When Joanne Stutley first fell in love with Ayurveda in the 80s, little did she know the passion would spawn a business that would become our SA Innov8rs’ competition winner, Darlin Dal.
“Ayurveda found me,” explains Stutley of her passion for the ancient Indian practice of wholistic medicine.
“I think as a nurse I fell in love with the fact that Ayurveda lets me take control of my own health. I loved that I could have some decision making in how my health goes. We learn in nursing that one-third of healing is the placebo effect – so I liked how Ayurveda brought that idea of mind and body together.”
Indeed, Ayurveda is all about concepts of universal interconnectedness. The body’s constitution (prakriti), and life forces (doshas) are the primary basis of ayurvedic medicine. Goals of treatment aid the person by eliminating impurities, reducing symptoms, increasing resistance to disease, reducing worry, and increasing harmony in life. All practices that Stutley is a firm believer.
It’s a belief that has tipped over into her business, Darlin Dal, which touts the gut nourishing probiotic benefits of the humble lentil.
While many Australians were still thinking of organic as the purview of hippies, Stutley’s ayurvedic practices made her an early adopter. Her local haunt was the Farmers’ Markets and it wasn’t long before she started spruiking her wares at a stall. She became heavily involved in SA organic certification movement and after enjoying success at the markets decided to give her products a permanent home. Founding the Darlin Dal café in Adelaide.
For Stutley, Dal ticks all the right boxes for gut health – her dal is vegan, plant-based, organic seasonal local, grain-free.
“There’s no intellect needed the body knows – the body knows what is good for it,” she tells KBB.
“Whether you follow a vegan, raw vegan, paleo, flexitarian, pescatarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, macrobiotic or ayurvedic way of living, I’ve got you,” she says.
Nevertheless, Stutley explains starting a business was never on her agenda, but the response to her fabulous dals provided the perfect opportunity to blend her passions of health and nourishment.
Still, she says, building up her business and brand has not been without challenges.
”Business has been my greatest teacher at this stage of life. You don’t stop thinking about it. Business becomes all-consuming Choosing a business as a single older woman who was not that savvy with technology – it’s been a great teacher and a big learning curve.
“But Ayurveda has always given me a core – and If you can swing from your core purpose you won’t get bumped around so much by the curves.”
She said being a finalist in the INNOV8RS competition and being named the SA winner has given the business a real boost.
“I always believed in my business but the INNOV8RS has really made more people seek me out.”
The INNOV8RS is a national competition to find Australia’s most innovative small businesses. This initiative is supported by Peugeot Professional’s range of commercial vans, which combine the luxury of an SUV with the practicality of a van. Good for business, good for life.