We interviewed one of our brand partners, Take Root, to really get to know them better. We're sure you enjoyed the yummy snacks that they've been providing in our Raw Bites subscriptions... But what really drives the duo behind the brand to keep on innovating their products? Let's find out.
What do people really mean by "clean eating"? Please explain this.
- Aileen (A): Clean eating has changed through the years . For a while, I was combatting a lot of my allergies, I just started with GF and DF, then I went to Paleo route which is a fat-, protein- and low carb-based and I realized that it wasn’t for me. What I found has been more effective is a plant-based diet. I’ve been having a lot more fruit and a lot less fat. That’s really been key. So I think clean eating is evolving and it depends on what works for your body.
- Monica (M): Clean eating for me is really simple – no artificial additives, no overly processed, chemicals, preservatives and just eating as close to a whole food as possible.
- A: In NY, we were exposed to all these delicious stuff. Back then, when I was told to avoid gluten, dairy, and the like, I thought it was a death sentence until I realized that there was a wealth of clean food. For me, I fell in love with kale chips and I would to be in line at Whole Foods and I would start eating it while queuing. By the time I got to the cashier, I already finished a pack and there goes my $10. So I figured that I should probably start to making it on my own. Making it at home still took 24 hours so I figured that when I come back to the Philippines, I could find other people to help me make this. So that’s where the idea sprouted.
- M: In relation to that, NY showed that healthy products can be at par with conventional products because they were beautifully packaged, accessible to people, and really delicious. So that subconsciously opened us up to the possibility of living a healthy life and not sacrificing your quality of life. That’s what we wanted to bring here – a snack line which won’t make you feel bad about yourself.
- A: In NY, before I had all my allergies, I would spend all my money on clothes, then suddenly, it switched to spending it all on food. It can be expensive and our kale chips are at a premium but that’s because we don’t sacrifice anything. It takes a long time to make and we use all premium and organic (when possible) ingredients. But there are also ways to make healthy eating more affordable. For example, kamote tops and saluyot are really good for you and very easy on the pocket. So it can both expensive and affordable. It’s good to have a good mix so that you don’t feel deprived.
- M: Health food is at a premium because it’s an investment to your health. Right now, it’s expensive but the more people demand organic produce then the market realized the need for it, and there’ll be more production of it. Eventually, prices can go down.
- A & M: We both were really just immersed in it and were making it ourselves. We were making a lot of granola and bliss balls. We would just be giving to families and friends in the US.
- M: Aileen would have a dehydrator at home even before it was cool and she was making kale chips but then she would eat all the kale chips before it leaves the tray. We had a lot more products when we started such as chia seed pudding and chickpea salad. When we were joining markets, we would get first hand feedback on what the market wanted so we were able to streamline our range to what we currently have right now from those feedback.
- A: It changes. Making healthy eating accessible and delicious. Giving Filipinos options especially since so many Filipinos are getting sick these days and they feel trapped if they want to eat healthy.
- M: We want to be creating new products. Kale chips are our flagship product but we’d like to be introducing products in the market that people would like just as much or if not more. Widening distribution, moving from boutique groceries to supermarkets, doing export... these are all dreams for Take Root.
- A: I’ve been loving the Sour Cream lately. For a while, it was the Vegan Cheese because that was my baby. I also like our chocolate bliss balls cause it’s so clean.