Showcase Practice: The Healthy Eating Hub

At Maida Learning, we celebrate leadership and innovation in the allied health sector and love to share news with you about great ideas, innovative service delivery and practitioners who are embracing their role and thriving as successful business owners. Welcome to the first case study in our Showcase Series.

We had the pleasure of meeting Kate Freeman, Registered Nutritionist and Managing Director of The Healthy Eating Hub. We recently heard Kate speak at the Festival of Ambitious Ideas hosted by the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre in Canberra, and loved her energy and unique way of communicating her message as an allied health small business owner. Click here to see Kate’s great address.

We caught up with Kate at her business and found out how she started, and the tips she has for fellow allied health business owners.

Kate’s philosophy is that “whole, fresh, minimally processed foods are the cornerstone of a healthy diet”. She believes in balance, moderation and sensibility, and has a passionate key message that “there is no need for extremes in nutrition, there’s simply no evidence to substantiate it”.

Her work as a sole practitioner focused on providing a whole foods approach to good health, with practical advice and strategies for modern, busy people. Kate then identified the opportunity to grow her service through a different business model that could support a more comprehensive service to clients - and The Healthy Eating Hub was born.

The concept behind The Healthy Eating Hub is that clients entering the hub have multi-dimensional support to successfully adopt sustainable, long-term healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes; whether it be addressing weight loss, family nutrition, disease management or sports nutrition. This is made possible through her team of qualified nutritionists and dietitians, and the service model that incorporates the innovative kitchen consultation in The Healthy Eating Hub’s own on-site kitchen.

"Sitting in an office, talking to your Dietitian about food is now not the only way to get help with your nutrition" Kate Freeman.

The Healthy Eating Hub’s Kitchen Consultations is a revolutionary concept that combines a practical, hands-on cooking experience with individualised nutrition advice from practitioners. The on-site kitchen means clients can touch, taste, cook, smell as well as talk about healthy eating.

 Kate  Amy

Kate and Amy chatting in The Healthy Eating Hub on-site Kitchen

Kate's 3 top tips from her business journey so far:

1. Avoid Machine Gun Marketing.

Kate reflects on her early marketing efforts in the business: firing randomly and hoping it would hit the target – an approach she humorously dubs “machine gun marketing”.

There have been mistakes along the way, Kate admits: like paying for advertising on pharmacy prescription covers, to only find that people often pinned them to a board or on their fridges with the script facing forward, hence the advertisements were hidden behind! This decision unfortunately backfired with zero return on investment. The biggest fear Kate overcame and believes many allied health business owners still need to overcome is the fear of being seen as "aggressive" when marketing. Marketing is not an option, it’s a business essential that you need to plan and incorporate into your budget.

2. Don't ignore your online presence & social media.

Kate estimates that 70% of their business is from online searches, with The Healthy Eating Hub ranking 1st in Google search results for several key industry terms in Canberra.
Social media comes second as a client self-referral source, with standard health professional referrals only representing a small percentage of new business. Kate believes this is a manifestation of how traditional markets are evolving and we as allied health small business owners need to evolve as well.

3. Be Proactive! Get out there!

Kate encourages allied health professionals to be proactive and generous in sharing their knowledge. Value your expertise, and consider ways you can share your knowledge as an allied health professional. For example, Kate is the nutrition feature writer for Her Canberra - check out her latest article here. Another idea Kate suggests is to host an in service for your potential referrers – then send them a little thank you for their subsequent referrals.

We thank Kate for taking the time to show us her business and generosity in sharing her story. 


Kate at The Healthy Eating Hub reception desk

If you feel like you are "machine gun marketing" and need some help with your direction, why not grab our Marketing Mojo Workbook? Click here to check it out.

Marketing, Leadership, Innovation

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