How did Cru8 begin?
Cru8 started in 2014 after I discovered the health and productivity benefits of a high-raw, plant-based diet first hand, after recovering from a pre-diabetic condition and losing 20Ibs of weight. I set out to prove my theory through my master's in organisational psychology that I undertook at City University. Results from my research showed that a high-raw, gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free diet not only significantly enhances work productivity but it also supports emotional wellbeing. I was awarded a distinction for my thesis and set up Cru8 with the purpose of transforming corporate eating habits, as well as those of my individual clients. In 2016, we opened Cru8’s first deli that's located at the renowned Chelsea Farmers Market.
What’s the ethos of Cru8?
Cru8’s ethos is to offer high quality, delicious tasting all-natural alternatives to processed and nutrient-empty foods and offers nourishing and delicious plant-based products. This makes it ideal for those following the low-sugar, low-carb and high-fat requirements of the Keto diet. The Keto, or Ketogenic, diet has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, as consumers increasingly search for ways to self-optimise. The Keto diet is a low-carb, low-sugar, high-fat diet intended to drive the body into the metabolic state of Ketosis, whereby it is burning fat supplies to generate energy, instead of glucose. Half our products are raw, meaning they haven't been heated above 42 degrees leaving enzymes intact and accessible to the body. All our raw products are vegan. These are products that actually benefit and nourish you rather than deplete you. We’re organically certified, meaning our ingredients are of the best quality. We produce all our own products in small batches, in-house in Battersea. I also offer expert advice on menu and dietary planning specially tailored to individual customers that can nourish, energise and increase productivity throughout the day.
Tell us more about your research
Since my original research project, I’ve done a lot of research around eating a low-carb, Keto diet. There really are some substantial benefits to be gained from eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates, like the reversal of Type-2 diabetes, weight management, reduction in inflammation and more. This is why I’m now taking our product line in the low carb Keto direction.
Any top tips for a healthier lifestyle?
Making simple swaps and replacing bread with a low carb version, like our Keto Buns, or sugary breakfast cereals with our Keto Sesame Bagels. Or make your own granola using nuts, seeds, cinnamon, coconut oil and a little erythritol. Leading a low carb, high-raw and plant-based diet where possible has huge health and well being benefits. This includes increased energy and mental clarity, a reduction in inflammation and weight loss, so I always recommend to my clients to be more mindful of what they eat and where the ingredients come from.
If you had to choose a favourite recipe from your website, what would it be and why? Please share the link with us!
I would have to choose my Keto Vegan Ramen recipe which is a delicious, wholesome and bursting with flavour dish. I often enjoy this with the family!
Where do you find inspiration for your lovely products?
My inspiration comes from my own experience of trying to live a low carb, low sugar lifestyle and finding it hard to find products that fit the bill and are honestly healthy and clean. So, for instance, I love bagels, but most Keto bagel recipes are full of dairy and eggs, so I set about creating a bagel that is dairy-free, has no fillers or preservatives and is vegan.
What do you enjoy doing the most at Cru8 day-to-day?
It’s definitely the creative side of developing new products and experimenting with new ingredients. I always seem to have about ten new ideas on the boil. It’s a very iterative process and can take quite some time to get a recipe right…. and then there's the issue of scaling the recipe, which can also be tricky!
What does a day in the life look like behind the scenes of Cru8?
The day starts with getting my son to school and then walking across the park with Rex, our Jackapoo, to the office. It’s then tackling emails for a couple of hours, responding to customers' queries. I make sure we’re on track with production and packing. We make our products in-house, so it’s quite a job to ensure we have enough ingredients to make products, enough products for all the orders, and so on. I might be in the kitchen working alongside my team in the afternoon, or doing some experimentation with new product development. The day is, of course, broken up by the essential walkies with Rex. Where can people buy your products? You can buy Cru8 products on our website (www.cru8foods.co.uk), at our deli in Chelsea Famers Market and in stockists including Whole Food Market, Selfridges, Planet Organic and various independent retailers.
What’s next for Cru8?
We have plans to grow and expand our range further with new Keto products you'll get to try in 2021. Stay tuned. We recently launched our Keto Vegan Sesame Bagels. These are low net carb (containing only 3g carbohydrate compared to a traditional bagel that has 45g carbohydrate) and low in sugar. They are gut health promoting due to a high fibre content as well as a source of vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium and manganese. The Cru8 Keto Vegan Sesame Bagels are created using the finest, all-natural ingredients such as:
- coconut flour
- golden flax seed
- psyllium husk
- extra virgin olive oil
- bicarbonate of soda
- sea salt
- apple cider vinegar
- sesame seeds