Business Story: Anneke Hobson, Registered Dietitian
by Dawid Furman
What’s your business and who are your customers?
I’m a Registered Dietitian in a private practice known as The Kiwi RD, offering virtual nutrition counseling. My clients include anyone seeking support for nutrition in pregnancy, feeding babies and young kids, plant-based diets, or intuitive eating.
Explain your experience and how you use it to help clients.
I’ve been a dietitian working in these areas for 5 years now. I also have lived experience with each one, which helps me make realistic recommendations that actually fit into people’s lives. Applying nutrition science in everyday life is complicated, and everyone has different goals, preferences, and life circumstances. I aim for simple changes that will have the greatest health benefits.
What areas do you practice in?
Heart Health, Intuitive Eating, Mindful Eating, Pediatrics, Vegan and Vegetarian, Weight-Inclusive.
Tell us about yourself. For example, what first got you started working on your business, and what motivates you each day to do what you do?
I started my own practice early in 2022 after working in public health for about five years. While the pandemic was a big factor in the transition, I also really wanted to get back to one-on-one nutrition. Everyone has different needs, experiences, and contexts for the way they eat, and this is endlessly interesting to me. It’s also extremely satisfying to support people in getting to a healthier place with nutrition and to help them reflect on their relationship with food overall.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Just getting all the logistics and administrative side of things in order. It’s a lot for one person to be the bookkeeper, marketer, receptionist, IT support, and provider! Some of it is really fun, and some of it isn’t.
What’s one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
For me, it’s building a service that responds to client demand without compromising on my own values and on what I want to do in my work. There’s so much misinformation on nutrition out there, and I often spend time undoing food myths and redirecting people away from fad diets. Accurate information is usually less exciting and dramatic than some of the fake news out there. So I’m still finding the right balance between attracting clients and telling them what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear.
What are the top 3 tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a dietitian who is running a successful private practice, and ask if they’d be willing to mentor you over the first year.
- Learn to accept rejection. Not every client will be the right fit for your services, and that’s ok! It can feel like a personal failure when you’re first getting started and have no clients.
- Try to stay open to new opportunities. You can do all the planning for a business, but it’s impossible to predict how things will unfold and what opportunities will help you grow.
Company name: The Kiwi RD
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada