Hi, we’re Lark and Alex, founders of Terra Nut Cheese.
Cooking has been one of our greatest passions for a long time.
Since we met in our friends' house on the other side of the world back in 2014, we've been spending our entire weekends in the kitchen, getting messy and making exciting dishes from all over the world with ingredients we could find in local shops and veggie stalls.
We enjoyed hosting cooking parties to share our favourite recipes with friends. A lot of those recipes were healthier and more ethical versions of common dishes: no animal products, no artificial or refined ingredients. It's so inspiring to show people that these foods can taste as good, and maybe even better, than the 'normal' ones. Here are just a few of our home creations, have a look!
After trying our sundried tomato gnocchi, lentil Shepherd's Pie or oat brownies, friends would often say: ‘WOW, you should start a food business!’, which we would answer with ’Nah, maybe someday.’
Until… 2017, when our lives became CHEESY! I mean, we started making cheese out of nuts: cashews, almonds and macadamias.
Why? Well, we used to LOVE dairy cheese. But the more we learnt about the industry, the firmer our decision grew to give it up for good. We knew we were not the only ones: so many caring people want and deserve a delicious and ethical alternative. And the animals and our planet need it even more!
Our goal was to create something that tastes amazing, but also makes you feel and look your best. Because when you're at your best, you can accomplish anything.
Having settled in our new windy home, which is now officially called Windington (by us, anyway), we stocked up on nuts and started buzzing them up, making noise every night after work.
To tell you the truth, not all the experiments went well, it took us time... and 5 blenders that just couldn't take it! But we kept working on our cheese expertise, and with time achieved some pretty awesome results.
We officially started Terra Nut Cheese on 3 July 2017, and in September 2017 we took our best products to the Vegan Vault in Wellington, NZ's first fully vegan market. We were so excited and pleased by the feedback we got from people! It was funny to hear: 'I didn't know dairy was sold at the vegan market', I think we can take it as a compliment. :)
But very shortly afterwards we were told we needed a different, much stricter license. Our products were still rather unusual, c'est la vie. That meant no more markets for a while, but of course, more cheesy adventures in our kitchen!
It took us 2 years to get back, but it was SO WORTH IT.
We have developed amazing new recipes, we're now making nut cheese in our 100% vegan commercial kitchen (tiny but powerful), and our professional equipment won't break like those 5 blenders!
We love all our products, we’re very proud and happy to finally share them with YOU.
5 FUN FACTS ABOUT US:
1. We're international people, citizens of the world. Whatever you want to call it, you get the idea. All the borders and boundaries were created by humans and don't really exist, we're just all pretending like they do (funny humans!). We've lived in 6 different countries and 11 different cities, not all of them together, though. Together we've visited about 25 countries, and the list goes on. Travelling lets us appreciate the beauty of this world and meet the most genuine people, no matter where you go. These experiences are priceless.
2. We enjoy learning languages, so much that we both used to teach them. Before visiting a country, we often try to learn at least a little bit of its language. Local people always appreciate that! And getting lost in a foreign country is the best way to improve your language and communication skills, believe me.
3. We drink mate, which is a kind of South American tea (don't worry, we don't drink our friends). We always take it on our adventures and stop to enjoy it in beautiful places worth appreciating for a bit longer than just a moment.
4. We love animals, especially llamas, alpacas and other llama-like creatures. But really, ALL animals: cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks etc. In fact, they're a big reason why we do what we do. In the future we want to have our own rescue animal farm.
5. We're here to change the world. We believe everybody comes to this planet with a gift, and it's our obligation to share it with others. So many things in our moderns world that need to be challenged, so we want to bring more of what's right.