It all started with an idea 10 years ago tells Jason Luichareonkit, a former business manager who grew tired of working in corporate, and is now the owner and director of his own business Pure Naturally, which produces bottled virgin coconut oil.
“My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Thailand when we looked around and realised there heaps of coconut trees,” he said.
“We thought, ‘there must be something else we can use them for other than coconut milk and coconut water’, so we did a bit of research when we got back and found out something called virgin coconut oil.”
Between coming up with the idea and officially launching the business in March this year, Luichareonkit had spent time raising enough capital, completed a Master of Business Administration, and hunted down the right coconut plantation.
Luichareonkit also discovered through plenty of research that there’s a misconception that coconut oil is unhealthy but says rather it’s the opposite, and hopes to educate the market about it through Pure Naturally.
“There’s a lot misconception in the past about coconut oil because it’s saturated fat, and so people have always long thought that saturated fat is all not healthy but there are healthy and not healthy ones; and so doing this gives people an idea of what they can use it for,” he said.
“People think you can only put it on your face and not realise you can cook with it, too.”
Luichareonkit boasts that Pure Naturally sources its coconut from a single origin in a plantation in Chumphon located in southern Thailand, and explains they do this because it’s easier for quality control reasons.
“Ours comes from a single plantation, and the from coconut to bottle happens within eight hours,” he said. “It’s also cold pressed heat-free because using heat can make that coconut taste stronger and that can overpower your food.”
Luichareonkit added that as part of his Thai heritage the use of coconut has long been part of cooking – something in which he learned how to do when he moved out of home in his early 20’s.
“I had come from a big family with aunties and uncles that have restaurants. My parents also owned a bakery so we were always involved in the food business,” he said. “We then thought this was something we could educate the market about.”