I learned about Rebel Kitchen on Twitter. Tamara produces a variety of 'mylks' which are healthy, yummy and kid-friendly. Tamara has been kind enough to answer some questions so you can get a feel of what Rebel Kitchen does and why.
What does Rebel Kitchen specialise in selling?
Rebel Kitchen is a really cool new positive snacking brand, which for now specialises in kick-ass, healthy and delicious coconut “mylk” drinks – but we have big plans for the future! Back in January 2014, we launched a range for kids in cute but tough 200ml cartons in three varieties: Choco, Orange Choc and Banana. All made simply with coconut milk, pure spring water, Fairtrade raw cacao and a touch of date nectar for sweetness – no refined sugar or junk. The vision was to create something that would change lunch-boxes forever! Soon after we grew our Rebel Kitchen family to include a range of mylks for grown-ups: starting with Chocolate and with Matcha Green Tea and Chai varieties launching from June 2014. All in grown-up sized 330ml cartons and packed with the same nutritional superheroes as the kids’ range.
Where is Rebel Kitchen based?
I live in the countryside in Hampshire with my family, but my office is based in Central London. I commute into work three times a week
Do you exclusively serve those who are local to you or can others who are further away access your products too? If so, how?
My key aim when creating Rebel Kitchen was to ensure that we make healthy and nutritious snacks accessible and available to everyone, every day, everywhere. So Rebel Kitchen is can be bought by anyone, anywhere via our online shop! We are also proud to be stocked in fantastic independent stores which have supported us from the beginning like Lomax, Whole Foods, Fortnum & Mason and Daylesford Organics. We’ve also worked with some specialist online retailers like Goodness Foods, Eco Green and Perfectly Paleo – plus we’ve been included in some vegan delivery boxes. As well as this, we are keen to secure a national listing and have had some really positive meetings recently with key retailers so watch this space! We have a nifty tool on our website that helps you find your nearest Rebel stockist.
What inspired you to create a business that solely focuses on plant-based Mylks?
The inception of the brand started with the A Team Foundation and the frustration at not ever being able to achieve enough change from the charitable side when you're up against big business who have deeper pockets and more power when it comes to affecting the food system. I wanted to show that in order to affect change within nutrition we’d need to show that problem also needed to be approached from a commercial perspective, to show big business that you could be commercially successful whilst not killing us through food. We launched the kids range first because we saw a bigger gap in the market for truly healthy kids drink range and wanted to give us a bigger platform to make noise. And it worked.
I have always been passionate about health and nutrition. The inspiration for Rebel Kitchen journey began four years ago when my husband Ben and I launched charity The A Team Foundation which was all about demonstrating the role nutrition and diet plays in the nation’s health and approach to food. As a mother of three young children, I knew first-hand that there was a lack of tasty, wholesome food & drink products that appealed to kids and satisfied cravings in a healthy way. So in the end it was a natural step to set about creating a solution. Rebel Kitchen’s focus isn’t just on what our mylks do not contain (lactose, dairy, refined sugar, preservatives) but about the good stuff they put in to your body (superfoods like coconut, raw cacao, natural date nectar). That being said, I believe that plant-based nutrition is where we all need to be to ensure we’re getting the nutrients and minerals in our bodies to lead healthy and happy lives. The base of a healthy diet always starts with plants. The author Michael Pollen couldn’t have said it better: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”.
Do different Mylks produce different results?
Yes, all of our varieties contain a number of different key ingredients, which all have diverse health benefits. For example, raw cacao has super antioxidant powers, matcha is an excellent source of natural caffeine, and chai spices have anti-inflammatory properties.
How easy is it for you to source cruelty free ingredients for your products?
Making sure that all the ingredients we source are ethically sound is something that is really important to us. Our coconuts are sourced from an island in Western Indonesia, via a local supplier who ensures employee well-being and we use Fairtrade cacao that guarantees fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
Do these ingredients affect the outcome in comparison with non-plant-based Mylks?
Our “mylks” have an incredible nutrient line up: coconut milk is a healthy fat and metabolism booster, water for natural hydration, antioxidant cacao and a healthy wholesome source of carbohydrate in the dates. Nourish your thing!
For someone who hasn't tasted your Mylks before & is indecisive about what to buy; is there a particularly popular one you can name?
Choco is the ultimate Rebel dude! It’s our hero product and available in both adult and kids’ sizes. Everyone loves it – it’s like the chocolate milk you remember from your childhood but really good for you. It’s a healthy superfood alternative to satisfy any chocolate cravings.
Are you owned by, or in partnership with, another company that does test on animals or sell non-vegan products?
We are absolutely in no way connected to any company that tests on animals or sells non vegan products.
Tell me a bit about yourself before you launched this company
My parents are originally from Israel but I spent my early years in New York before moving to London at the age of ten. I studied Classics at Brown, followed by a Law conversion course at the London College of Law - but have always been a passionate foodie, with a keen interest in nutrition. First and foremost I am a full-time mother. And it is my role as a mother which ignited my idea for a business venture; I have always been passionate about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
What is your vision for the future of Rebel Kitchen?
In the next five years, I would like Rebel Kitchen to be widely available throughout the country. We are also looking to extend Rebel Kitchen’s positive snacking range with other nutritious, delicious food and drink products.