We recently spoke to Marcia, a specialist in healthy vegan “sweet tooth” foods and founder of the artisan healthy treat company Abundance Foods.
Her approach to life as a sweet and chocolate lover is inspiring and comforting: there are healthy ways to feel satisfied which don’t involve refined sugar and the health problems linked to it.
How did Abundance Foods come into being?
“I’ve been trading for just over a year. I never intended to turn my hobby for creating healthy sweet treats into a business at all! I’ve been and continue to be, on a clean eating journey for a number of years now. I met a great guy called Steve at a networking event who introduced me to ‘Raw Pot Lucks’, a gathering of people who are on a similar clean eating journey. I have a sweet tooth, and so I was really keen to learn more ways of using alternatives to the toxic white sugar so prevalent in our diets, and so I started experimenting. After much trial and error, I started creating a range of sweet things that people actually loved eating. From the feedback from my taste testers, I realised how much need there was out there for a healthy alternative to the mass-produced sweet things that are leaving people “feeling guilty”, feeling bad and making them unwell.”
So, was there a specific niche you felt needed to be filled?
“The last few years has seen an explosion of ‘healthier’ sweet products, which I’ve really welcomed! However, when I was doing my research and from just talking to people, I found that they often fit into one of two categories; either they use a handful of nutrient-dense ingredients, but “taste healthy”, or they fit into the “free-from” category, and are pumped full of nasty chemicals. I wanted to create a range of products that tasted amazing, and were healthier for you, and so Abundance Foods was born!”
How has this first year gone for you?
“It’s going well! I regularly attend vegan, and other healthy food festivals and fairs and am focussing on increasing exposure of my brand.”
That sounds great! So, which other ethical principles guide your business?
“My journey to cleaner eating has been a major education for me! To the point where I’m convinced that the food we eat can either create or cure sickness in our bodies! Along the way I’ve learned that the best food for our bodies is natural, unprocessed food that our bodies can recognise and know how to heal us with it, or eliminate it’s effects. Therefore, my ethical principles are to only use ingredients in my products that are as nutrient-dense as possible. All my products are free of dairy, gluten, wheat, soy or unrefined sugars. Where I can I do use organic, unrefined ingredients.”
“I love to make people think about their sweet tooth and how they manage it, and also realise that with a few tweaks to their diet, it doesn’t have to be “the road to sickness” that we’ve been led to believe. When they’ve conquered that – what else could they be motivated to go on and change, or how can they pay it forward and motivate something else to make a change – any change?”
What is day to day life like for you running Abundance Foods?
“Until the business brings in an income I can survive on, I still have a full time job as well, the money from which funds Abundance Foods. I work for myself, so can schedule my day around how productive I’m feeling, which is amazing especially in the ‘summer’!”
“I live with my partner in a popular suburb in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and am fortunate enough to live close to Roundhay Park, a very popular park with lots of open green space, lakes, walks and woods. All of these are great inspiration and a source of escapism for a nature lover like me. I meditate every day, as well as expressing gratitude to The Universe for all my blessing. I’m a extraordinary woman, as I believe every one of us is, and I insist on embracing that, standing in my power when it comes to my principles and values, and being the best citizen of the earth that I can be.”
And what about food?
“I eat by following the principle of the 80/20 rule; 80% of my diet is healthy and clean, then 20% of the time I can have a little blow out, eat out (at carefully selected places), have a little something that’s probably not the best for my body etc. I believe it’s a healthy balance, and it’s where I am in my food journey, and it’s more manageable than getting bent out of shape because I’ve eaten something “unhealthy”.”
Any inspiring words? Or a favorite quote?
“Be the change you want to see.”