You may remember back in our July Vegan Box we featured Purpose Bars – a really delicious, vegan, raw, organic bar, made with the purpose of supporting healthy digestion, boosting the immune system and increasing energy levels, and also assists with building and maintaining muscles. The bar is naturally low in calories, jam packed with nutrients and superfoods, manufactured right here in Australia, and is the creation of these two beauties, Laura and Nina. We had a chat with them to catch up on the inspiration behind Purpose Bars and to find out what’s next for these two….
How did Purpose Bar come about?
Similar interest brought us together two years ago at a holistic retreat called the Sanctuary in Thailand. We bonded instantly and stayed in touch. A year later Nina moved to Melbourne, which had always been a dream of hers to complete her master degree. Laura was at the time working full time as a nurse.
Purpose bars came about after a day spent at Terra Made, Nina is quite frankly obsessed with bars, and holds a record of 11 in one day (the day when the final purpose bars arrived at our door) We were discussing various bars and their ingredients, and as we both have allergies (gluten and dairy) as well as being sensitive to fructose, it really limits your options. We both went home and I guess it played on both of our minds, because later that evening I received a text from Laura saying that we should definitely create a product for people with special dietary requirements and allergies such as gluten, dairy, nut, soy vegan and so on making it easier for people with similar issues to eat healthy, and that is how it all started!
We initially thought of starting out small making bars in our own kitchen with Laura’s very decent blender (haha) however after further research we quickly noticed we had other options that would suit us better. And that is when we started the researching process to find our perfect manufacturing company. We found one in Queensland, that uses a 100 % raw manufacturing process, meaning it slowly blends the ingredients without adding any heat, which is what we wanted, keeping the nutrition preserved and treating our ingredients gentle.
We basically started from scratch investing our savings, neither of us had any experience in the field of setting up business, only the passion and a strong believe that our product was going to make the lives of many people easier. We had great help from friends and I think neither of use slept very well for the next few months, sleep interrupted by a constant idea flow.
How did you guys come up with the name?
The name came to us quite naturally and without even looking for one, as we hadn’t reached that stage yet. The only thing we were certain about is that we wanted to produce a bar that would serve a purpose beyond just being a snack! And so we started calling it the purpose bar. The name is truly the identity of our product and conveys our message well. Every ingredient is chosen for the benefit it brings to the bar and how it cooperated with the other ingredients, we wanted to create a bar that was truly good for you and that can be eaten by everyone regardless of allergens.
How long did it take before you had the perfect bar ready to launch?
We went through about 4 different samples before we finally were satisfied, being a long process as each sample took about 2 weeks to make and ship. It was torture to say the least, but worth it. It took about 6 months time before we received the first order.
Have you both always worked in the ‘healthy food’ industry? When and how did this become a passion of yours?
Nina has over 11-years of experience working in the health food industry. I used to work with natural medicine and health foods in Norway. I am beyond passionate about it, and I have been so lucky to work with some of the best people in Norway teaching me everything I know today. I would spend all my money on health foods while others would spend it on clothes.
And I (Laura) have always been interested in health foods and natural medicine, but have also been working as a nurse for 3 years and have seen how important health is and the HUGE impact it can have on your quality of life. When you see how sick people can be and how a healthy lifestyle can be neglected its easier to become passionate about health and wellbeing.
Apart from making delicious bars, what do you get up to in your spare time?
Nina: I am still in school finishing up my master program, I also love exercising in some form whether I run do yoga or go for a long walk, it is great to have that time for yourself relax and unwind. I also love catching up with my lovely friends and go for dinners (love food)!.
Laura: I agree spending time with friends and family is something I focus on when having time off. I also love doing yoga and meditate, it keeps me focused and motivated.
What’s your favorite endangered animal?
Nina: I don’t know why but I’ve always found Lions to be very fascinating and they are absolutely beautiful! In Norway it’s a tradition you get a sowed picture of your star sign to hang over your bed when your born mine being the lion, so that might have something do with it as well.
Laura: My favorite endangered animal is a Panda!!!! So cute and I think if I was an animal I would look like that.
Do you have any fur babies in your family?
Nina: I wasn’t able to have any pets as my mum is allergic to most animals, but my boyfriend family lives in the English countryside with 4 dogs, a cat, an old horse and and the cutest limping goat so that kind of makes up for it. I also used to dog walk when I first arrived Melbourne. I find that animals have a way of keeping you grounded and present, and I very much enjoy their company definitely wanting a dog in the future when I settle.
Laura: Yes I have two dogs and one cat. Gus, Wally and Buddy. Gus is a white Sheppard and he recently had a hip operation and actually looked like the cutest man alive.
So, what’s your favorite vegan meal?
Nina: That has to be the delicious Massaman curry served at 7 apples on Acland Street. A must try is also cacao citizens raw chocolates is an amazing treat made by my beautiful friend Georgia.
Laura: My favorite vegan dessert meal would be caramel slice, its actually heaven in my mouth. Any vegan sort of chocolate is amazing and I love tofu too, tofu is so yum in any stir-fry.
Who’s been your biggest ‘health’ inspiration?
Nina: My biggest Health food inspiration and mentor and previous co-worker called Jorunn she is the most knowledgeable person I have ever met, headhunted by many health food companies, but never quit her humble position at our store in Oslo. She is a vision of health and a huge inspiration to me.
Laura: My favorite health inspiration is Gabby Bernstein. I love her books so much. She can take me from a negative mindset to positive and happy. I refer to her books on a daily basis; we need our mental health for everything else to flow.
What’s next for Purpose Bars? Any new products in the pipeline?
We will be featured at real food revolution conference later this year as well as currently working on a few exciting projects. When it comes to new products our brains are constantly ticking and a second healthy and tasty bar is definitely in the near future!
Well, we cant wait to see what those girls have up your sleeves! But in the meantime, you should probably get your paws on some Purpose Bars…
Nina and Laura are kindly offering all Vegan Box followers 10% off online orders, simply use the code ‘purpose10’ on checkout at www.purposebars.com.au
Oh hey there! I’m Hannah, an animal-loving vegan naturopath, based in Melbourne, Australia. I’m also the founder, director, and chief ‘boxer’ here at The Vegan Box.