The first Paleo Pure bar was made at home in the kitchen back in 2013. They were exceptional to taste, and the nutritional value was high. It was then that Emma and Nicole knew they were on to something great.
Now, just a few years on these delicious bars can be found far and wide across Australia, and a little closer to home with us in Elwood and Brighton.
We caught up with Emma and Nicole to learn about these little bars with ingredients that you can see and taste!
Who are the team behind Paleo Pure and what made you launch?
Emma - Paleo Pure is headed up by me (Emma) and I have a business partner Nicole Di Pietro-Case, who is also a practicing naturopath. We have a small but very able team which also includes my husband Frankie. Nicole and I joined forces back in 2012 after she tried the paleo muesli I had been making for 12 months prior, we got talking, shared business ideas and shared passions and off we went! That 12 month trial period of taste testing on friends was the catalyst for the business’ creation.
What does a day in the life of the Paleo Pure team look like?
Emma - we are up at 7am at home - hot breakfast with the kids, school drop off and then in to meet the rest of the team. Each day is very different but we do have a weekly production schedule we stick to. We bake fresh every week, so the earlier part of the week is hands on production. Nicole and I are still involved in production with our team, so when we are all in, we usually talk and laugh over trays of muesli. It’s such a great environment to work in. Our range (apart from the bars) is completely made by hand so it’s all hands on deck each day, pardon the pun... Each day also means phone calls, invoicing, product development, artwork signing off, dry stock planning, web orders..and the list goes on. It’s very busy…but we love it that way!
What was involved in developing the range of Paleo Pure bars?
Emma - Our bars have been a labour of love! We started developing them a little over 12 months ago. I am sure not many people realise just how much is involved from a development point of view and monetary investment... from the actual bars production to the flow wrap to the shippers they sit in…there are so many pieces of the puzzle that need careful consideration and focus. I certainly had no idea what to expect and have learned on the go. We had made a bar in our kitchen back in mid 2013. They were exceptional to taste, the nutritional panel was right where we were aiming it at and we knew we had something great. We wanted to develop a bar that was not just another date bar. Nic and I had been talking about the benefits of prune and with her naturopathic background, it just made total sense to opt for this instead of date. With so much focus on the sugar content of everything we eat, we wondered why date was used in just about every bar we tried. Prunes are dried plums and are considerably lower in sugar than dates as well as having a high antioxidant content and not to mention the high fibre content. Not only are they great for your waistline, they are good for your bum too! The best part about using prune is that the taste does not dominate the bars. You can actually see and taste our ingredients…which is what you want. The reaction to them has been phenomenal so far. We are very happy!
Why have you chosen to follow a Paleo diet?
Post children and feeling lethargic and sporting an unattractive jelly belly I wanted to get “me” back. I had also been diagnosed with post partum Hashimoto's which is an auto immune condition that affects thyroid function. I quit sugar for the belly fat and at the same time, started learning about how a gluten free diet can ease the strain on thyroid. Each day I’d swap out old recipes with a gluten free version. Google was my best friend and while recipe searching, a word “paleo” kept popping up. Remember, this was probably at the start of the paleo food revolution - there were no celebrity chefs taking about in Australia at that time so the US was the source of most of the research I found. I bought my first book Practical Paleo by Diane San Filippo and immersed myself into a world of organic, grain free, sugar free food. I loved it, I lost weight, my skin glowed. I slept well. I felt amazing. Once you realise the positive impact this has on your body, it is very hard to go back. I also learned to see food as a fuel source rather than something I craved and that had control over me. I continue to fuel my body this way to varying degrees of strictness.
Why are you so passionate about organic, grain free, gut friendly food?
Nicole is probably the best person to speak about this. I’ll pass this one over to her.. Nicole - We are so passionate about it because of it’s nutrient density. Nutrient dense food means better health, more energy and better focus. When we eat clean food we aren’t taxing our immune/digestive system.
Can you tell us about the nutritional benefits of Paleo Pure bars?
Nicole - Our bars are high in antioxidants and fibre. A good source of good healthy fats from the nut content. They are very low in sugar without lacking flavour and satisfaction. Our bars are under 10grams of sugar per bar, compared to our competitors at between 12 & 25 grams per bar. It is a great difference and really gives us a point of difference in the market place and a very good reason to buy.
As a local Melbourne team, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not busy with Paleo Pure?
Emma - with 2 small kids (7 & 9) I long for the weekends. Given our weeks are fairly manic, I really look forward to spending time with the family. Saturdays are normally spent shopping locally and cooking. Sundays we go to the local famers market, have some outdoor time with the kids at the local Rosanna Parklands which are just magnificent. I love vegetable gardening also but have been losing a battle with those dreaded possums. My weekends are fairly simple and I try and just get some down time. When the weather is nicer, I love to run.
Nicole - Health fitness and family time are incredibly important to me, so I always make time for the gym or some sort of fitness regime. As a mum I love hanging out with my family and still love cooking, even though it’s the weekend. I find cooking very therapeutic and I am blessed that I enjoy that as my down time. Of course a glass of wine with friends is always present.
Can you tell us more about Feel Good Food Packs and your involvement with them?
Emma - Feel Good Food Packs distribute nutritious food to people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. I met Amber, the founder, about a year ago. She contacted me looking for excess products we might have that are closer to the best before date. Her passion and philosophy really struck a chord with me. We started by making up some sample packs for her which she loved. Because we bake fresh weekly, we very rarely end up with anything aged or leftover as we turn our stock over each month. When we moved to our current premises in Fairfield we were blessed with the luxury of flexible space. Amber contacted me about donating kitchen space and time for a big donation she had been given and so we helped her and the team out. We put a call out via Facebook and Instagram and had some beautiful people come along via The Melbourne Paleo Group and some other friends. What we can’t donate in stock, we donate in time and manpower. She is doing great things and I love her passion at such a young age.
If you were stranded on an island and could only take three things with you, what would those three things be?
Emma - Oh boy..my answer would be my husband Frankie, Paris my son and Kleio my daughter. I am sure we would manage to find some food there hunter/gather style *wink.
Nicole - 1. Have to be a coffee machine!! 2. My phone 3. And naturally an endless supply of our bars!! The rest I could go primal and find!