Be inspired. I was.
If you strive to live a healthy and sustainable life however struggle to balance your values and actions in a consumer driven world, prepare to be inspired.
Rarely do I meet people who live their true values every day, while also maintaining the drive to improve other’s lives. I was honoured to spend time with Emma and Leah; sisters and co-founders of a unique health and wellness collective in the heart of Fremantle, Western Australia.
I was already in complete awe of all they have achieved but my admiration only grew when I discovered how they achieved this. Their values run deep and this fuels their commitment to create a better world. The business and their life’s work has become the vehicle to achieve this.
Emma and Leah showed me warmth and humility as we met in their beautiful space just before it opened for the day.
When you first walk into their rustic and stylish building in an original 1920’s warehouse, you notice The Raw Kitchen a plant based restaurant, in front of you, then the Zero Store, the biggest no waste store in WA on the left; and the coffee bar on the right where you can sample their delicious house-made nut milk in your drink of choice.
Out back is the Micro Brewery creating kombucha elixirs, and up on the mezzanine level is the Yoga Lab and consult rooms dedicated to natural health professionals who are building their practices in a supportive environment.
If it sounds like I am explaining an oasis for the healthy and eco conscious, it’s because I am! It may also impress you to know that this plant based eatery is not only overflowing with health but the produce is sourced as locally and sustainably as possible.
Emma, part owner with her husband Heath, work closely with their suppliers to assist them to improve processes to become plastic and waste free. One of their suppliers is actually a staff member who harvests vegetables direct from her (impressive) back garden and brings it into work to use in the restaurant. No packaging, no extra miles or middle business to deal with. Just quality, local and fresh produce. The first priority for The Raw Kitchen when sourcing produce is local, small scale farms who are passionate about their products.
To add to this oasis, Emma’s husband and co-owner Heath, holds regular lectures and workshops onsite, sharing his ever growing knowledge on wholistic health and Quantum Biology. Heath is a qualified naturopath and is passionate (a gross understatement I hear) about discovering the latest research regarding health as it affects our everyday lives, our bodies and our spirits. Emma explains Heath as constantly evolving, never staying still, truly invigorated by sharing his knowledge with others.
This oasis of goodness continues in the Zero Store where Leah shines brightest and manages over 3000 product lines as well as the brand new online store. Leah has been an integral part of her sister’s business from the onset, starting in their tiny plant based café that was located only a few streets from the current building. She has worked in every area of the business and has been a real rock and support to her sister throughout the last 10 years. I get the sense they both feel very lucky to have each other.
After discovering more about the business, I was keen to know what background led to Emma and Leah to work together to create this amazing space. It made sense to me when they fondly described an upbringing on a permaculture hobby farm in Gingin where their parent’s ‘passion project’ taught them how to live waste free, provide for themselves and value plant based eating as a humane and healthy lifestyle choice. The values they have injected into their business were cemented in their own hearts throughout childhood and are there to stay.
The gift of advice
Leah and Emma are acutely aware that this was a rare upbringing and that it is increasingly difficult for most people to adopt sustainable and healthy choices in a consumer driven world filled with single use plastic, over-processed food along with conflicting health advice.
So, what do they advise to those of us striving to be healthy and sustainable members of society?
I was heartened by their advice and it made me feel like it was achievable.
- Values are the foundation. Taking time establishing values, before making changes, will foster longer lasting change in your life.
- Extreme is out. Don’t try lots of extreme changes at once. Accept that effective change is gradual. Just try to change one small thing at a time until it is an effortless habit.
- Plants vs Animals? Readjust the plant to animal product balance in your life to where you feel comfortable. You don’t need to fit into a label that restricts your own decision making. Just be a little more conscious about what you are putting in your body and how it got there.
- It costs less. Realise that living sustainably will actually be easier and less expensive for consumers as well as industry the more people get on board. The convenience of plastic cutlery, one use food containers and plastics are literally and metaphorically costing the earth.
And my personal favourite…….
- Congratulate yourself. Always celebrate even the smallest wins and achievements. If you nailed remembering your shopping bags for a week, treat yourself! Be proud of each step while always looking for ways to improve. This will colour your journey with positivity and excitement.
And more to come…………
Because the amazing people of The Raw Kitchen never stop striving for improvement, there are plans in the background to produce some of their own food for the restaurant to close the food cycle using the practices they feel are best aligned to their values. You may also see a new in-house line of eco-products emerge and I’m so excited to see what’s coming.
You can get excited too, drop into their beautiful venue and immerse yourself in the oasis.
I put my hand on my heart and confidently tell you that Emma and Leah are the real deal and an inspiration to my own way of life and business. I am so grateful that they took the time out of their busy schedule to share with me. Thank you ladies.