Raw food seems like it's here to stay. Thousands of people are discovering the health benefits of eating raw, and there are some folk turning it into an art form. And after a trip to Matakana markets where we sampled some new Raw Eats products, we're sold, too.
Rachael Drinnan, the founder of Raw Eats, lives with her family (partner Chris and their three small children) in the beautiful Whangaripo Valley, halfway between Matakana and Wellsford. We caught up with her and asked about her fledgling business.
What products are you making exactly? I currently make decadent cheesecakes, slices and balls (all raw, gluten free, dairy free, no refined sugars and vegan). I'm also looking to make beautiful raw salads and wraps come summertime.
What gave you the idea of starting Raw Eats? I entered the Whangaripo Valley Wild Food Festival last year, and made a raw coconut and wild blackberry cheesecake... and it was an absolute hit! It got tremendous feedback from the punters, so I thought - why not start a new little venture for myself?
After some research, I came across Little Bird Unbakery and really wanted to go and try some of their beautiful food. So my mum and I went down to their newish premises near Britomart - it was fabulous, the food was amazing and I was inspired. I thought "this is totally me, I can do this!"
I love the fact that when eating these delicious morsels I'm putting unbaked goodness into my body. I love seeing peoples faces when I tell them it's all raw, with no refined sugars, no nasty flours and chock full of superfoods - they simply cannot believe how something that looks so gorgeous and tastes amazing is healthy for you!
Where do you source your ingredients? All my ingredients are sourced from local stores, and once spring and summer finally get here, I'll try to source as local as possible, especially for the raw salads. The main ingredient (and the most expensive for the cheesecakes) is raw cashews, so of course it's difficult to source these locally.
What feedback have you had? It's been amazing - I was going into the unknown when presenting my unbaked goodness to the community and was a little unsure of how my new venture would go - but I've had nothing but praise and positive comments about my products! It's definitely encouraged me to continue what I am currently doing and think big about the future.
You've just started selling at Matakana Market - is there any other way people can get hold of your products? Yes, I'm currently selling at the 'top' Market [outside the old Cream of Matakana], and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I only go if the weather is sunny and have babysitters at the ready to mind my three little ones. However I'm more than happy to take orders for full cheesecakes or slice blocks and come to an arrangement for pick up or delivery! For orders, or more info, contact Rachael on 09 425 9755 or 021 922 447 Email firstname.lastname@example.org