Generations of Australians have been raised on Vegemite. The thick black spread with its distinctive salty taste is a staple in pantries across the nation.Cinnamon Morrissey’s youngest son, four-year old William, cannot eat Vegemite. He has Down Syndrome and is intolerant to yeast, soy, gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, melons and potato. Eating Vegemite made him sick. “There were no alternatives to Vegemite that my son could safely eat,” Cinnamon said.
A lover of cooking, Cinnamon reads recipes and cooking blogs avidly. She enjoys testing ingredients and flavour combinations, and being innovative with meals. “As William has so many food intolerances I have to experiment with different ingredients a majority of the time anyway, so creating and trying new things has become second nature to me now.” For three years, Cinnamon experimented with making a spread William could enjoy. “I needed it to be black and salty like Vegemite so I could convert him easily,” she said. “I also needed it to be a clean product that would not irritate his gut and would value add to his diet.”
At home, Cinnamon and her family eat organic, whole foods, and work towards maximising nutrient intake for William. EveryMite is the result of these years of development. Now William has a Vegemite-like spread he loves and thrives on. The rest of the family, though reluctant at first, are also EveryMite enthusiasts. “My husband and older children refused to eat it until about a year ago when they said they finally enjoyed it. Now they eat it every day!”
Cinnamon’s spread is a nutrient heavy hitter, containing certified organic black sesame seeds, certified organic coconut amino sauce, Himalayan rock salt and certified organic apple cider vinegar. In production, Cinnamon says sourcing local ingredients as much as possible is vital. Beyond her family’s kitchen table, EveryMite is in high demand. Cinnamon produces the spread by hand in South Brisbane’s Wandering Cooks commercial kitchen with the help of her middle son Blaine and her husband. More than 70 retailers across Australia stock the spread, with the list expanding.
This success has seen Cinnamon create an accidental business, meaning a steep learning curve. “I’ve had to learn how to be a bookkeeper and a website developer —very poorly I might add!” she said. “I have had to learn about the food industry and marketing. I have had to plan and coordinate, and make and sell and, well, so much!”Taking a whole body approach to health, Cinnamon also produces and sells allergy friendly organic raw cacao body and lip balms, and vegan hemp and magnesium balms.
Her culinary creativity has led her to make other food products she would like to bring to market. “I have decided to focus on EveryMite at this time as that’s all I have capacity for at the moment.” A healthy balance of work and play is perhaps the key to Cinnamon’s success. “I make sure I take time out for myself as well, and ensure I am focused on enjoying my children, and meeting my son William’s health and developmental needs.”
Other readers enjoyed this story about All Green Things.