About Time You Met: Alex Heynes, Founder of Vital IngredientBy Angelica Malin
If you haven’t already noticed, we’ve gone barmy for Vital Ingredient. We love their new breakfast and smoothie range – if you’ve got a hankering for some avo toast, or fruity smoothies – read all about the new range here. You can get involved by Vital on Twitter here, Facebook here and Instagram here for all the latest news. We chat with founder Alex Heynes about porridge, staying healthy and Vital’s future plans:
Can you tell us a little more about Vital – what’s the inspiration behind the brand?
Vital is all about allowing people to eat exactly what they want right down to the last ingredient, and seeing it made fresh in front of you. This method of food service is ideal for the health conscious eater, who wants to avoid certain food types such as gluten or dairy, as well as people who just want to know they are eating the best quality ingredients with whatever lunch they choose.
What made you start vital?
Before I started Vital I used to work in an office in the city and became bored of having to eat the same sandwich over and over again, and at the same time I was inspired by the growth of Pret and other branded food businesses and saw an opportunity.
What makes you different from other grab and go retailers on the high street?
The big sandwich chains proved that people were prepared to spend a little more on good quality ingredients and eating good food, so I took this one step further and put the customer in control of what and how they eat.
You’ve just launched a range of new products – can you tell us a little more about them?
We have recently launched an extended and improved range of our Raw & Naked smoothies. There are 10 different smoothies with 5 different functional health benefits over the range. The drinks are all blended to order and it’s possible to see the raw ingredients on display before they are blended.
We have also recently launched a new breakfast menu, offering cooked to order scrambled and poached eggs, a made to order acai bowl, avocado toasts, freshly cooked dairy-free / gluten-free protein pancakes, breakfast bowls and two types of porridge, all a choice of over 35 topping and ingredients for you to personalise whatever you choose.
What’s your favorite products from the range?
My personal favorite from our new breakfast range is the protein pancakes. Every morning we blend gluten-free oats with free range eggs, banana and a touch of cinnamon, and cook the pancakes fresh, so they are always served warm. They are amazing with some berries, and a bit of greek or coconut yogurt.
What does health mean to you?
The old adage “you are what you eat” is proving itself over and over these days with all the research into health and diet. I believe you should choose carefully what you put into your stomach, and your body will react with gratitude over time.
Favourite fitness class in London?
I don’t do fitness classes, I walk my dog a couple of miles every morning and do 25 push-ups every evening and make sure I eat well, this seems to do it for me.
Our warm gluten-free protein pancakes topped with Greek yoghurt, blueberries, pineapple and pomegranate seeds, topped with cinnamon, followed with an almond milk turmeric latte (launching in our stores soon!).
What are the 2017 plans for Vital?
As we slowly continue our store expansion in Central London, we are constantly innovating our menu with new salads, grab and go items and raw cakes appearing throughout the year. And we’re launching some great new hot food products this autumn.
Favorite porridge topping?
Our Magic Porridge – mango, cranberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds and honey.