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Q&A with Yuki Thomas, founder of plant-based delivery business Soulara

10 Questions With..., Eat / March 20, 2019

Eat healthy, help save the planet and save time with Soulara

We recently caught up with Yuki Thomas, founder of Soulara, a new plant based food delivery service. Find out why veganism is on the rise in Australia, how she’s planning on combatting the challenge of single use packaging for meals and more.

1. What is Soulara and how is it different to other meal delivery services?
We’re 100% plant-based and all natural – you won’t find additives or preservatives in our food. Soulara is leading plant-based meal delivery service in Australia, with a fast-growing community supporting our ethical and sustainable vision.

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2. What inspired you to start a plant-based meal business? Are you vegan yourself?
I transitioned to a plant-based diet several years ago, which led me to realise just how hard it was to get my hands on fresh and wholesome plant-based meals. At the time I had a really demanding corporate job that saw me on the road a lot. So that I didn’t have to resort to processed food from servos and convenience stores, I spent my limited spare time creating fun and unique meals in my kitchen – with produce from my back garden. I was eating a lunch I’d packed for myself in my car one day when I had a lightbulb moment. I wanted to share this food with everyone – and to make plant-based living easy, delicious,
nutritious, and possible.

3. Veganism seems to be becoming more and more popular globally and certainly here in Australia. Why do you think more people are leaning towards a plant-based diet?

It’s so great to see more and more Australians embracing plant-based living. Plant-based meals are even appearing in our top restaurants – we’re starting to realise just how versatile, aesthetically pleasing and naturally delicious fresh produce is. I think the increase in diet and lifestyle-related diseases has seen Australians become more conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies. Plus, we have some of the most premium produce in the world, so you can’t help but enjoy plant-based dishes.

4. I tried Soulara for a week and loved the convenience of having healthy meals ready for me when I got home. Is convenience one of your major selling points as a business?

Absolutely. Whether you’re a parent with your hands full, working in corporate, or juggling uni and work, we’re all time-poor these days. Soulara is all about looking after your health no matter how busy you are. We want to make wholesome meals easy for everyone.

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5. Soulara is all about reducing our environmental footprint which is super inspiring, we need more businesses in the world like this. I’m going to throw a curly question at you though…what about the use of plastic. Each meal is individually wrapped in different containers. I have no idea how you’d be able to package meals differently and still be hygienic- has this been a challenge in your business? Do you have any thoughts on how to get around this?

That’s a great question! Our delivery boxes and plastic meal trays are 100% recyclable. We’ve been working really hard testing and trialling a better, more eco-friendly solution to the plastic seals on our packaging, as well as the meal trays. We’re really excited to announce that we’ll be transitioning to 100% biodegradable packaging – stay tuned!

6. You have a few different plans for people starting from 9 meals/week for $11.50/meal through to 18 meals/week for $9.50/meal. For people who are new to Soulara and want to try it where would you recommend they start?

I’d recommend starting with the 9 meal/week option, because if you’re new to Soulara you’re probably still going out for some meals during the week. Soulara supports the gradual transition to plant-based living – we don’t expect you to go gung-ho in week one!

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7. I loved the Earthy Equinox Bolognese and Golden Coconut Dahl for dinner and the Isle of Kali Bircher Pudding for breakfast. What are your top 3 favourite meals to EAT?

I’m so glad you’ve found your favourites! For me the golden Healing Turmeric Soup will always be a favourite; it’s good for the gut and has so many other health benefits. Our Soya, Edamame & Black Fungi Udon is another old favourite and my go-to when I’m craving a takeaway noodle dish but don’t want all the sugar, salt, MSG and other nasties. I love the Ruby Sunrise Chia Pudding for a filling grab-and-go breakfast or snack; it tastes like sago pudding but is full of nourishing ingredients like fibre and plant-based omega-3.

soulara drinks

8. What’s your favourite DRINK on the menu?
Definitely the Ginger Kombucha, brewed with organic green tea. Because kombucha is fermented, it can taste really acidic or vinegary, so we worked really hard to develop a light, smooth tasting kombucha that would appeal to everyone’s taste buds – all while being sugar and sweetener free. It’s the best all-natural pick-me-up!

9. What do you do for PLAY when you’re not running a successful business?
You’ll find me painting in my studio. I also try to read for an hour every evening (I love my Kindle), and I love getting outdoors whenever I can to do something adventurous. That might be anything from hiking to skydiving…you name it and I’ll do it!

10. Where does the name Soulara come from?
It’s a play on the word ‘Solara’, which means ‘the sun’ in Latin. I chose the word Soulara because it captures the essence of what I wanted to create through the brand: food from the sun and the earth to nurture the soul.

To find out more about Soulara, view meals and sign up visit their website.

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