made start by adding the nuts and seeds separately into one of the large stone grinders, which very slowly grinds the nuts and seeds into a super smooth base. The slow grinding process helps to retain the full nutritional content from the whole nut, and the weight of the black granite stone rollers ensures the smooth, runny consistency. 

Stone grinding is a very long, slow process. It depends on the type of nut or seed and the amount of oil content, for how long it will take to grind into the right consistency for our bases. It can be anywhere from 1-12 hours, and this also depends on how much product you are adding, and the size of the batches.  

Once the pure nut/seeds are ready, it is poured into buckets and measured out into batches and any other ingredients, to then put back into the grinder to mix together. When the final product is ready, it’s hand poured into glass jars, labelled, and put on the shelf. 

Mylk Made mylk bases are a cleaner and greener alternative to buying plant milk in a carton. A waste free solution that is both good for you and good for our environment.

“We believe you do not need any unnatural additives or preservatives in your plant milk for it to taste good. In fact, we stand by it tasting better with less. We are big believers in making the world a better place by living a life with less waste. Swapping out plant milk cartons for reusable glass jars of mylk base is a pretty great way to act on this.”

Mylk Made also has a barista base range which has the addition of organic roasted chicory root. 

“We’ve selected the creamiest and smoothest nuts for these flavours, which compliment coffee and other hot drinks. We offer bulk quantities for hospitality, as well as offering our return system for jars and bulk buckets. 

“Our mylks work just like any other plant mylk; you can enjoy it on its own, in baking, smoothies, coffee, cereal, protein shakes and more.”

You can find Mylk Made mylk bases at a range of independent stores and New World’s nationwide. And very soon, the brand will be stocked in select Countdown stores. You can also check out the full range online.

Knowing that other people believe in the ethos of offering a waste free solution to plant-based milk is one of Turner’s favourite aspects about what she does.

“It’s an incredible feeling knowing that our mylk bases are now a staple in many people’s pantries and are a part of their journeys of either reducing their household waste or choosing milk alternatives that don’t contain any nasty ingredients.

“By choosing Mylk Made, you’re supporting a locally run, small business. You’re choosing a plant mylk option that is helping to reduce the amount of carton waste which is ending up in our landfills. It’s a small change that is contributing towards a larger societal movement of a waste free, plastic free future.”