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Hazel Toutounji is another graduate who has succeeded in a completely different field, as a clinical nutritionist and owner of an organic tea brand.
ICHM likes to report on graduates who have made their way in areas other than hospitality and hotel management, demonstrating entrepreneurial flair.
In this, Hazel Toutounji - known professionally as Angelica-Hazel - is no exception.
The Adelaide-based clinical nutritionist is the owner of an organic tea brand, Saha Botanica, known for hand-blended health-focused herbal tisanes and sourcing high-quality traditional teas from around the world.
Soon after leaving ICHM in 2011 Hazel went on to study in health-related fields, gaining a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) at Endeavour College of Natural Health and a Diploma in Clinical Pilates at Breathe Education.
She has worked as a Pilates Instructor, a Travel Consultant at Flight Centre Business Travel–Australia and more recently as a Customer Service Assistant at the Natural Food Barn. She established Saha Botanica in 2017, and products are currently stocked in a range of retail outlets, cafes and boutique accommodation venues in South Australia and New South Wales.
At ICHM, Hazel’s industry placements were at the National Wine Centre and Stamford Plaza Adelaide. In lieu of a third placement, Hazel undertook Italian language studies at Scuola Dante Alligheri in Camerino, Italy.
She says that ICHM taught her key business skills, such as accounting, marketing, communications and IT.
‘But more importantly, ICHM taught me how to network and the importance of making the customer feel looked after.
‘ICHM also introduced me to my love of boutique hotel brands and accommodation groups with a focus on wellness. It was during a presentation by the Jumeirah group that my interest was sparked in the health and wellbeing industry’, she says.
In April 2020 Hazel will be running her first health retreat in Ubud, Bali, and ‘looks forward to providing participants with a relaxing experience where they can take time out from their busy lives to focus on their own health and happiness’.
Tisanes - or herbal teas - are beverages made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices or other plant material in hot water.