Female - founded, sustainable and chic - our discussion with the co-founder of ROCC naturals

Published

December 5, 2023

Wellness

We met with Prue to discuss why she started a brand within the oral hygiene space, and how she has fundamentally filled a gap in the industry and stayed true to her vision of a sustainable option in the aisles of her supermarket.

We met with Prue to discuss why she started a brand within the oral hygiene space, and how she has fundamentally filled a gap in the industry and stayed true to her vision of a sustainable option in the aisles of her supermarket.

Meet Prue Rocchi - a member at The Commons Wellington Street. Prue is the Co-Founder of the sustainable and female-founded toothpaste brand ROCC Naturals.

We met with Prue to discuss why she started a brand within the oral hygiene space, and how she has fundamentally filled a gap in the industry and stayed true to her vision of a sustainable option in the aisles of her supermarket.

Where did ROCC Naturals start? What was the initial idea and how has it evolved since?

ROCC started as a problem in 2019.

Amidst the array of red and blue boxes in the oral care aisle, there wasn’t one single product that aligned with both personal well-being and environmental responsibility.

Since then, we’ve kept true to our vision of being the sustainable toothpaste option in the supermarket aisle. But we also offer much more. Today ROCC stands as an Australian-crafted oral care solution that not only embodies non-toxicity but is also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, supported by scientific research, and rooted in genuine sustainability.

"This void ignited a concept, setting in motion a series of challenges that eventually gave rise to the creation of ROCC."

What challenges did you face, if any, in starting your own business? What have you learnt from that process?

Central to ROCC is a culture of innovation, evident through our pioneering products and ground-breaking packaging, establishing us as a pioneer modern consumer oral care brand in the Australian market.

But the downside to this, as a small start-up, was finding a manufacturer who would support our vision and push boundaries. ROCC was ideated during COVID - in the absence of face-to-face meetings to pitch our vision - we had many doors close on us.  

The journey towards unveiling our products was protracted due to the ambitious innovation we aimed to introduce to the market. Yet, when ROCC debuted in 2021, it proudly bore the titles of "The first biodegradable toothpaste tube in Australia” and “The first Vitamin b12 toothpaste in Australia”.

This endeavour underscores a valuable lesson: the imperative of not hastening the process of New Product Development. ROCC's offerings are meticulously tailored, marked by their ingenuity, sustainability, and underpinned by scientific research.

What brought you to The Commons, how has this helped your journey with ROCC Naturals?

Having young children at home, I sought an external workspace. I also yearned for an environment enriched by a community of inspiring businesses—a space that would facilitate both professional and personal development. The Commons fulfills all these aspirations for me.

What advice do you have for someone starting their own business?

Embarking on the journey of starting a new business is akin to stepping onto a rollercoaster with unwavering determination. Brace yourself for the exhilarating ride ahead, for each day will present a symphony of emotions, oscillating between the summit of triumph and the abyss of challenges.

Embrace the fluctuating rhythm of entrepreneurship, for it is within this ebb and flow that true growth resides.

What else can we expect from your brand? How do you see it expanding in the future?

ROCC is available at various retail outlets across Australia, including supermarkets, pharmacies, hotels, spas, and lifestyle stores. As we look towards the future, we anticipate an expansion of ROCC's footprint within each of these distinct domains, with a parallel ambition to establish a presence across international markets.

Which flavour is your most used? Which have you found to be the most popular?

Vitamin B12 Mint + Coconut Oil Toothpaste has been our weekly best-selling product for over two years. Its science-backed formulation and cult status in the vegan community keeps the customers returning.

Where is your dream stockist? Or are you already there?

We've been exceptionally fortunate to achieve placement in coveted locations – you can discover us at over 830 Coles stores throughout Australia and at Brisbane's esteemed Calile Hotel. But we never stop dreaming!

Guided by our multifaceted retail approach, we aspire that out vibrant green packaging will grace the shelves of Whole Foods in the USA, adorn the aisles of Erewhon Market in LA, and even make an appearance within the confines of The Hoxton Hotel rooms.

What are your most used sustainable health and wellness products?

Welleco Protein Powder – The chocolate is amazing.

Peloton app for running – it combines the best beats and coaches for motivational runs

Hydrogen Health Water bottle – The best-filtered water bottle, for on the go.  

ROCC Tote Bag (made by The Common Good Co)

Whitening Minerals with Fluoride - hello naturally white teeth.

Anything else you would like to add in?

A little fun fact about ROCC – we can proudly say that Dua Lipa is a long-term customer. Our international stockist for the UK was out of stock, so Dua’s team asked if they could order directly, she now orders from us, Vitamin b12 only, but she does purchase in bulk!