tee in kitchenTee working the muesli mixture in the factory


Tennille Hay, or ‘Tee’ as she is known amongst friends is the creator and owner behind Tee’s Superfood, a unique range of superfood bars. As an Exercise Physiologist and Strength and Conditioning coach Tee’s knowledge of nutrition and the way the human body works has allowed her to create a product range that fuses fuel and flavour. Not only that she’s managed to make sure that all bars are dairy free, and some are gluten free and lactose friendly as well. Tee’s range recently caught the attention of the  2014 Food Magazine Awards where it was voted in the top 5 health products in Australia! In this Foodie Profile we talk to Tee about how she started, the challenges of running a business, how she comes up with flavours for her range and what’s next.

JC x

Tees SuperfoodTee’s range of Superfood bars

1.  Tee, since launching 2 years ago your business has gone from strength to strength. Could you tell us about your background in health and how Tee’s Superfood got started?

I started making muesli bars one day as I couldn’t find a bar that had all the ingredients I wanted in a health bar. Beneficial ingredients like brown rice flour, oats, honey, chia seeds etc. So I started making them in my little apartment in Maribyrnong, Melbourne. I was giving them out to clients and friends, feedback was that I should sell them. I remember the first batch I sold was wrapped in glad wrap!!! My mum then began helping me out and she became my business partner. We were making them on a Friday night in a commercial kitchen in West Melbourne and packaging them ourselves. We couldn’t keep up with demand so we moved to getting them manufactured in Ballarat, Victoria where we still have them made today.  My background as an Exercise Physiologist and Strength & Conditioning coach places me in a unique position. I see what athletes do and what they need and my job is to help them. Hence why the bars sell so well with healthy and active people.

Tee in the Factory


2. What have been some of the challenges and pleasant surprises in running your business?

Challenges have been plenty! I was and still am to this day fitting in a “real job” around this business. This is a challenge as I am constantly swapping “hats” throughout the day from job to job. I am lucky in that my job allows me flexibility in hours so I can work from 6am till 8pm but in the middle of the day I can duck out and meet with retailers or deliver bars.

Other challenges are the financial outlay in the early stages of a business. I really didn’t realize how much money would be involved setting a business up or trying to sustain whilst building it up and not taking any profit for the first stages. You have to really love what you are doing otherwise it could potentially be a deal breaker for some new business owners. The pleasant surprises would have to be the customers. It’s so humbling when you are standing at a market for 6 hours and you have people come and tell you how much they love your bars.


3.  The world of super foods and protein bars is a pretty saturated market. How do you think the Tee’s Superfood range stands out and what makes you different?

Great question! We are different because we are not on any particular “type” of eating like paleo or I Quit Sugar. We are just a no BS bar, much like me. We have two bars out of the four varieties, that have a higher protein content and we add natural pea protein to these bars making all of them dairy free. We also have two bars that are gluten free AND fructose friendly, so if you have fructose intolerances you finally have a snack bar you can eat! One of which has a higher protein content with the added pea protein. All four varieties are completely different in taste and texture and this is something that makes us stand out as we have something for everyone.

tee eating a barTee tucking in to one of her Superfood bars

4. Could you tell us about how you decide on flavour combinations, and the allergy friendly options in the range?

Flavour combinations is a really interesting process. It starts with a recipe that I have created, then I take a batch to clients and friends for them to try. There is always feedback for tweaks. What I have to keep in mind is finding a recipe that the majority loves, and not the entirety loves, otherwise I’d never release a new flavour combination. I go back and forth usually 6-7 times adjusting the tweaks then handing out new samples and getting more feedback. Finally I get a successful flavour combination!

The allergy friendly bars I have are gluten free and fructose friendly. So they are suitable for people on a FODMAP diet or if you are vegan. One of those bars has added pea protein to increase the density and protein in the bar. They have a nutty and cinnamon taste and you can really feel the texture of the whole seeds and nuts in the bars.

My other two bars have honey in them, hence why they aren’t suitable for people with a fructose intolerance.  They also have oats which may contact low gluten levels. However, if you are fine digesting oats then these are suitable for you too.


tee and mum in kitchen
Tee with her Mum

5. Who are your business mentors and why?

Business mentors are definitely my Mum and Dad. They are the most hard working and supportive parents. What has sustained my business is their help and unconditional support. I know they are proud of me even if this falls on its head and that’s what keeps me going. They are there with me at the “front line” whether it’s chopping up bars into samples the night before a market or standing at a trade show for 3 days selling muesli bars.

My other business mentor would have to be Carolyn Creswell the owner of Carman’s. She has built an empire through hard work and believing in her product. She is also incredibly supportive of women in the workplace by providing her employees who have children with a childcare service at their workplace.


6. What can we expect to see next in the Tee’s Superfood range?

At the moment the goal is to find a distributor in Australia and once we have achieved that I’ll hopefully bring out bite size versions of the bars and then a cacao flavour with a very special unique berry that I won’t tell you about just yet!



Website: www.teessuperfood.com.au

Facebook: Tee’s Superfood Bar

Instagram: @teessuperfood



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