This is their story

1. Summarize your project/business in one sentence.

Wonky is a new juice brand that lives by the motto ‘give wonky fruit a chance’. We aim to be the most sustainable juice brand in Europe.

2. How long have you been in business/running your project?

It has been almost two years now, since we became entrepreneurs. Wonky Drinks start-up idea was developed by the University of South Wales students, along with co-founders Karina Sudenyte and Maciek Kacprzyk.

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3. Why did you decide to start the company/project?

Maciek had huge interest in business since he was fifteen. His business ventures started from stock trading, these were the first steps when he began developing business skills. However, throughout his educational development he decided to follow a career in Law instead.

Now, after accomplishing my studies, I ditched my law career for a healthy food start-up called Wonky Drinks, with absolutely no regret. I am passionate about the food industry and positive causes for the environment. Of course, starting your own business as an entrepreneur is a lifestyle change. It is hard work, requires a lot of commitment and learning, but what is really important is that I converted my passions into my own business and met a second co-founder, Karina, with whom I linked over a great love for food, who helps to revive my ideas.

P.S. “She is a geek of sustainability! We both enjoy and are proud to be young entrepreneurs”. – Maciek Kacprzyk (Co-founder of Wonky)

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4. What has been your biggest achievement so far?

The first breakthrough occurred during our samplings at the Universities, where we managed to outsell Innocent drinks 11 to 1 at USW, and Bensons juices 8 to 1 in the BS managed canteens. These great results validated that our idea was not at all impossible! It gave us confidence and courage to believe in our concept and pursue impossible goals.

5. How do you measure success?

I consider all obstacles as positive challenge for improvement and success. Any business, sooner or later, is confronted with all kinds of problems, but it is natural, just like in life! A famous philosopher once said: “The man who has no more problems to solve, is out of the game.” This phrase should help you mentally in the approach to solving business problems with courage and give you a positive perception to succeed in your business venture.

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7. What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the _(retail)_ industry/get involved in _(entrepeneurial)_ work & start a _(company)_?

Believing in your idea is extremely important when you start your own business. Are you ready to have your own business? It is important to take into consideration every difficulty that is associated when becoming a new entrepreneur. You must be ready to devote yourself to the work, face new challenges and simply live the idea and breathe it – if so, then this is when you are ready to go.

8. What’s next?

Our key challenge at the moment is to convince at least 2 medium sized distributors that it is smart idea to give Wonky a chance. What is more our aim is to introduce Wonky drinks to 200 catering venues within two years time. Currently we have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £13,000. Our mission is to raise some funding to save 300 tones of wonky produce by April 2017, by implementing and making small bottled wonkies!

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9. Anything else you want to add?

If you like to give Wonky a chance, then click here to support this project. For more information visit www.wonkydrinks.co.uk or say hello at hello@wonkydrinks.co.uk

10. Fun question: What was the best meal you ate this week? 

We spent our lunch last week at the Tiny Leaf London – organic, zerowaste, vegetarian restaurant. Our choice was Tartine du Jour – it was a large slice of toasted bread covered with roasted tomato, pepper and courgette. Classic flavour combination and simply delicious!

Midweek Delicacy: Coconut Steel Cut Oats & Roasted Fruit


My go to healthy breakfast during the week is always Steel Cut oats. When I eat them I have more energy, feel light and ready to do anything; never mind that they flatten my tummy and make me look a little more svelte when coupled with a good workout. My favorite brand has a shortcut recipe so that I can have them with ease and not spend a half hour in the mornings cooking. I have mastered getting them creamy and flavorful with water and spices but they never felt like a treat until now.

Last week I saw a tweet by @yummololaberry for Women’s Health Australia. She had a wonderful picture of Coconut Porridge with Roasted Pears and I wanted to try it. Making this recipe became quite an adventure. I walked to 3 bookstores and quite a few health food stores to see if they had the magazine, but only the US version was available, which doesn’t have her recipe. I didn’t fare any better online. I was willing to get the magazine with the recipe, but not a year’s subscription. So after spending half a day searching, I laughed to myself realizing I had everything I needed, the title had told me enough. I decided to make my own version since I would have made them with Steel Cut oats instead of regular oats being  they are my favorite, and least likely to be GMO oats.  I still can’t believe how wonderful it came out. Thank you @yummololaberry for inspiring me. I hope this recipe inspires you to make a delicious treat that tastes sinful but is incredibly healthy.

Happy eating friends!

Ingrid

Ingredients

Serves 4


2 cups of Coconut MilkCoconut Steel-cut Oats Ingredients
2 cups of Water
1 cup of Steel-cut Oats or regular Oats
1 Cinnamon Stick or 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon Powder
2 Cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Dash of Salt

Tip: For this recipe do not use instant oats only regular. 

Toppings
Slivered Almonds
dried Cranberries
Raisins

Roasted Fruit
2 Pears or Apples, halved and cored (I leave the skin on for nutrition. The flavor does not change)
1 tablespoon Butter – reserve half for fruit
Cinnamon Powder

Roasted Pears/Apples PreparationRoasted Pears

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450º. Butter a medium-sized baking dish with half of the butter.
  2. Puncture the pears or apples with a fork a few times on the skin side. Sprinkle with cinnamon on the cut side.
  3. Arrange the fruit in the prepared baking dish, cut side down. Cook for 15 minutes then flip. Add the butter to the cut out center and cook for another 15-20 minutes until fruit is tender and golden brown.

Tip: If you don’t like to leave the skin on lower the oven temperature 25º to 425º F and skip puncturing the fruit.

 Coconut Steel Cut Oats PreparationCoconut Steel-cut Oats

  1. In medium sauce pan put in water, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, cloves, dash of salt and vanilla extract. Bring to a rolling boil then add the Oats, stir well.
  2. Once the porridge is smooth and starts to thicken, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Before serving remove the cinnamon stick and cloves.
  4. Serve with Toppings and roasted fruit. Add maple syrup or honey for sweetness.

Hint: See picture on right to see what the porridge should look like when it starts to thicken  and when to reduce the heat.

Don’t be a square?

Square_watermelonMany of us have heard the expression, ‘don’t be a square’. Usually this term has a negative connotation but as another saying goes ‘it’s all relative’, and indeed it is so. To make the point we introduce you to the ‘Square Watermelon‘.

Now, before you go and think it’s some joke or a freak GMO project, we’d like to inform you that it is all done naturally, and quite easily too! The square-shaped watermelon is an experiment project of the Japanese who were actually trying to make a heart-shaped watermelon. To do that they placed a transparent square box around a small watermelon still growing on the vine. It is important to put something transparent so that the sun light can still reach the fruit and allow it to grow.

This technique is very useful, both for saving needed space in the fridge, as well as perfect for shipping the fruit to other countries, especially since all the square watermelons will be snuggly packed without rolling back and forth to cause damage to their neighbour. Now imagine if it was possible to do this with all the other fruits and veggies that grow. To naturally control their shape without changing their genetic code. To try growing a square watermelon of your own, check out this website. I guess in the end it does pay off to be a square…but only sometimes.