Introducing Rawnchy Desserts, Glasgow’s Latest Food Fix
In the UK one in five adults believes they have a food allergy. With many of us suffering from various intolerances sweet treats are often a no go, but what if we told you healthy desserts do exist and that they are readily available on your doorstep in Glasgow! Impossible you say? Rawnchy Desserts beg to differ. Bringing guilt free treats to Scottish foodies is 27 year old Poppy Murricane, founder of Rawnchy Desserts. From a young age Poppy had a complicated relationship with food and, following years of experimentation in the kitchen, she managed to turn her problem into a passion with the creation of raw, vegan, plant based and, dare we say, delicious desserts. We catch up with Poppy to ask her about all things health, diet and cake!
How did Rawnchy Desserts come about?
From the age of 11 I started having issues with food. When I ate I felt really bloated and lethargic. I never went to the doctor or had anything diagnosed but as I got older my problem worsened. When I finally went to my GP they started me on various different medications and said maybe I was gluten or diary intolerant, or perhaps I had Crohn’s disease.
Sadly, the medications didn’t work and I started to feel really down. It had got so bad that I couldn’t go out for dinner because I would have to lie down to recover afterwards. For a period of time I decided to stop eating because I felt so terrible, which was very worrying.
After a difficult period, I eventually decided that I was going to try and handle my diet myself. I started eating really healthily, consuming only organic foods. I experimented with different things and did a lot of research, which led me to making these healthy desserts. I remember I made a dessert as a complete experiment and gave my dad and his partner a slice to try. They said, “this is amazing, it looks amazing and tastes amazing.” They couldn’t believe the dessert was healthy and suggested, “you could sell this stuff.”
Following your initial inspiration, what made you decide to start your own business?
Since studying at school I’ve always known that I wanted to have my own business but I never had a start up idea. I was also eager to go into business without getting a degree. After finding my love for cooking I finally had that light bulb moment! I thought... I am so passionate about making desserts, why not do this as a career?
I originally wanted to open my own cafe but with the pressure of finding suitable premises and the funds to support it I decided to explore other options, which was what led me down the path of supplying desserts. That way I could get the best of both worlds and could sell from farmers markets and cater for events.
By chance I was put in touch with a friend of my mum’s who just happened to be an organiser of the Let’s Eat food festival in Glasgow! She asked me to send a blurb about my business to pitch to the rest of the team. At this point I only had an idea so I made up a blurb, sent it along and, thankfully, she got back and said “this is exactly what we are looking for, you’re in!” From there it was like a rolling stone gathering moss.
You said that you did a lot of research into different diets, how did you brush up on your knowledge of food and health?
I read a lot from food bloggers and celebrities like Madeline Shaw and Deliciously Ella and I also read numerous health books about raw, vegan and sugar free diets. I accumulated a lot of knowledge through reading but I always felt that there was an element of fad to it all. Deliciously Ella is the heiress of Sainsbury's so of course people will buy into her advice.
I have never claimed to be an expert in nutrition; I haven’t got a qualification in it. I am just a normal person who had a food problem. I still haven’t been diagnosed and I don’t want to be because I have found a healthy lifestyle that works for me. The knowledge I have acquired has been through years of self-study, reading and experimentation with food, and that’s all I can say. My diet will not necessarily work for someone else. However I can tell you the blank facts about my food which is that all my deserts are completely natural, vegan, gluten and dairy free.
It is common sense that if you don’t put refined sugar into your body then you are going to be better off. At the end of the day, the desserts look beautiful and taste delicious. Normally when eating a dessert I would experience a sugar slump but with these I don’t.
There are few businesses that specialise in only healthy desserts. When did you first become aware of a gap in the market?
I think up until very recently there was a gap in the market but healthy eating has become very fashionable and relevant due to the rising numbers of people with dietary problems.
Naked were perhaps the first company to produce healthy but sweet snack bars and then with the birth of Deliciously Ella, Madeline Shaw and the discovery of protein balls, the idea of healthy treats was popularised.
That said I think there is a huge gap in the market, especially in Scotland. Healthy food establishments are very popular in LA, New York and London but there aren’t too many in Glasgow yet. I do know a handful of places that offer vegan cakes but often these are independent cafes. I want to make my desserts available to everybody and for eating them to be an everyday thing.
So what makes Rawnchy Desserts unique?
Traditionally when you think of desserts, you think of food that has been baked or, in the case of chocolate, tempered. My food is raw, which means nothing is heated above 42°C, which is just over the average body temperature. Hence the name, Rawnchy!
The reason my desserts are raw is because when you heat food it loses all of its vitamins, natural enzymes and a lot of the flavour. I want to retain as much of the foods’ natural goodness as possible.
All my food is 100% plant based. I use fruit and nuts and coconut milk plus natural sugars such as coconut blossom, nectar and agave syrup. Nothing has been cooked so instead the process involves putting the food together. I make my own chocolate, which is heated in a bain-marie at a very low temperature to retain full flavour.
I think it sometimes puts people off when you say your products are raw, as often the word is only associated with meat and eggs but it just means that the food is served in its simplest form- all natural and processed as little as possible.
You officially launched Rawnchy Desserts in September at the Let’s Eat festival in Glasgow. What was the response like?
The response to Let’s Eat was phenomenal. I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to launch my business at such an event. I was thrilled to see so many people queued up keen to try my food. I definitely could not have done it without my team of family and friends to help.
The enquiries have just kept coming in since and now I have a several events and opportunities lined up.
Where can we see you next?
Rawnchy Desserts will be catering for Moxie, which is a pop up shop and boutique fundraiser at the Blythswood Hotel on Sunday 16th October between 12pm and 5pm. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for epilepsy charity, the Muir Maxwell Trust.
I will also be at the Scottish Speciality Food Show, which runs from 22nd to 24th January. I am very excited about this one as buyers from across Scotland will be attending so hopefully it will allow me the opportunity to offer my services as a food supplier.
Currently I am in negotiations with other establishments so hopefully Rawnchy Desserts will be available in the Finnieston area soon.
What are your goals for Rawnchy Desserts?
My dream is to manage Rawnchy Desserts full time, currently I have to balance other jobs to support the business. I don’t want to be rich, I just want to do what I love. In an ideal world I would supply my desserts to restaurants whilst ensuring they are all still handmade. I would also like to offer special cakes for birthdays and occasions, and to cater for events.
Introducing Rawnchy Desserts
As lovers of donut or two we are thrilled that Rawnchy is offering a healthy alternative for those with a sweet tooth. Just one month into business, it is early days yet for Poppy but we have a feeling she will rocket to success in no time.
Do you strive to eat healthily? Do you love desserts? If so then why not get in touch with Rawnchy. If you like cooking and cakes then we would love to hear from you, share your thoughts in the comments below.