Inspirational Woman: Samina Courtin | Founder & CEO, Mon Dessert

Samina CourtinSamina is a born and bred Londoner, with Pakistani parents. With a background in Digital Marketing, after several years in the field (which has actually helped her loads in her business) she wanted to go pursue her dream of sharing her dessert passion.

Samina’s food journey has been an amazing and unique voyage of self-discovery and teaching, which has formed her to be an expert at her craft. Her Mother is an expert cook, especially with curries, however, if there were ever desserts needed, Samina would always be asked to prepare something. After marrying a French man her eyes were opened to French patisserie so she soon embarked on training with top Chef Raymond Blanc in his pastry kitchen at Le Manoir aux quat’ Saisons. So, after her second child decided to go for it and Mon Dessert was born!

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m Samina. I currently am the chief dessert kit creator, taster, Founder & CEO of Mon Dessert, which is a company specialising in making inspiring dessert-kits.  Formally I worked in digital marketing.  I have also worked in the sustainability sector.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Haha! I have never really been a planner; I go where the wind takes me.  Although now I am the CEO of a thriving company as well as a mum of two energetic kids. I have to reign myself a little!

Have you faced any challenges along the way? 

Many knockbacks from naysayers.  Logistics issues, especially during the pandemic, that was difficult, but we got through it!  As well as just challenges mentally and physically.  It is so important to take care of your own wellbeing.  Let’s face it, if you are not well, your work and all the things around you will eventually suffer too.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

So many, but firstly getting picked up by Fortnum & Masons upon launch. That was pretty big considering its apparently where the queen shops!

Other than that, it has been our steady growth and innovation of products as well as our constant strive to make the product ethical & sustainable.  For example, we only use recycled packaging, no single use plastics and we are intrinsically promoting less food wastage and promoting the reuse and repurposing of kitchen tools.  In addition, we source ethically and responsibly with our ingredients, giving plant based (more carbon neutral) options whenever we can.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Resourcefulness and optimism.  Oops sorry – that is two!

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I have never officially been a mentor; however I have managed quite a few people and have always found it rewarding to see those individuals flourish. I have on the flip side been managed and have had a business in the past.  I am very much open to it.  I think it about finding the right person at he right time though.  If there is not a good fit it can be wasted effort.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Equal pay and women founders being taken seriously. There is this perception (especially in the investment world) that women do not make good businesspeople.  Only around 3% of venture capital money goes to women founders.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Just go for it if you want it. Do not worry what others think. What matters is that you do things with conviction.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

To make Mon Dessert the most innovative, clever, fun, and sustainable dessert kit company out there. We are out there doing it every day but there is always more work to do to make things better and better!

WeAreTheCity has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Cherie Blair, Paula Radcliffe MBE, Caprice Bourret, Anna Williamson and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here

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