A raw chat with the chicks from Nutri Hitt
Emma Duffy | On 24, Feb 2016
Got a hankering for something sweet but still want to keep it healthy? Listen up, because the food angels at Nutri Hitt have listened to your prayers and delivered with their range of completely guilt-free cakes.
Healthy cakes, you ask? Yep – enter Candi Coonan and Tamara Lord, the creative geniuses behind the Nutri Hitt Raw Cake Shop. Nutri Hitt is dedicated to providing their customers with delicious raw treats which are rich in nutrients and packed with flavour.
Touted as the healthy alternative to The Cheesecake Shop, the cakes at Nutri Hitt are raw, vegan, paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free and free of refined sugar, making them the perfect birthday cake solution for your diet restricted friend.
We recently chatted with one half of Nutri Hitt, Candi, about what inspired their love of health and fitness, their take on recent criticisms in the press for the paleo diet and find out how they’ve managed to build a loyal following and find success in such a competitive market.
TCI: Hi Candi! So where did the inspiration for Nutri Hitt come from?
Candi: It was a little bit of a random beginning! Tam and I met at the gym and we were training together, and one day we just went for coffee and we were talking about our passions and we realised they were the same. We were talking about how we’ve always wanted to run a health cafe, because as much as you want to be healthy you still want to enjoy your food, so we wanted to have yummy options that weren’t going to make us feel sick or undo our training. Then on my way home, Tam called me and she’s like, “do you want to just do it?” and I was like, “yeah okay!” and it was really spur of the moment and we just did it on a whim! We started at the Eagle Farm markets for about three months and then we were approached by our first cafe, so we started wholesaling from- it’s just really grown from there.
TCI: What does a typical day/week look like for you?
Candi: On Monday we try and go on the road and visit some of our cafes and do more networking and build relationships, on Tuesdays we come back in and we start making bases and doing a lot of those other jobs. Wednesdays we’ll be making the cakes and setting them, then Thursdays we’ll be chopping, decorating, boxing, getting everything ready because our courier comes Friday morning and everything gets taken out and delivered to all the cafe’s and everything on Fridays. Friday is more of an admin day- once we do the courier we try and do most of our paperwork. Weekends are when we run the shop and also do popups or any kind of events on Saturdays as well. It’s pretty much an everyday thing, even when we’re at home we’re still doing stuff. We’ve got a couple of staff on which is good, it helps us get on the road a little bit more and get out there so we can work on the business instead of in it.
TCI: Have you faced any challenges launching Nutri Hitt?
Candi: We’ve had a lot of challenges! When we started, we went full-time with Nutri Hitt, so we both obviously had full-time jobs before we started and we’d do Nutri Hitt at night-time, after work, on weekends. As we grew and got busier, we were having to put more time into Nutri Hitt so we both went part-time in our jobs and then eventually we quit our jobs and went full-time, which was scary but we just had to believe it was going to work and work our asses off!
TCI: Have you always been passionate about baking?
Candi: I actually wasn’t a very good cook when we started! Tam had more of the skills I guess, she grew up cooking and she knew more so she taught me a lot about the cooking side of things. So it was good because I was a personal trainer and I had the fitness knowledge, and then Tam had a good knowledge of the food and cooking and what flavours go together, so we’re a good match!
TCI: What inspired your love of health and fitness?
Candi: I was a personal trainer before I did this, so that’s what I was doing before Nutri Hitt started. I was always interested in healthy living, exercising, being active outdoors, that kind of thing. Tam grew up around food and cooking with her family and so she has always been interested in food and that kind of thing and we both live very holistic, healthy lifestyles. We both care about our bodies and we want to treat it right. Tam is vegetarian and we try and keep our bodies as clean as we can.
TCI: What kinds of people come into the store – are they mostly paleo or vegans?
Candi: Oh definitely everyone – it’s not just vegans or paleo people, we get a whole range of people. Some people are just gluten-free or some are just dairy free and that kind of thing and then you get a whole bunch of people who aren’t necessarily under an umbrella but they’re just looking for a healthier option, so yeah we definitely get all types of people and all different ages as well.
TCI: Your cakes are raw, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugar – have you had to get a bit creative finding alternative ingredients?
Candi: Yeah, definitely sometimes we’ll look at your normal baked cakes and we’ll be like, “oh that looks so cool, how can we recreate that?”and we’ll give ourselves little challenges and try to make our own version of things. It is a lot harder with the limited ingredients but we always find a way.
TCI: Do you find it frustrating when the media criticizes the paleo diet?
Candi: We just try and spread our message a little more, so whenever something like that happens, we’ll just try and write on our blog and explain what we do, why we do it and the benefits of it. We don’t really get upset about things like that, that kind of thing just inspires us more to get our message out there and educate people more.
TCI: There are heaps of raw/vegan/paleo oriented cafe’s and food businesses opening at the moment – how have you girls pushed and advertised your products in such a saturated market?
Candi: Well, the more cafes that are health conscious the better for us because we do wholesale as well, so they get quite busy and then they do tend to outsource, which is great. Even with our cake shop, the more health options out there, the better! We think there’s plenty of room out there for everyone and we’re happy that everyone is going in a healthy direction, so we like to see more health places opening and it doesn’t really seem to affect us at all. Nutri Hitt has pretty much grown organically and through word of mouth and things like that, so I guess our social media attracted a lot of people and then just networking, getting to know people and building relationships and then referring people on is mainly how we’ve grown.
TCI: What do you love the most about your job?
Candi: When you get a customer that comes in and they’re really excited because they’re not used to being able to have cake, they usually miss out or they go without, or when they’re at a party they just don’t have any and then when they’re so excited that they have one that they can eat, things like that. It just makes it all worth it.
TCI: What do you think about the Brisbane food scene?
Candi: I think it’s going great, it’s really healthy and becoming more of a trendy thing I guess, it’s becoming more popular and then everyone seems more conscious about their health and making better choices, so I think it’s good that its really up and coming.
Â TCI: Any plans for the future of Nutri Hitt?
Candi: We’re just going to continue to grow our wholesale, but we also since we started our shopfront in November last year so we’re planning to hopefully continue with that shopfront and hopefully open a second location, maybe by the end of this year.
You can get your paws on one of the girls’ cakes at the Nutri Hitt Raw Cake Shop at 8/328 Newman Road, Geebung.
For more information and for a complete list of stockists, check out their website.
Image credit:Â Nutri Hitt