Four Fantastic Female Food Producers
It was International Women’s Day this week so we’re celebrating some of our favourite female food producers.
Maria - Chakra Chocolates and High Vibrational Bliss
Maria makes bars of raw vegan chocolate using fairly traded Peruvian criolla (native) cacao, coconut sugar, lucuma powder, mulberries, food grade organic essential oils and a host of other ingredients. Each bar is given a name according to the chakra or the vibration it works with. For instance, my favourite bar (for today anyway), the “I See” bar, works with the Brow Chakra, also known as the third eye - the centre of perception and command. It contains cacao, coconut sugar, blueberry powder and eucalyptus oil and tastes very strongly of chocolate but is sweet and creamy too.
Maria also runs her wellbeing practice from The Healthy Living Centre on St. Paul’s Road. At the moment she is unfortunately unable to hold workshops as a result of the pandemic however she is still seeing clients for Atlasprofilax treatments, healing sessions and chakra attunements. “The [current] situation is so dramatic many people are reaching out to therapies they never would have tried before. ”. Her work focuses on bringing harmony and balance into your life working on your physical and energy bodies as well as in your chakras. A chakra attunement is an hour’s session when a special ceremony is conducted to clear blockages, in one specific chakra using also guided meditations to fill you with gentleness, and energise you.
Contact Maria on www.atlashealing.com or www.andromedaalchemy.co.uk
Sinem - Chapel Market Roastery
Chapel Market is one of my favourite streets in London. There is great food available from the many restaurants and cafes and the market runs every day except Monday with a larger farmer’s market on a Sunday. Sinem worked as a primary school teacher for 12 years but always had the dream to own her own business. Her mother owned a Launderette on this road since the early 2000s and in the same building she continues the family procession, roasting and selling hot coffees and coffee beans. The main room has a wall of old launderette memorabilia but the roaster takes the place of pride in the front window.
Sinem will host a weekly writers’ workshop in the cafe where you can come to write in peace and then head to the pub to discuss everyone’s work. There is also a downstairs which will be used as a community space with other events and workshops including a home barista workshop. The cafe is really worth a visit, you can currently order takeaway drinks, cakes and cookies, or buy a bag of beans to take home and enjoy. The coffee comes from all over the world and Sinem or the barista will help you choose the right bean for you. Remember to keep an eye out for the old Launderette writing on the shop front.
Chloë - nibs etc.
Granola is not just for adults. Chloë’s journey began by thinking lots about how to “buy only what you need”. And, after living in China, studying in America, and working on a farm in the south of Italy, she realised that food waste didn't just fall off the plate into the bin; it exists across the production process. She began catering at public and private events, cooking sweet and savoury dishes using as much upcycled food as possible. After befriending a stall owner who sold juice she began experimenting with juice pulp (the usually wasted product that comes out of the other end of a juicer) and eventually settled on her range of granolas and granola bars. More recipes with juice pulp are coming soon.
She has had a stall on borough market for three years now and has won various awards helping her to expand the business. In March she lost the juice pulp supplier and so created the emergency granola mix which has become a favourite and so will be staying after more juice pulp has been sourced. The granola comes in boxes made from grass paper and post-consumer cardboard and are fully recyclable. The Oat Almond Honey Granola (yum) comes in 500g and 1 kilo plastic-like film bags that are fully compostable. This same material is used for the granola bars and seasonal products, for example Walnut-Meal Snowball Cookies - made with a by-product of walnut oil. All packaging is carefully selected to minimise the business’s environmental impact. Sustainability and making use of the resources that other people waste is at the heart of everything nib etc. do. Three cheers to that.
Nicola - Agua de Madre
Agua de Madre is a water kefir drink made with organic fruit. A ‘SCOBY’ ( Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) - the mother culture from which the drink gets its name, naturally occurs on a cactus from Central America. The bacteria are still alive in the drink with 55 million in each 100ml! This may sound creepy to some people but the living bacteria inside us are essential for good health and 55 million really isn’t that many. A healthy gut has been linked with a strong immune system, good heart condition, brain health, improved mood and sleep, good skin and effective digestion. Gut bacteria are also thought to protect against some cancers and auto-immune disease. When we eat we are not just eating for one, but for the 10 trillion microbiota (bacteria and other micro-organisms) that live symbiotically in and on our bodies - that’s more or less one for every cell in the body!
Agua de Madre has a very low alcohol content (1.2%) and is naturally bubbly due to the fermentation, with small champagne-like bubbles. A natural drink to have for any celebration it also mixes well in cocktails. Agua de Madre comes in a range of flavours: Original, Passion Fruit and Raspberry, Pomegranate and Hibiscus and Elderflower and Apple. They also sell a Remedio Naturale (natural remedy), a natural byproduct from the water kefir that can be added to hot water or used as an ingredient in spicy dishes, smoothies or desserts. Ginger has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties and is thought to activate the immune system. Delicious and nutritious.
This year Swati Mohan, lead engineer on the 2020 Mars mission, successfully landed a rover to search for signs of past life on Mars (and possibly some extraterrestrial Mars bars). Thank you to all the wonderful women of this world!