Introducing Camilla Barnard co-founder of our favourite granola brand, the deliciously good Rude Health! We sat down with Camilla to find out what it's like running a successful foodie business and why organic is simply just better.
We wanted healthy food to be as delicious and desirable as any food. Our first food was The Ultimate Muesli, which we crammed full of 23 different ingredients, some of them hand-chopped at our kitchen table. 14 years later, we’re still making the Ultimate Muesli; the only thing that’s changed is that we aren’t hand-chopping any more. We still believe that what you put in is more important than what you take out.What is it like to work with your husband/family?
It works brilliantly for us, our characters and skills are very different and complementary. But it completely blurs any boundaries between work and the rest of life. It’s all there, all the time. Even the confetti at our wedding was muesli!What’s the most important thing you have learnt from starting a business?
The ability to learn and to keep going in the face of failure is at least as important as any skill or aptitude you bring. And for me, the joy of doing business comes from the people I work with. I am inspired by the team at Rude Health, all of them.
The team, both those who are still part of Rude Health and those who have left and gone on to great things. I like to think we’ve been a part of that, and I love to follow what they are doing. Without actually stalking them.If you were to describe your job in three words what would they be?
So much fun.What do you love most about your job and why?
The freedom to try new things, whether that’s launching new products into new places like our Barista Oat and Almond dairy alternative drinks into coffee shops around the world; sponsoring events such as the Rude Health World Bog Snorkelling Championships or waving half my team off on a charity cycle ride (including my husband on his Brompton) from London to Amsterdam. No two days are genuinely ever the same!
I did dream of starting my own business, but didn’t know how and didn’t really expect to make it happen. I had some thought of having a vineyard, but it’s probably a good thing I didn’t try as I have zero gardening and growing skills.How do you ensure you always stay true to your core?
I would completely lose interest in the business if I didn’t stay true to my core, and I think the business would fail eventually too. It’s built on what Nick and I believe in. It’s not just us anymore, there are lots of people guiding it and building it, but the principles of making nourishing food and making it joyful are the same.How do you think we can educate people better on healthy eating?
I think we should focus on teaching children about food and cooking. We don’t have a strong food culture in the UK, so we need to create one. It’s not about healthy or unhealthy food, it’s about knowing how to make something you will enjoy eating, out of ingredients that you have available. That way we all have the choice and freedom to make what we want. Check out 'Chefs in Schools' for some inspo on how things are changing for the better.
We get our ingredients from where they grow best, so for example all the almonds in our non-dairy milks are from Italy, where they are tastiest, grow with the least intervention and minimum impact on the environment.
Packaging is an ongoing project. We are weighing up the benefits of being compostable and recyclable at the moment, and it’s far from straightforward.What is being in ‘Rude Health’?
Being up for life and ready for anything. I’m in rude health when…I’m making porridge on a camping stove outside. Yours might be quite different. My husband’s is when he’s upside down in an aeroplane doing aerobatics.What’s your go-to in the Rude Health Café?
If I’ve already had a coffee then a Cashew Drink Turmeric latté hits the spot, and for lunch, the cheese and kimchi toastie. It’s been on the menu since we opened over three years ago, and I still love it.
Sprouted Porridge with banana, pecans, maple syrup and cream, now it’s cold outside.We are obsessed with your Tiger Nut Drink. What is your favourite Rude Health product and why?
The Ultimate Granola, with plain yoghurt and blueberries. It’s my regular first breakfast of the day. I usually have two breakfasts because it’s my favourite meal.We have our own secret porridge recipe which we are keen to display at the 2020 Porridge championships. If you had to make the ultimate porridge bowl what would it be and why?
I’d make banana jam and use that instead of the banana in my regular porridge. It wouldn’t win, but it makes me happy.What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?
I hate that word! It sounds so passive, and for me, thriving is about being active, physically, mentally and emotionally. Do whatever works for you - I am not a gym person, but cycling to work and dancing make me happy.What are three things everyone should know to better their health?
1. Skimmed milk is a scam: it was a waste product that farmers used to fatten pigs (yup) before it was sold to us as a diet food.
2. Read the list of ingredients - you should always be able to pronounce them or spell them; food should be written in letters not numbers.
3. Sleep is a very good thing.
Yoga I find yin yoga the exercise equivalent of a stew - deeply nourishing and mellow.Mindfulness or Meditation?
Meditation.What do you do in your downtime?
My favourite way to wind-down after work is dancing like nobody can see (they can’t) in the kitchen while cooking something nourishing. When the weather is cold, I am all about stews and casseroles.What is your quote of the day every day?
Breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. I’m not great at the dining part.What is your single piece of advice to the next generation of women?
Know your worth and trust your gut.Who is your ‘Wow Woman’?
Nicole Pisani who runs Chefs In Schools, raising the quality of school meals to incredible levels.And finally, if you could only live in one item of Asquith clothing what would it be?
The Essence Hoody is comfy and cosy, so right for now.
For the ultimate start to your Christmas morning. Or if Father Christmas has recently gone dairy free, the Rude Health Almond drinks make a brilliant accompaniment to your fave brekkie or chocolate chip cookies!