Kate Berry, Lunch Lady
We start the week off with Lunch Lady editor Kate Berry. Kate launched the Lunch Lady blog in 2013 as a platform where she could share recipes and lunchtbox snack recipes. In 2015, Kate partnered with publishers Louise Bannister and Lara Burke (of We Print Nice Things and Frankie fame) to create a quarterly printed version of the blog. We catch up with Kate at her home in Australia the week of the launch of issue two.
Where are you today?
Today is all about my favourite office, the couch! It is the first rainy day in a long time and we have the fire cranking, the tea endless and the music soft and moody.
What can you see from the window?
My couch is pretty spoilt in the view department. We have a giant window overlooking the surrounding areas and Mount Franklin is sitting pretty on the horizon. We live on the top of a hill, which has pretty much been my life long ambition.
Are you a morning or evening person?
I have wanted to be an evening person my whole life. They just seem so much cooler than the geeky up an at ’em early bird. However I have grown to love my zest for life in the wee hours, I never miss a sunrise!
Which magazine do you first remember?
My mum read a lot of the trashy crap when I was growing up, there were plenty of magazines with the gorgeous Lady Di on the cover. But the first magazine I bought myself was Dolly. It had a section called Dolly Doctor that was read in the very back corners of the bus with giggles and blushing cheeks.
What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
I am LOVING Anorak and Dot at the moment. My kids are the perfect age split, Anorak looks after the older one and Dot for the little one who’s all about fart jokes and silliness.
What’s your favourite lunchbox snack this morning?
We are on school holidays at the moment so I am having a small school lunch hiatus. Which is always welcome. Our house in a current frozen banana frenzy. We can eat freshly whizzed frozen banana with peanut butter, cacao and maple syrup for any meal pretty much.
What was your reason for starting Lunch Lady?
I started Lunch Lady with my big kid after I discovered she was being bullied at school for her homemade lunches.
I offered to make her lunches more like the kids at school, but she wasn’t into that idea at all, she loved her lunches! So we started the blog so we could be a team and perhaps reach out to others who may be experiencing the same thing, or to inspire the uninspired!
It was initially a blog written just by you. How did you translate the personal format into a fully-fledged magazine with several voices and a range of contributors?
It hasn’t been too difficult, as I think essentially the essence of Lunch Lady has always been about sharing experiences rather than a ‘how to’.
No one likes to be told how to parent, I believe there’s more power in sharing experiences and letting people know they’re not alone, rather than a 10 step to be an awesome parent guide.
Tell us about the design of Lunch Lady.
Ha, well I may ruffle some feathers here, but I wanted Lunch Lady to be approachable. Most magazines I was saw on the shelves were super clean and presented a lifestyle way out of reach for most people, myself included. I wanted Lunch Lady to be inclusive and a friend to it’s readers. Attainable aspiration.
Apart from being a HUGE lover of illustration, I find the softness and playfulness of those design elements makes everything a little less serious and gives the magazine a visual personality.
How did you come to collaborate with Lara Burke and Louise Bannister of We Print Nice Things?
This is such a great story. (Well I think it is). I was working three jobs on top of running the blog and being a mum to my two girls and a step mum to my partners two girls. I was running on empty and the people who loved me were starting to get a little concerned about me burning out.
I was in Wales with my partner, and while insanely jet-lagged I came up with an idea where I could combine all my skills into one passion project : I could turn Lunch Lady into a magazine!
Within a week of me returning to Melbourne I received an email from Louise asking if I had ever considered turning my blog into a printed magazine.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
I am taking my girls to a tie dye workshop tomorrow and then we’re going to eat a tonne of Korean food. I’d have to say that’s on top of my list for the rest of the week!
What are you least looking forward to this week?
My partner wants me to help him harvest our bean crop. Don’t get me wrong, I love beans, but picking beans in the garden all day sounds back breaking and boring. Love him and the beans though.
What will you be doing after this chat?
We have just moved into a new home with a wood heater stove thingo and I’ve been cooking porridge on it while I type. Once I press send I will be devouring a giant bowl with bananas, dates, a little cream and maple syrup. And a GIANT cup of tea!