A chance trip to South America was all it took for Hedie Howells to quit work as a perinatal psychologist and pursue a new-found passion for granola.
The 29-year-old from Stoke Newington took up an offer of a long weekend in Brazil with her friend who worked for British Airways and ended up staying a month and falling in love with granola. When she returned, she couldn’t find anything to match its quality and set about making her own.
Now, the young entrepreneur, who runs Husk & Honey with her sister Verity, has won the Cereal category of the Great British Food Awards.
The award was judged by Michelen Star chef Michel Roux Jr. Describing their granola, he said: “It has a little hint of sweetness from the fruit and honey with a pleasant crunch. Every now and then there is an explosion of taste from the Himalayan salt. It is really delicious with goat’s milk yoghurt and a few blueberries.”
Describing their journey to reach this stage, Hedie said: “I shared my homemade granola with friends and would always make a pack to take to work conferences. After a while a friend was running a market event and asked if I would pose as a trader to make it look busy.
“I realised there was a real market for good granola.”
Husk & Honey was established just over year ago, the granola is handmade in a bakery in Forest Hill and, as well as being stocked in numerous stores and sold in some of the city’s finest restaurants, it’s sold at local markets. They recently launched a subscription service, delivering fresh granola through the letterbox.
Verity left her career as an investment banker to join the firm. Hedie said: “Last year we won a Family Business Award. We are very close and those family-oriented values of respect carry through to all our employees.”
Husk & Honey offer three blends: Oat and Nut, Quinoa and Buckwheat or Spiced Mulberry. Their granola doesn’t contain refined sugar; ingredients include wildflower honey, gluten-free organic oats, lots of different puff grains and rapeseed oil.
Hedie, who has learnt a lot by watching online tutorials on YouTube added: “I love the variety of the jobs I do every day and the application of my common sense to be able to figure things out.
“Previously I was quite academic, but coming into this business I have no choice but to be more sociable and more confident.”
Local Buyers Club members can save 20% off Husk & Honey granola bowls at Primrose Hill Market on Saturdays & Victoria Park Market on Sundays and 10% off everything online.
To find out more visit www.huskandhoney.co.uk