About Time You Met: The HardihoodBy Angelica Malin
Friends for almost a decade, Daisy and Leah, founders of The Hardihood, met at a dinner party where they soon found they were the only ones laughing at each others jokes. They founded The Hardihood in 2014 after taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle resulted in eliminating refined sugar from their diets. Find out more about the raw confectionary queens, creating a storm from their kitchen in Shoreditch:
Tell us a little bit about The Hardihood – how did it all start?
We started The Hardihood in 2014, we’d both given up sugar and were excited about learning a new way of living. We’d head over to West London to soak up the vibes at The Good Life Eatery, but then we’d come back to East London and wondered why no one was doing anything over here. These days there are more options, but back then there was no East London Juice Co! We knew that in places like LA and Sydney people were making healthy eating a desirable choice to make and we wanted to bring some of that over here. We’d seen a few recipes for raw treats, refined sugar-free treats and set out to make our own. We bought a food processor, some dates, nuts and coconut oil and got to work, soon our friends were asking us to make cakes for them. Today we ship over 100 cakes a month from our kitchen in Shoreditch to customers who want beautiful, nutritious, celebration cakes and we’re proudly stocked at Planet Organic, The Detox Kitchen, Raw Press, Ethos, Tiosk, Frame.
What’s the ethos behind the brand?
We’ve always been adamant that our cakes would be delicious, abundant and aesthetically pleasing. We used to have the slogan “Less Vegan, More Vogue”, which is still an ethos we work to when recipe testing. We’re passionate about challenging the idea that a cake made from natural ingredients is going to bland, brown and boring. We’ve actually found natural ingredients to have much richer flavours and using superfoods as natural food coloring as well to nutritionally enhance products is an amazing way to get creative, we love to play around in the kitchen with this.
What got you excited about raw cakes?
The simplicity of it all! We love that what you put in is exactly what you get out, the ingredients you use are completely in their natural form and so you’re 100% in control of what you’re making. There’s a beautiful alchemy to using ingredients straight from the earth, it’s about returning to our roots but also looking to the future. We love that we’re being given the tools to make conscious choices about the way we’re feeding our bodies and it’s exciting that the market for people who feel the same is increasing. We’re all taking much more responsibility for our health and the environment and we feel that returning to the most natural way of living as possible is at the forefront of this. Plus neither of us can bake!
Where’s your favourite place to travel to?
We’ve just returned from a research trip to California where we both completely fell in love, people really place importance on wellbeing here; they invest in themselves, their creativity, their friends, their health and their mindset. It’s refreshing to see people looking up and enjoying life rather than head down focusing on work and what’s next.
Do you think raw and vegan is just a trend or here to stay?
We think people are placing a lot bigger emphasis on what makes them feel good, we’re listening to our bodies a lot more and this can only really lead us in the right direction in terms of health whether this means eating raw, vegan or not watching what you eat at all and just exercising more and getting out into nature. It really depends on each individual but we think as a whole wellness is a growing trend that’s here to stay. You can’t deny how good feeling great feels, the proof is in the pudding…so to speak.
Why do you think there’s been such a movement towards sugar-free products?
People are calling sugar the tobacco of the 21st century, there’s so much bad press surrounding it and such an increase in supporting science. It’s difficult to ignore the negative consequences eating refined sugar can have on your health. Its one of those things that once you know about you can’t unknow. There’s so much sugar hidden in processed food and we’re only just waking up to it, people want control over what they’re eating, we don’t want to eat a pasta sauce thinking we’re fuelling up and realise afterwards we might as well have had a donut.
What’s your staple ingredient when baking?
Nuts, coconut oil, dates, superfoods – we recommend using Bioglan Superfoods.
What’s been the biggest obstacle in running / building your business?
It’s all been a huge learning curve, we’re both new to running a business so we’ve had to learn everything from scratch. It’s been a lot of fun but I suppose the biggest obstacle is learning to switch off. We love The Hardihood so we think about it constantly and it can be all consuming if you let it, especially with social media, which we also love! If we had a penny for every time we arrive at work in the morning having both dreamt about cake we’d be rich. Learning to be flexible and move with the business is important and making sure we’re having fun with it too. We’ve learned pretty quickly that our energy is what drives everything, so we need to make sure we keep falling in love, even on the days that don’t seem like fun.
How do you find working as best friends?
We love it, we’re lucky to have each other. Our strengths are very different and even though we share the same vision for the brand and our purpose we both go about getting there in different ways, which incidentally means we cover all bases. Of course there are times when we disagree but communicating this with boundaries is important. We feel very blessed that we’re able to come to our lovely studio together everyday and sit in the driving seat of a dream that we truly believe in.
Who are your healthy heroes?
That’s a tough one, we don’t really have a particular hero but we’re super proud to be a part of an industry made up of so many inspiring start-ups. We’re lucky to consider a lot of these people friends and we all swap advice and help each other out when we can. We share our studio with the lovely Danielle Copperman of Qnola fame, The Pressery girls are down the road, Charrise at East London Juice co is always full of brilliant ideas and Jody Shield’s meditations always put our heads straight. They’re really some fabulous women working together on the same vision at the moment, it’s brilliant to see.
What’s next for you guys? What are you hoping for in 2016?
We started the year supporting the Superpower Your Life! campaign as ambassadors for Bioglan Superfoods so we’re hoping to continue sharing our recipes, tips and inspiring people to eat raw and include superfoods in their diet.
We’re working on our book Raw Cake (due for release in Feb 2017 ) so we’re diligently trialling recipes and planning the layout, it’s going to be a beauty and we’re very excited. We’re about to take on a bigger production unit which means we’ll be able to massively increase our stockists, which is good news.
Oh and we have a few really amazing new products that we’re going to release this year too, we’ve got a lot to do!
London’s best breakfast can be found at:
When we used to live together in 2011 we discovered the best brunch spot in Haggerston called a Little Of What You Fancy, it’s still a favourite to this day, so simple, fresh and delicious. We want to try Sunday in Angel as we’ve heard great things, especially about their banana bread. Also, Foxlow, Good Egg and The Haberdashery in Stoke Newington. We love breakfast so we could go on. If you’re ever in LA Moby’s restaurant Little Pine blew our minds, the vegan scrambled egg and sausage were phenomenal, you’d honestly never know the difference.
London’s best healthy restaurant is:
Redemption is pretty bang on and Wild Food Café has been doing it right for years!
London’s best cakes can be found at:
Of course we have to say our own, but outside of the UK we really admire Café Gratitude in LA , Blend Love and Pana in Oz.
The Hardihood are ambassadors for the Bioglan Superfoods Superpower Your Life campaign. To discover how you can superpower yours this 2016 and get your personalised plan, head over to www.bioglansuperfoods.co.uk.