Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but we also know that indulging is hardly good for you. Purveyors of guilt-free goodness Half Baked Catering Co., founded by sisters Shinee and Zara Mcintyre, have decided to change all that.
Several years ago, the Wellington-based duo set out on a mission to refine the art of making treats that are not only vegan, but more often gluten-free, refined sugar-free and above all – tasty. Now, the sisters offer everything from a fully-catered wedding service to take-home frozen treats.
Here, chocolate enthusiast and proud local Rhett Goodley-Hornblow catches up with the Half Baked sisters, to discover how you can satisfy your cravings, without the sugar rush.
Rhett: What is Half Baked Catering Co. all about?
Shinee and Zara: “We're all about having your cake and eating it too. We believe that the best things to fuel our bodies are what mother nature has provided for us, so all of our treats are made out of plant-based goodness, mainly nuts and coconut byproducts.
We’re both massive sugar-lovers, so we decided that we need to use our talents to show ourselves and everybody else, that eating healthy doesn’t need to have a stigma around it. We really believe that the right education and information around food is so vital. We just want to share our knowledge and show everyone that choosing a healthier lifestyle can be so simple and delicious."
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
“We’re actually bush babies, believe it or not! We grew up on the beautiful East Cape and moved to Welly when we were six and three-years-old. Dad, being the entrepreneur that he is, decided to buy the iconic café Midnight Espresso off his friends Tim Rose and Geoff Marsland (of Havana Coffee Works).
Naturally, we were around that environment on a daily basis, learning the ins and outs of hospitality, we both worked at Midnight Espresso for years and developed a love for making sweet food. Because Midnight is predominantly vegan and gluten-free, that was the direction we were steered in. We finally decided that it was time to do our own thing and from there, Half Baked was born.”
What makes your products a better choice, when it comes to treating yourself?
“Our treats are 100 per cent guilt-free and absolutely bangin'! Not to brag or anything, but being able to find something that tastes good, satisfies the sugar demon and is actually good for you, isn't as easy as it seems. Our products are a decent price, considering the ingredients we use and the time and effort that goes in to making each and every snack.”
You have an amazing range of products and they all look delicious, what are you the most excited about presently?
“We've recently released our frozen dessert bars, 'Snicky Fingers' (a wholefoods twist on Snickers) and 'Maui Wowee' (a healthier Bounty Bar), both in the making since we first started. It's been a really fun process and we're stoked to finally see them on the shelves. All of the feedback has been really positive.”
Where are your products available?
"Our products are available online at halfbakedcateringco.com and at Moore Wilson's, Town and Porirua. We also supply Havana Café, Power Living Yoga Studio and Fellow in Lower Hutt. In saying that, we are in the process of expanding so hopefully will soon be in a store near you!"
To learn more about Shinee and Zara of Half Baked Catering Co. or shop online, see their website here.