Tash Davis worked as a nurse all through Covid and while pregnant with her second baby. It took its toll, and she was looking for an out from the shift work and stress. And what better way to ease that stress than with chocolate? Her rocky road is so good that she’s been able to ditch the scrubs and bake full-time.
Tell us a little bit about your business Pebbly Path Rocky Road.
Pebbly Path is an extraordinary rocky road for people who hate boring bits. It’s jam-packed full of unique ingredients, that are locally grown, and it’s encased in 100% home compostable packaging. What inspired you to start Pebbly Path Rocky Road?
I have always been a total foodie, and rocky road was my favourite thing growing up – but I noticed that it had started to become cheap and boring no matter where I bought it. So, I started making my own, and my friends loved it and suggested it could be my way out of nursing. With a 2-year-old and 3-month-old in tow, I headed to the Mudgee farmers markets to try out my business idea. The rest is history! What have you enjoyed most about owning your own business? I have loved the community and friends I’ve gained from being a small business owner in Mudgee. As a nurse, your social life is pretty awful, but this business has allowed me to integrate into our wonderful community through networking and social events. I’ve lived in Mudgee for 11 years, but only since Pebbly Path have I been able to walk down the street and bump into people I know. I finally feel part of the Mudgee community, which is something I didn’t realise I was needing, until now.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your business journey?
As you by now know, I’m a nurse by trade, and starting a business like this is about as far from that as I can imagine. I went into doing this solo without any business background. I didn’t have anyone in my family or friends who had their own business, and I didn’t have connections in the PR/marketing/finance/business sectors, so I feel like in the first 2 years I read the entire internet to find the answers to ALL my questions. I also started smack bang in the middle of Covid, so not long after I started at the farmer's markets, they were shut down and I had to rapidly learn the ropes of e-commerce (hence, I’ve read the whole internet)!
Women have long represented the archetype of the ‘juggler’. How do you balance work & life/mum responsibilities?
With immense difficulty. I struggle every day to separate my work and home life, especially working out of my home kitchen – every room in my house has got Pebbly Path stuff in it. If I’m working – I’m not playing with my kids, if I’m at the park – I’m not replenishing rocky road stock. I was recently in Byron for a hen’s party and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the work things I had to do when I got home because I’d been away for a week. It never ends. But, I am getting better at the juggle – I am getting better at prioritising things that must be done. I am getting better at being more present with the kids when I’m with them because they notice when you’re not paying 100% attention to them. I remember that I wanted a better work-life balance where I didn’t have to work nights, and weekends, could go to all the school events, and take holidays whenever I wanted to – so every single day I remind myself to organise my work life to suit my home life, not the other way around. One day I might get it right! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!
What’s on the horizon for Pebbly Path Rocky Road in 2023?
Getting back to what I love doing – building connections with people. I plan to return to my roots at the Mudgee Farmers Markets, so I can get amongst the community of locals and tourists, rather than spending all my time behind a computer or in the kitchen. I’ve also got big plans to hire another staff member, and hopefully move out of my home kitchen this year!
Location: MUDGEE | NSW