Having the choice of selecting a Paleo friendly snack option is not always easy to find but fortunately for us there are people who want to help with the struggle, people like Suzie from The Primal Pantry. We will be interviewing Suzie to find out a bit more about The Primal Pantry and the cave-girl that runs it.
I never ever expected the response we had, when the website went live and I opened it up for pre-orders 20,000 bars were sold in just over 2 weeks. To this day it still doesn’t feel real. And it is great to see those first customers coming back again to reorder regularly.
Georgie: Hi Suzie, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. The question we would like to start with is who is Suzie? Tell us about yourself and your background.
Suzie: Thanks for inviting me to do an interview. Where do I start… I have always had a passion for food and started my career at Nestle (think of all that chocolate), I then moved to innocent drinks which gave me some great entrepreneurial exposure. Following innocent I re-trained as a nutritionist and started to working at an even smaller food company – Little Dish. After having our daughter I decided not to return to work and instead focus on building up my nutrition consultancy business. By then I was fully Paleo and our daughter was weaned on primal food choices. Although seeing a variety of clients I missed the food industry greatly, I had made balls of fruit and nuts at home for clients to enjoy and some suggested purchasing them off me to take home. So in August 2013 I decided I would take this to the next level and began creating the bars (balls at the time) and by February 2014 launched The Primal Pantry (then The Primal Kitchen).
Georgie: The Primal Pantry produce some fantastic bars with great flavour combinations. How easy was it to come up with these different flavours and were there any trial flavours that didn’t make the cut?
Suzie: Coconut Macadamia was a clear cut winner and the first one I developed. I then was experimenting with a Blueberry & Almond bar, however it is really difficult to source blueberries with no added sugars so I decided that was sufficient enough (even though they tasted great). That bar then became the Almond & Cashew Bar. I decided to look at which fruits were available that were 100% what they should be and that is how I came across cherries, which then became the Brazil Nut & Cherry Bar. We have since launched two more flavours and are now working on our 6th Primal Bar.
Georgie: Having a dream start to become a reality is an exciting time – how did it feel when you sold your first bar?
Suzie: I never ever expected the response we had, when the website went live and I opened it up for pre-orders 20,000 bars were sold in just over 2 weeks. To this day it still doesn’t feel real. And it is great to see those first customers coming back again to reorder regularly.
Georgie: For all of us living the Paleo lifestyle I think it’s safe to say we all know someone that will question the way we eat. What’s your normal answer to your friends and family that don’t see the benefits of eating Paleo?
Suzie: Haha, I get this so much now, I end up with an ‘each to their own’ you do what you think is best for you and I will do what I think is best for me and we don’t judge each other.
Georgie: Being a parent and raising a child on a Paleo diet can come both with benefits and challenges. How have you found the experience so far?
Suzie: To begin with it was easy, I had full control over what she was eating, she started to wean on meats then well cooked veggies. All was going well until she discovered ketchup at 2 years old. All her meals at home are Paleo (with goats dairy) and her packed lunch is Paleo but I don’t prevent her eating other things once in a while at kids parties and her friend’s houses. She has a good love of meat and salmon so that forms the base of all her meals. We have gluten-free bread in the fridge in case she goes on picnics and wants a sandwich, so definitely a case of 80% of the time.
It is great to see so many great food companies starting up based on the principles of Paleo and clean eating, many of which are now making their way mainstream on the supermarket shelves. If we continue to demand it the food industry will need to keep up.
Georgie: Why do you think that there is so much negativity around raising children Paleo?
Suzie: The recent negativity surrounding Pete Evans is all I have seen, it appears to be some miscommunication and the media getting their claws into it and claiming he is saying his ‘milk’ recipe is better than breast milk. Otherwise I can’t see what is wrong in raising kids on fresh unprocessed foods.
Georgie: I often find that people believe removing food groups involves removing nutritional value from our diet. What are your thoughts on this?
Suzie: The food group we are talking about are grains which; 1. Don’t have many key nutrients which you can’t get in a more available for anywhere else, 2. are usually fortified with low grade versions of these nutrients, and 3. have been shown to inhibit nutrient absorption.
Georgie: Apart from your delicious primal bars, what’s your favourite Paleo meal that you like to eat?
Suzie: Oh geez, where to start… I love courgetti bolognese, meatzas, chilli and caulirice, steak and sweet potato wedges, and recently (more primal than Paleo) Pao de Queijo which was introduced to me by Renata (Caveman Kitchen).
Georgie: Where do you see the British Paleo market going in the next 10 years?
Suzie: I continue to see it grow, already the clean food movement is causing the closure of 350 McDonalds across the USA, and the opening of the first organic drive thru restaurant in California. We will always demand real food, free of GMOs and processed ingredients, it all lies with the food industry. It is great to see so many great food companies starting up based on the principles of Paleo and clean eating, many of which are now making their way mainstream on the supermarket shelves (Rebel Kitchen, Drink Maple, Paleo Granola, Coconut Chips, Caulirice, Awfully Posh Snacks, Tesco Own Courgetti). If we continue to demand it the food industry will need to keep up.
Georgie: The name Primal Pantry indicates that we could be in for some treats other than your bars. Have you any plans to branch out into other snack ranges?
Suzie: Yes we do, however at the moment as things have been moving really fast however we want to focus on the existing range of bars, increase awareness of the brand, and grow our distribution as we launch this Autumn into two of the supermarkets. We are slowly growing our team at the Primal Den to support us and I can’t resist working on our 6th bar, which is shaping up to be something special .
The Primal Pantry have been incredibly kind and are offering a £5 off coupon for all Primal Eye readers! Just enter ‘primaleye’ at the checkout to receive your money off!
If you’d like to keep up to date with what The Primal Pantry have in store for us next then follow some of the links below: