I never used to care much for healthy foods until I became more aware of what foods I am putting into my body. Alternatively I used to think I was eating healthy foods until I realized that yogy sips, low fat yogurt, and bread, just to name a few, actually aren’t that healthy for you – so my mind set and food choices have changed and I am more aware now and choose what I do and do not eat.
Having said all of that, eating healthily is one thing but I still like a good slice of cheesecake! The great thing about cutting out refined sugars and carbs is that it doesn’t have to mean eating lettuce leaves all day – you can have cheesecake!!!!! Now that I have started trying to cook most of our foods with as little refined sugars and carbs as possible my eyes have been opened up to a world of foods that we consider as unhealthy foods but they are just made with healthy ingredients!
Andrew and I found a LOVELY food stall in the Waterfront called The Hungry Herbivore and I was so blown away and impressed with the gorgeous presentation of the foods they sell that I contacted the owner and I organized to meet her and spend the afternoon with her. I really wanted to hear more about what they do and a bit about how they got to where they are today.
Here are some of the things we spoke about:
Have you always been involved in the food industry?
No, it was never an industry I thought I would end up in. I used to strongly dislike being in the kitchen making food.
Did you study food?
I actually studied photography and thought I would become a fashion photographer. While I still love photography and fashion photography in particular, I love food more.
Have you always been interested in finding healthy alternatives to the sweet foods we all love so much?
My search for healthy alternatives began when I became conscious of what I was putting into my body. I used to be addicted to chocolate in particular and that became my first item to recreate. I ate dates, coconut oil and cacao processed together, almost every night for the first few months of my lifestyle change.
How long has it taken you to get your business to where it is today?
To get where we are today it has been a year and a half of tremendous hard work, passion, tears, late nights and heavy stress. It is not easy starting and running a business from scratch and you make a million mistakes along the way which is really tough. We still have a very long way to go but are learning to be patient and push through no matter what get’s thrown our way.
How did you come up with the name Hungry Herbivore?
My partner, Brent, came up with it after countless brainstorming sessions. I kept on thinking up cliché names and then suddenly the idea came to him, he was always hungry and I am the herbivore and so we combined the two to form The Hungry Herbivore.
What is your role in your company?
I make up all the recipes, make many of the goods myself, do admin, customer service and the photography. Brent deals with social media and all our artwork/website design etc. We are self taught in everything we do.
What does an average day look like for you?
Wake up, drink tea, do some admin, get ready for the waterfront, take through stock and set up for the day. I then get stuck in the kitchen for a few hours and do admin in the afternoon again. It is really nothing glamorous but it makes me happy.
What kinds of foods can people expect to be eating when they buy your food?
We try to recreate healthy pure plant based meals/dessert what one would miss from a processed food lifestyle. Due to limited space at the market we can only do so much for now so we stick to freshly made raw pizza (salads in summer) and always have a range of yummy desserts to make you feel good.
What does it mean to be Vegan?
In general being vegan means the avoidance of all animal products and byproducts in food and in your cosmetics/clothing/home.
For me, it has been a journey of self discovery and awareness. When I became vegan I did not even realise I was vegan. I cut out all processed foods and dairy and ate more fresh fruits and veggies because I wanted to be healthier. I slowly gave up meat over 3 months and only later on did I watch documentaries and start thinking about the ethical side of killing animals for food. Being vegan means showing compassion and being a voice for the voiceless. I believe this shouldn’t just extend to animals but to ever living creature both human and animal.
10. What are some of the more popular foods you make?
Raw pizza made with a butternut and seed dehydrated base and a cashew cheese.
Our most popular cake is our blueberry vanilla cheesecake and the salted caramel is new but catching up quickly
11. If people would like to come try your food where can they find you?
We can be found at the V&A Food Market on Wharf (old Musica) next to the Watershed building in Cape Town. And next year we hope to have our own little place somewhere special.
12. Can we expect any new flavours and foods anytime soon?
YES! I love creating new recipes and so I always try to play around when I have a little extra chance. The salted caramel cheesecake is new and we will have an exciting salad or two for season. Every week I try to make something new to keep things interesting for me and our customers.
Thank you so much, Amy, for taking the time to show me just a glimpse of your story and your amazing food! We are wishing you all the luck for your future endeavors; and we cannot wait to see your new shop appearing sometime in the future! The Rolling Pin x