About Snacks & Co
Hi! We're Samantha, Damian
and Michelle Howarth.
We run a family business called Stuart’s Foods based in North Yorkshire and S Clift Foods in Lincolnshire, both of which are predominantly fresh food wholesalers. Damian and Michelle are married and Samantha is Damian’s sister – together we have a passion for food and business.
I am a co-founder of Snacks and Co, an idea that was developed between me, Damian (my husband) and Samantha (my sister-in-law).
My background is Veterinary Nursing (I know, a slight change in career path!); I worked in a veterinary practice for over 10 years, gaining my qualification as a RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse) in 2009.
Working in an adrenaline-fuelled, full time role (including being on call at least one night a week and rotated on call full weekends) became a big contributing factor to stress related migraines. It came to a point where I was having regular migraines and I was prescribed daily medication to help manage them. Looking back I can see how working in the veterinary industry really took a toll on my health over the years.
In 2015 myself and Damian welcomed the arrival of our gorgeous baby girl, it was during my maternity leave I realised my migraines had stopped and I was no longer taking any form of medication. I felt more like myself than I had in a long time.
As my maternity leave came towards the end I could feel myself becoming tense and almost panicking about the thought of having to return to my previous job. It was at this point the realisation of the toll on my health over the years came; my body/mind could not cope in the situations the job presented. With having a baby to think about now it was unfair of me to put the love of the job ahead of my health.
A few months later I began working at Stuart’s Foods along with Damian and Samantha. This was not an easy decision; I would be working with my family – my husband – a situation many relationships don’t survive… So far so good for us, we are both still alive! For us it works as we both know where we stand and we are striving for the same things in business and life. Stuart’s Foods was established in 1986 by Damian and Samantha’s parents, and both Damian and Sam have worked their way through the business from a young age, learning about fresh produce from the bottom up. They are now both directors; Damian (or as I call him sometimes – ‘Mr Figures’), loves business: growing, developing and generally making it work, and Samantha is our ‘Miss Fitness’. She knows personally how exercise and eating healthy can have a dramatic affect on your wellbeing.
Snacks and Co was developed after a conversation with a family member about having fruit and snacks within their workplace, and how the ‘cake culture’ was strong but they also loved having a healthier option. I also remembered back to those stress-filled days in practice where lunches were skipped and there was a need to grab something to push you through the list of never ending surgeries. All there was in the practice was either cakes, chocolates or biscuits that some lovely client had brought in to say thank you for caring for their pet. We often had conversations (sometimes fantasies!) about how it would be great to have a piece of fruit to grab. So I set to work on how we can provide this service nationwide so everyone can benefit from having something healthier to snack on at work.
After a lot of research, testing and tasting we launched Snacks and Co in April 2018!
We wanted to create something that had meaning, for example the colour orange was picked for a number of reasons, 1) it promotes productivity, 2) it stimulates appetite 3) it’s a brings warmth, joy and balance with it, prefect for what we want to achieve.
I am super proud of what we have developed; along with our Fruit and Snack boxes, I want this website to provide information for managers and other business owners on how to create a balanced business, with employees who are both mentally and physically healthy. I want your business to be filled with health; healthy employees make a healthy business!
I hope you enjoy your snack boxes.