Celebrating Women in Business: Jemma Turner, Mylk Made

Jemma Turner is the director of Mylk Made, a company that produces plant-based milk concentrates, or “mylk bases.”

Although she’s always been interested in entrepreneurship and owning her own business, Turner was first inspired to create Mylk Made during an overseas trip to Indonesia, where she resided for some time with her partner Max. After seeing an Indonesian cafe that made plant-based milk by adding water to whole nuts and seeds, the mylk base concept seemed like a cleaner and greener way to consume plant milk.

“I have always been a plant milk drinker, and was so accustomed to buying cartons and throwing them away. As much as I disliked what I was doing, I couldn’t see a better option, as making it myself seemed like too much effort,” explained Turner. 

Not only were plant-based milk concentrates the perfect solution to her personal problem, but Turner also felt that New Zealand’s plant-based milk market was ready for a mylk base, especially with sustainability, waste reduction and convenience being increasingly sought after in food products. Her passion for plant-based foods and sustainability was also key to motivating Turner to take the plunge and create Mylk Made after her trip to Indonesia. 

Utilising her background in project coordination and management, Turner and her mother Corinne run the Mylk Made kitchen and business together. The sheer impact of Mylk Made keeps them motivated and dedicated to offering cleaner and greener alternatives to carton plant-based milk. 

Turner recently calculated that her company has helped prevent over 110,000 single-use plant-based milk cartons from entering the country’s waste systems and landfills. 

“Often when you buy something ‘sustainable’, whether that’s a one-off or a regular purchase, it’s hard to comprehend whether it’s making much of an impact. But when you look at the bigger picture, it really does add up.”

She is proud of Mylk Made’s impact and the role that her company plays in offering consumers a healthier alternative to conventional plant-based milks.

“Often plant-based milks contain ingredients such as added oils, binders and emulsifiers. Education around our products and offering a healthier, waste-free alternative for consumers really does keep us going.”

A major role model of Turner is Brianne West, the founder of Ethique. She admires West’s sustainable beauty products and feels inspired by Ethique’s growth and positive environmental impact. 

“Hair and personal care concentrates were new to the market when Ethique was launched, just like how our mylk bases were a new alternative people weren't familiar with. It goes to show what the power of brand education, determination and a hardworking team can achieve. I find that very inspiring for Mylk Made as we are on a similar path.”