Since we first discovered Cru8 Paleo ‘bread’ packed with almonds and flaxseed at Planet Organic we have not stopped buying it. Gluten free, dairy free and sugar free it ticks all our healthy eating boxes but above all tastes totally delicious. Curious about who had created such delicious ‘bread’, we tracked down the founder and creator Alexi Von Eldik to find out more about the story behind the brand.
What was your lightbulb moment?
In 2011 was suffering from pre-diabetes symptoms as well as depression. A friend suggested a diet change whilst another advised me to read Clean by Dr Alejandro Junger. I started incorporating high raw food and vegetables into my diet and I began to feel better.
At the time I was working in Mayfair as a business consultant. I loved feeding people and ultimately wanted to help people.
New York was my inspiration where I saw lots of detox and food delivery companies growing.
Back in London, I began making and delivering food after work. My clients were my friends at first and I offered them a 5 day detox. They were a big hit. One friend lost 3 stone over 6 weeks. I was getting up at 5am to deliver the detoxes while working. But in 2012 I quit my job to do it full time from my kitchen.
My clients loved the detoxes but after they finished wanted to continue the healthy lifestyle with healthy snacks. They asked me to make them and looking back that was my lightbulb moment.
How did you get started?
I started packaging Paleo bread and snacks very simply. The Farmers’ market on the Kings Road was opposite my house and they gave me a stand. In 2014 I rebranded to my current branding and packaging. We were quickly spotted by Whole Foods and Planet Organic and the Cru8 brand took off really quickly.
Branding is everything. The product has to taste good but eye appeal is the initial hook. Another friend in the food business recommended a tiny team with a branding agency who came up with our brand look.
What were the next steps?
In 2016 we opened the deli just off the Kings Road .We have a production kitchen in Battersea. I used to make everything myself at home but now we are growing. I’m self-funded to date but now looking for investment.
What are the highs and lows of being a nutripreneur?
It takes persistence knocking on doors day after day. The highs are influencing clients positively and getting great results. Other highs are getting emails from people who love the brand and can literally taste the difference our products make to their health. People need access to food that is helpful and benefits them.
The food industry has designed food to be addictive but people also have to take responsibility.
It’s so important for people to take control of what they eat. The minute they do then they start to feel inspired. I think your taste buds change. I can’t eat the sweet stuff anymore. Once you do a detox your palette gets cleansed.
What is the future?
We are currently fund raising to grow the business. We are focusing on getting SALSA certified so we can sell through supermarkets like Ocado.
Paleo is low carb, no grains and no legumes and no dairy. Carbs come mainly from vegetables.
It’s an anti-inflammatory diet so you lose any puffiness in your body. Inflammation is the start of disease. It balances out hormones and blood sugar. It’s also gut healing because they are now finding grain causes inflammation in the gut.
If someone wanted to try a Paleo lifestyle where should they start? Run us through a daily meal plan.
Cru8 Paleo granola which is packed with nuts and seeds with Plenish almond milk.
Salmon and a big salad and lots of raw food.
Snack on nuts
Soup, a veggie soup. 75% of plate has to be veggie. Flaxseed crackers or protein bread. Or chicken and broccoli.
What are your favourite books?
Clean – Expanded Edition: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself by Alejandro Junger (Author), Amely Greven (Contributor)
Sarah Ballantyne: The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body
Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy by Joseph Mercola (Author)
Paolo Coehlo- The Alchemist
Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now
For someone who wants to make one change towards a healthier lifestyle what would you recommend?
I’d say start eating more nutritionally dense foods, foods that are full of nutrition and are actually going to benefit your body rather than deplete it.
To buy Cru8 products click here for our shop.