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The Byron Set – Louise Bannister from Lunch Lady
Images by Mel Carrero.

You know those people, who when you meet them you decide quite forcefully “you’re going to be my friend… ok?” well thankfully when I met Lou in my first month of moving to Byron Bay, I asked and she said yes. Phew.

She’s become a beautiful friend who I look up to eternally. I’ve watched her journey from over-achieving boss lady (yep she and her bestie Lara Bourke brought us Frankie Magazine), to full time working mum, to boutique publisher #girlboss (she and Lara went on to found We Print Nice Things) to the monumental task of chiselling out a brand new mag which is LUNCH LADY. And believe me, once you read Issue #1 you’d better clear a place on your recipe book-shelf because you’ll be collecting every single issue!

So I caught up with her and her tribe in their gorgeous hinterland cottage to ask about the journey…

Tell us about the journey from Frankie Magazine to Lunch Lady?
That’s a long story, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. My best friend Lara and I co-founded Frankie magazine for a publishing company back in 2004, worked on it for around 10 years, launched a few more mags – Smith Journal and Spaces interiors mag – and then decided to leave the publishing company and start our own thing. We launched our own independent publishing company – We Print Nice Things – in 2014.  We Print Nice Things is a boutique publishing company and creative agency for like-minded brands. While we were doing some work for another client, we stumbled across Kate Berry’s Lunch Lady blog and immediately felt we had to get in touch. Her blog was about being a parent and making food, but it wasn’t patronising. It was super down to earth with awesome images and great design. Something we immediately related to. We got in touch and lo and behold, Kate had also been thinking of making magazine as well. It was written in the stars I think ! We met over the next 6 months or so and then decided to launch a magazine.

 Where did the initial concept/idea come from?
Kate has started a blog called Lunch Lady because her daughter Maya was being bullied at school for her home made lunches. Kate started the blog to boost Maya’s self esteem – it was a place they could post recipes. Kate put it out on facebook and received all these lovely comments about it – people really related to it and loved it.

How did your world change when you had children?
Well it’s changed in the sense that I have more responsibility and juggle more, but from a creative point of view, I don’t feel I have changed that much. If anything my kids inspire me to create more things. I am inspired to make the world a happier place and my kids definitely spur me on. 

Are the recipes tried and tested?
Yes many times. Because Kate makes a lot of the recipes in her day to day life they are pretty much foolproof.

What are your kids fave recipes and activities from the mag?
My kids love the stickers you stick on fruit in the first issue, they love the design and the pictures, although they are always asking me when they can be on the cover (!). But it’s also for parents as well. It’s a a really relatable magazine with funny down to earth stories about being a parent. There’s also really inspiring stories about families. And a bit of really great researched pieces as well – from how chocolate is made to how a kid’s brain works. We just wanted to create a lovely warm community of like–minded parents who can have a laugh and a bit of fun. The magazine reflects that.

How do you come up with the games in the mag?
Just from games we want to play with our kids. We had a funny conversation around games and the goal was to create games in the magazine that parents don’t have to help with !  :  )

How do you get all of the photos to look like they’re from another era?
Kate’s style is very nostalgic. She just has a brilliant eye for shooting images with feeling.

Why does every Mum and Dad need a copy of Lunch Lady?
Because it will make you feel happy and will give you a break from the hectic world we live in. We always get lots of feedback from people who say they never thought they had time to read it, but are so glad they made the time, because it made them feel so so happy. We’ve always been about producing something positive, happy and light in the world and Lunch Lady definitely embodies that. Money back guarantee :  )

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