RUBY LOVES: CHIA

CHIA Image by James K Lowe

For the most of us, we are forever advocating alternative healthy food choices however we are often met by troublesome barriers such as time. Low and behold, New Zealand made CHIA, founded by Chloe Van Dyke, offers us a tasty and efficient way to consume omega 3, antioxidants and essential nutrients all from one good looking glass bottle. CHIA has become a definite favourite of ours at RUBY HQ since its inception in 2012.

We caught up with Chloe's right hand woman and sister, Florence Van Dyke to find out more about their delicious and salubrious drinks…

CHIA Drinks

How did CHIA come about?

CHIA began in our family kitchen. We grew up eating healthy foods - Dad is an age-group champion swimmer and I compete in triathlons so eating nutrient-dense wholefoods has always been important to our family. Chloe, who has a post graduate diploma in neuroscience, travelled to the Himalyas for a trekking expedition in 2011 and took chia seeds with her. At high altitudes she hydrated the seeds and mixed them with blackcurrant powder for sustenance. The impact of the chia seeds was immediately noticeable - they provided sustained hydration, slow release of nutrients and the magnesium eased muscle cramps. Once down from the mountain, Chloe returned to Nelson, teamed up with our father, Ben and they started playing around with the formula. The natural drink business of CHIA was born!

What are both of your roles within the business?

Chloe is the founder of CHIA and oversees everything in the business. Her focus is both on the present and the future. She ensures that CHIA is made and delivered at the highest quality possible and looks to how CHIA can improve, evolve and grow. CHIA is an innovative brand with a focus on health. Chloe's aim is to not just lead the food and beverage industry in healthy options but to bring creativity into a highly competitive market.

My role is in export negotiations and sales. This is exciting as CHIA is growing so quickly. At the moment I am meeting with potential distributors from Australia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia to consider how we can best strategize entering these new markets. I am also traveling to Indonesia next month as part of the New Zealand Young Business Leaders Initiative to check out the beverage market there.

We have a fantastic team of CHIA reps across the country who help me out with sales and customer relations in New Zealand. We work hard but we also see the importance of having fun. Giving the mind a break is often when new creative ideas are formed. Giving the team the time to enjoy the outdoors and take breaks is a priority (so much so that the entire team was out of the office for the Coast to Coast last month).

What is it that excites you most about the New Zealand food industry?

New Zealand is a fantastic place to start a business. The local communities in New Zealand are innovative and willing to support small businesses. The food industry is particularly exciting because New Zealand foodies are so passionate and committed to providing a high quality product. Foods like Raglan Coconut Yoghurt and Dovedale bread are first class in their industry - we are lucky to have them on our doorstep!

What's your favourite way to enjoy CHIA?

We love CHIA every way! At the moment I am addicted to bircher muesli topped with blackcurrant CHIA and Raglan Coconut Yoghurt for breakfast (you can find the recipe below).

What’s next for CHIA?

There is so much growth happening for CHIA at the moment that it is difficult to pinpoint everything that is coming next. We have a new CHIA drink in the works. I can't spill the exact flavour but coconut water and chia seeds are the top two ingredients. We are expanding internationally which is challenging and exiting at the same time and we are supporting a whole heap of awesome athletes. One of our key business philosophies is to support people acting on their dreams.

BIRCHER MUESLI TOPPED WITH CHIA

Bircher

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

  • 1 handful of any other nuts (walnuts and hazlenuts are my favourites)

  • 1 cup of Carew kitchen almond milk

Directions:

  1. Mix all of your ingredients together and then add water to cover the mixture by an inch. Leave to soak overnight.

TOPPINGS

Thanks ladies x

SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES: JULIA & LIBBY

Here at RUBY we've been closely following the dynamic sister duo, Julia & Libby pave their way in the world of health & nutrition. It's not surprising that only 4 years into their journey they have published their first cookbook comprised of, never seen before delicious wholefood recipes that help to nourish the body, mind & soul.

We spoke to Julia & Libby about their blog and how it led to them publishing their first book, Julia & Libby's Wholefood Kitchen....

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How have your roles developed as your business has evolved?

We share roles within the business. Every day is different and we always have different campaigns we are working on which makes our job interesting and fun.

What inspired you to start studying health & nutrition?

We were both big party girls growing up but eventually it started to take a toll on our health. Libby decided to study nutrition and that’s when we started experimenting with healthy recipes and that is how our page started.

Has your blog lead to any changes in your personal lives?

The blog was first started because we had a change of lifestyle, not the other way around. By eating more fresh, wholefoods our health has improved dramatically!

In your opinion, where has the current wholesome nutrition movement come from?

There has been a huge health movement and we think it is because there is so much information coming out now about the food industry and how certain foods impact our health. There are a lot more people finding out that they have food allergies or intolerances and having to look at alternatives. When people start to improve their diet and lifestyle they feel so much better, it becomes a ripple effect.

What have been the main challenges you’ve faced since starting your business?

The main challenge has been having people doubt your authenticity and criticize what you’re doing. It used to bother us in the beginning but now we don’t give it any of our time.

J + L

What has inspired you the most along the way?

Our followers inspire us every day and knowing that there is a need for simple recipes that include lots of nourishing ingredients and taste great at the same time.

Everyone has got a vice, right? What's the one delicious treat you can't say no to?

J: Potato fries are my favourite. I always make up my own by chopping up potatoes and baking them in the oven with olive oil and salt. There is a kumara fries and aioli recipe in our book. These are both are a healthier and more nourishing alternative.

L: Cheesecake is my absolute weakness, especially cookies and cream. We have a beautiful recipe in our book called the ‘Peanut Butter Cheesecake.’ It is vegan and tastes amazing!

Do you have any personal favourite recipes from your cookbook?

The Watermelon & Mint Salad, Chicken Slaw, Beef & Quinoa Meatballs and the Lemon Curd Tarts. Too many to choose from.

What's are your favourite pieces from our latest RUBY collection's?

L: The Lila Pleat Skirt and the Aloe Crop Top.

Thanks ladies! We can't wait to start making delicious, fresh & healthy meals from your cookbook...

We've also got one signed copy to give away, head to our RUBY Instagram to find out more x

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