In 2017 Yuki Thomas started Australia’s first 100% plant-based food delivery service Soulara. We chat to the entrepreneur about the journey so far.
What are benefits to plant-based eating for you personally?
I have a thyroid condition, and before going plant-based, I would hit snooze 13 times every morning…No joke! Now I’m jumping out of bed at 6am to do yoga. My decision to shift to a balanced plant-based diet six years ago – under my doctor’s supervision – enabled me to keep my thyroid health under control, without having to take medication. I’m loving having my energy back, and that I don’t have to rely on caffeine to get me through the day.
What are the 3 most important things you want Soulara deliveries to achieve for your customers?
Soulara first and foremost wants to make healthy eating easy for people from all walks of life. We want to give individuals the opportunity to experience what plant-based living can do for their health – whether that be on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. Hopefully this is something they’ll share with their loved ones – we want to share the plant-based love!
Who have you designed Soulara for?
Soulara is not just for hippies. It’s for successful businesswomen, uni students, health and eco-conscious consumers, parents with their hands full, and everyone in between!
“Working as a lawyer, the hours can be unpredictable and long. I often find myself struggling to fit everything into my day and more often than not reaching for an unhealthy option to eat, just because it is easy. The meal delivery service is appealing to me for both health and convenience reasons. I had been wanting to try a meal delivery service for some time but found it hard to find something that had a variety of options for vegetarians and healthy food. Soulara has so many options and I like that you can pick the meals yourself and see all the ingredients in the meal before choosing the meals you would like delivered, as I can be fussy.” – Shira.
How do you develop Soulara recipes?
Initially they were created in my very own kitchen, inspired by my travels and my Japanese heritage and with produce from my back garden! Today, Soulara recipes are crafted by our passionate nutritionists and expert chefs in the Soulara kitchen. This means every meal is full of nutritional benefits backed by science, is presented artistically, and never disappoints in the flavour department.
Do you have a favourite dish?
Currently I’m all about the Golden Glow Stir Fry from our new Vitality menu. It reminds me of pad Thai, but it’s so much healthier!
What was the biggest challenge in starting a plant-based delivery service?
Definitely people saying to me that plant-based food is boring and bland. With the guidance of expert chefs, we’re proving that this is far from the truth! The diverse flavours, colours and textures offered by all the whole plant foods out there mean the possibilities are endless.
What does an average day look like for you?
I’m naturally up by six, and always start my day with my pea protein shake and a Soulara Chia Pudding. Then I’ll do about half an hour of yoga and about 20 minutes of meditation before spending an hour or so going through my tasks for the day before heading to the Soulara office. You’ll find me doing everything from working on a shoot to being in meetings, to taste testing new recipes with my awesome team, every day is different.
Two or three times a week, I’ll take an hour’s break from the office and head to my PT session; I do a mix of heavy weight lifting, strength training, and handstand training!
Once I head home for the evening, that’s my me time. I recently started taking Mandarin lessons twice a week, otherwise I’ll be looking at plants online, and watering my actual plants! I also love reading the latest articles from online medical journals. Before bed I’ll read on my Kindle for about an hour and then I’m out like a light by 10.
What’s next for Soulara?
Our next step is to go completely biodegradable with our meal packaging. We’re also rolling out some unique new menu items that I think our customers will go crazy for, keep your eyes peeled for our Anahata Oatmeal, a wholesome cacao porridge.
Give Soulara a go here