I think it would be safe to say that not everyone leaps out of bed on a Monday morning, ready and raring for a week ahead, five long days to pass until Friday afternoon comes and the weekend opens before us again. But along with the commonly coined condition of Mondayitis, Mondays are also synonymous with fresh starts, new beginnings, a blank page – a fresh opportunity to right the wrongs from the week before and set goals to accomplish, even if they only last until midday. Wishing to break the dread of Monday mornings, and seeking to offer everyone an opportunity to start fresh every single day, two young Byron women have set out to reclaim the joy of the once-dreaded alarm clock, with something as simple as a bowlful of granola.
The Monday Food Co is a fresh, new, Byron Bay business run by Alexandra and Indi, two bright-eyed, blond-haired, big-hearted girls who love nothing more than health, nature, the ocean, friendship and simple natural living, qualities that represent all that Byron stands for and offers.
“We wanted The Monday Food Co to kick-start people into finding their healthier selves the moment they picked up their first packet,” explains Al, all smiles and bubbles of enthusiasm. “We don’t need a new week, month or year to make changes that better our lives – every day is a new day!’
Both Al and Indi are self-confessed foodies and health lovers; “We’re both very conscious about what we’re putting into our bodies. Being healthy is so important to us. It makes us feel good, it helps us get the most out of each day and it makes us happy!” Frustrated with the lack of healthy breakfast alternatives on the market that didn’t compromise taste for nutrition, the girls set out to develop their own unique granola – a product that was made from 100% organic and natural ingredients, but still tasted indulgent and was bursting with flavour.
Initially just making granola for themselves to enjoy, the aroma and taste spread quickly and as Al recalls, “It wasn’t long before word got out and the demand from friends and family grew. It was then that we realised we were onto something and The Monday Food Co was born.”
The Monday Food Co pride themselves on their commitment to being 100% organic and, despite the higher prices for sourcing organic ingredients, the girls haven’t scrimped on flavour or abundance – each bowl of granola is an exotic mix of succulent dried fruit, crunchy whole nuts, toasted coconut and smooth aromatic flavours and spices. With one mouthful it is easy to agree that being sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and additive-free, certainly does not mean flavour-free. In three unique flavours – Pear, Pecan and Vanilla, Hazelnut Fig and Cardamom, and Pineapple, Mango, Coconut and Almond – each bag is equally as intoxicating as the next.
Quality is paramount to the girls and along with sharing their granola with the world, they also hope that it will carry with it a message, offering people an insight into the importance of organic and natural food in the diet. Many so-called ‘healthy’ breakfast cereals on the market are still laden with hidden sugar, artificial flavours, gluten, preservatives and unnecessary fillers. “We love to think of our granola as ‘real food’ so its important to us that our products are straight from the earth, just as nature intended, and that means nothing added: no nasties and absolutely nothing artificial!”
The Monday Food Co also carries a paleo label, referring to diet or lifestyle that is gaining a solid reputation and increasing momentum in the arena of health, wellness and foodie bloggers the world over. The Paleo diet stems from an ancient way of living that eliminates grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars from the diet. While it has been dismissed as another fad or short-lived diet trend, Al explains that certain aspects of the Paelo diet just make sense.
“We’re both not strictly paleo, however we do essentially follow the paleo school of thought when it comes to eating. It’s a very simple diet that cuts out the food groups that are the most common culprits for dietary intolerances in the general public, foods that our bodies are not designed to process and assimilate.”
The girls are careful about putting themselves into a box though, and their attitude towards diet and health is very refreshing, “I think we both feel that being too pedantic about being strictly paleo isn’t what’s best for our health. It’s all about finding a balance, about making food and health enjoyable and fun rather than something to stress over.”
Whether you take to the paleo train of thought or not, The Monday Food Co appeals to all walks of life, their fun, colourful and vibrant branding taking the seriousness out of healthy eating and returning good natural food to the arena of pure enjoyment. As Al states, “Health should be fun and it should make us feel good, and that’s what we want to embody in our brand.”
The success of the business has taken both the girls by surprise. Starting out in their small kitchen, the girls have now moved to a commercial kitchen in the industrial estate where they can keep up with the demand that increases week by week. “We’ve definitely been pretty overwhelmed by the response we’ve had so far!” states Al, “I think we always knew we had a great product that extended further than those following a paleo or healthy lifestyle, but I don’t think in our wildest dreams we could have anticipated the response we’ve had right across the board.”
Currently still operating as a two-woman team, Al and Indi have cut back on their full-time jobs and study commitments to nurture their new blooming business, staying up late into the nights baking, checking orders, packing boxes and sending their delicious, nutritious granola all across the country. “We woke up the morning after we had launched the website and the orders just began rolling in!” Al remembers with a smile. “At first a lot of them were from family and friends, and then people we didn’t know started to place orders and that’s when it really hit: we were really doing this!”
The girls infectious enthusiasm and passion for sharing health and wellness with their community and beyond is no doubt a major factor that is propelling The Monday Food Co into more people’s kitchens day by day. Their belief in real food, in natural ingredients, in making healthy eating a fun and delicious experience is both admirable and addictive, and once anyone has tried a bowl of their tasty, crunchy granola, anything else on the market tends to pale in comparison.
Whether you’re enjoying it with a bowl with fresh fruit and coconut yoghurt, sprinkling it on top of chia seed pudding or nibbling it straight from the packet, The Monday Food Co‘s granola certainly delivers on its goal: to make mornings, even Monday mornings, something to look forward to, a wonderful reason to leap out of bed and into a brand new day.
Shop online: www.themondayfoodco.com