A Q&A with Heidi Peuten and Vasia Vogias, the co-founders of Ulu Hye
We speak to Heidi Peuten and Vasia Vogias, co-founders of Ulu Hye, a brand offering non-dairy mylk bases — with a twist.
What was your initial vision for Ulu Hye? When did the company begin?
Our initial vision for Ulu Hye was to create a brand that would make an impact. We dreamed of providing the Australian market with a sustainable yet healthy solution to the current offerings in the plant-based milk category. We manifested this vision late 2016 and it all came to life in September 2017.
Where did the name Ulu Hye come from? How do you pronounce it?
Ulu Hye is pronounced “ooloo high” and came about after an intense brain-storming session to try to find available ABN, domain and social platforms. Ulu is a Hawaiian word and has two meanings — one “to grow”, the other “to inspire”. Hye was a play off Heidi’s name. We felt that it just rolled off the tongue nicely and as soon as it was said we just knew it was right.
Tell us about your all-natural Mylk Base products.
The Mylk Bases come in recyclable, reusable glass jars and when added to water and blended, they create up to 10 litres of fresh, creamy milk per jar. It’s essentially “milk in a jar”, allowing you to create creamy, delicious milk in a matter of seconds and in the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days of having to duck to the shops for milk as you can now make what you want, when you want. All ingredients used in our bases are of the highest quality, organic where possible, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free, and are free of emulsifiers, additives, thickeners, gums and preservatives. We have an amazing manufacturer/food technician who we have worked closely with to create these products and we’d be lost without him!
Where do you source your products?
Our products are sourced by locally owned farmers where possible, to not only support our farmers, but to also reduce our transportation carbon footprint. Unfortunately, there are a few varieties of organic nuts that are very difficult to source locally, so we do have to import those, but we hope this will slowly change as the demand for organic increases.
Sustainability is a big focus of Ulu Hye. Tell us about that.
Where to begin! Everything we do at Ulu Hye stems from our passion for sustainability. We’re in a world where we have everything at our fingertips; we don’t need anything more than what we currently have available to us. What we do need are companies to start providing eco-friendly and healthy alternatives to the products that we already love and consume. One of our core values at Ulu Hye is bold innovation, and we pride ourselves on only releasing products that change how we do things, creating a positive impact through education and offering sustainable solutions.
What has been your favourite moment so far?
Honestly, every time we get tagged in posts on social media or sent messages telling us how much our products are appreciated and enjoyed — those are our favourite moments.
What are your three top tips for reducing waste?
- Shop at bulk food stores. We adore The Source Bulk Foods stores and they have stores popping up everywhere around Australia. Buying unpackaged herbs, spice, grains, flours, pulses, nuts, soap, shampoo and oils reduces your carbon footprint.
- Use reusable mesh produce bags. It’s great the supermarkets have banned the bag, but they need to ban the plastic produce bags too! If in doubt, use the paper bags intended for the mushrooms.
- Never buy beverages on the run. Keep a bottle/jar handy in the car for water, coffee etc. If you don’t have one handy, take a seat and chill out for a few minutes while consuming it in-store.
What’s next for Ulu Hye?
We have a new Mylk Base flavour that we will be launching in the next month or so, as well as a bunch of new flavours we’re working on. We also have an exciting new product that is going to knock your socks off — stay tuned!
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