Suzie Walker foodpreneur The founder of paleo food brand The Primal Pantry, 35, on stripping back snack bars.
‘Myfive-year-old daughter, Grace,wakes me up at 7am and, while I’mpreparing her breakfast, I make abullet-proof coffee – black with atablespoon of coconut oil and sometimes butter – thatgives me an energy fix and keeps me going until lunch,before logging into my laptop to write my to-do list.‘After dropping Grace at school, I drive 15 minutesto the office with my Staffie, Rio. We arrive around9.15am, by which point all 22staff and four other dogs arethere and coffee is brewing.My mornings are packed withmeetings such as discussingwhat we’ve sold with my salesand social media teams. ThePrimal Pantry is now listed in14,000 Co-op supermarkets,which is exciting. It’s amazinghow far we’ve come in a fewyears: the first order came off theproduction line in January 2014and now we’re stocked in majorsupermarkets and independentsin the UK and have expandedinto Europe and the US.
No Bake Snack Bars With Cheerios Photo Gallery
‘I had the idea for creating a paleo-diet-friendly snackbar in 2013 when working as a nutritionist. My clientswanted something they could eat on the go that wasfree from grains, refined sugar and soy. I’d beenfollowing a Paleolithic, low-carb diet since doing mynutrition course in 2009. Two weeksafter stripping out processed foods,my weight stabilised, I had moreenergy and felt better than ever. Mypaleo diet clients also saw fantasticresults. ‘After experimenting with some raw ingredients, I hit on a few recipes my clients anddaughter loved. At the same time, I was approachedthrough Linked In by my now business partner. Hethought the products were a great idea so we found amanufacturer and raised £16,000 to cover the costsof the first production run. We sold 20,000 bars beforethey’d arrived and since then we’ve added twoflavours and two high-protein bars to the range. Nowwe’re competing against Mars, not just otherwholefood brands. Because our recipes don’t contain dairy or other animal products, we’ve got a huge vegan following.‘By half past one, I’m ready forlunch, so I head to our kitchen tomake a paleo salad. I work whileeat, catching up on our socialmedia accounts or business news.
Might take Rio for a walk beforetackling emails,sampling newproducts and lookingat packaging designs.It’s very democratic –whichever flavour ordesign gets the mostvotes in the office, wins. I love thecreativity in new productdevelopment – look out for the newAçai Berry and Super Seed PrimalBar that’s out soon.‘Mid afternoon, I tuck into anApple & Pecan Paleo Raw Bar –my favourite flavour – with a cup ofgreen tea.
Towards the end of theday, we have a group ‘huddle’ andcelebrate any good news, which we’ll toastwith green or herbal tea – no alcohol!‘Twice a week after work, I head to aCrossFit class or the gym, where I weighttrain. It keeps me toned and lets me switchoff. I get home in time to help Grace with herhomework and put her to bed at 7pm. Buton Fridays I leave work early to pick her upfrom school. Stuart, my husband, and I eatgrain-free in the evening: grilled meat or fishwith veg. Dessert is a square of 90 per centcocoa dark chocolate with a handful ofalmonds. After dinner, I check The PrimalPantry’s social media accounts but try to logoff by 9pm so I can relax with Stuart – welove watching box sets. I aim to be in bed byabout 11.30pm. Along with weight control,more energy, improved skin, hair and nailsand balanced hormones, better sleep is oneof the many benefits of eating a paleo diet.’
SUZIE’S REAL-FOOD TIPS
Aim to eat food in its most natural state possible – it’s good for you and tastes better.
Remember, if you can’t pick it, grow it or feed it – it’s not real!
Keep food simple. If it has more than five ingredients or you can’t pronounce one of the ingredients, don’t buy it!
Paleo eating can be expensive but you can request cheaper cuts of meats such as brisket and shin at the butcher.