From Warrenpoint County Down we caught up with Jacquelyn Stewart, owner of Squeeze Wheatgrass to get an closer look at the latest health craze ‘Wheatgrass’.
Q: What makes your product unique?
A: Our Wheatgrass shots are unique because we have full provenance and traceability- we grow, harvest, juice, package and distribute in-house. Our wheatgrass shots are cold-pressed to retain essential nutrients and have a 12-week shelf life. We are the only Wheatgrass producer to have been awarded a Great Taste Award.
Q: Where do you source your raw ingredients?
A: We tried a lot of different types of wheatgrass seed at the start of our business venture and are very fortunate to have a fabulous relationship with the producer of our certified organic wheatgrass seed. We pay a lot of money for the seed but as with everything quality comes at a price!
Q: What inspires you as a producer?
A: All producers/entrepreneurs have an idea or a dream which we believe will change the world. At least our world. I want to leave behind a legacy for my children and grandchildren. Northern Ireland has an abundance of amazing food producers all striving to build their businesses whilst supporting and inspiring other businesses around them.
Q: How did you get started?
A: In 2008, I was diagnosed with skin cancer and after a bit of online research came across wheatgrass. Unable to source a Wheatgrass juice, I decided to grow my own. In 2011, I launched an online business selling ready to drink Wheatgrass shots. In 2012, I won the IGD Leading Light Award for building a sustainable online business (beating off competition from Asda and Tesco). There have been many changes in the business including farming methods but the passion and belief in our Wheatgrass Shots remains as strong today as it was 5 years ago.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to keep local?
A: The money consumers spend in local independent businesses continues to circulate in our community. Studies have shown that when people buy from independent, locally owned businesses significantly more of that money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms. Consumers are more savvy they want to know where their food is coming from and they want to know about the story behind the food’s journey to market. Keep it Local every time.
Q: What motto do you live/work by?
A: Being an entrepreneur is difficult at times because you have to be a little bit of everything and willing to do whatever it takes to be a success. So, I always ask myself “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” So far, the answer has always been “yes”. The day I get a “no” then I’ll know it is time to do something else.
Q: Where can we buy your products?
A: You can buy our Ready to Drink Wheatgrass shots through our own E-Commerce site – www.squeezewheatgrass.co.uk, www.yumbles.com, www.boroughbox.com and www.the foodmarket.com.
In January 2017, we are launching our new Retail Brand, Wild Power Wheatgrass, which has already secured listings with a number of new retailers including Fortnum and Mason in London and locally with Slieve Donard Spa, Yahi, Creightons of Balmoral and J C Stewart. We are in negotiation with some other retailers who we hope will be on board for the January launch.
Q: What food best compliments your product? Or what is your favourite way of using your product?
A: Wheatgrass juice is best consumed first thing in the morning when your stomach is less acidic. It is possible to add the shot to some juice or a smoothie. We have three Wheatgrass and Juice shots on the market at the moment. Wheatgrass with Apple & Pear, Beetroot and Orange and Lemon which are all proving very popular for people who find the “grassy” taste of the wheatgrass on its own too much.
Keep an eye out for the new Wild Power Wheatgrass Shots coming to a Retailer near you!
If you are interested in stocking the Wild Power Brand, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner of Good Choice Quality Food Award, Winner of 1-star Great Taste Award, Highly Commended Free From Food Award, Winner Agri-Food Business of the Year, Winner Ulster Tatler Business Woman of the Year, Winner Ulster Grocer Artisan Producer Marketing Campaign of the Year.
Visit www.squeezewheatgrass.co.uk to see a full list of their products.