The Happy Pear are a powerhouse in both the online and offline health community. The Flynn twins started out by running a small veg shop in Dublin and have slowly built themselves up over the past 14 years to be household names.
Stephen and David now run three popular cafes, a farm, a roastery and have a product range which is sold nationwide. They have also released two bestselling cookbooks with a third to be released in the coming months. Furthermore, they run online and classroom courses titled ‘Happy Heart‘ which aims to develop peoples knowledge on food and exercise and improve their overall health.
The Happy Pear use their presence online and in the media to inspire others to lead a healthier lifestyle. They lead vegan lifestyles themselves and aim to get people eating more fruits and veggies. They have produced countless recipes which act as plant-based alternatives to foods such as Twix bars, burgers, cakes, pies etc.
I’m very grateful that the boys were willing to take some questions that I had been wanting to ask. Stephen took time out of his busy schedule to answer them as best as possible.
- You are very well known in the health industry. What sparked your interest in a plant-based diet?
At that time in our life, we had just finished college and we were very much into materialism and not at all into health. We just felt that there had to be more to life. We signed up to do a marathon but hadn’t been eating very well. We had a month left to train so we decided to do a detox. This was back in 2001 when detoxes weren’t popular and we didn’t use the internet. We felt great after that period of eating well so we moved into a vegetarian and then a vegan diet.
- You started out running a small vegetable shop. How did that lead to running successful cafés and writing bestselling cookbooks?
A lot of hard work. We’d been in business for more than 10 years when things really kicked off so I guess one thing led to another and we are very grateful for that.
- What is your favorite of the products that you have released nationwide?
That’s like asking “Who’s your favorite child?”. We love them all!
What springs to mind right now is our The Happy Pear Sun-dried Tomato Pesto but all of our spreads are great. Also our new range of ‘wet meals’ like our korma, shepherd’s pie, chili and chickpea curry. Also our hummus and soups… okay maybe I’m biased but I just love them all!
- What are the 5 ingredients you always have in your kitchen?
Oats, salt and tamari which are great for seasoning, something pickled like Kimchi and a variety of flours because I love to bake. I’m really into sourdough at the moment!
- You are known to take a dip in the sea at sunrise every single day (even during storms). What is your main reason for doing so?
It feels great! I think it’s a great metaphor for the day as you go and face something a little scary (the cold) and you feel amazing because it’s such a shock to the body. It makes you present in the moment and that’s amazing.
- You share videos of your kids creating healthy recipes and eating well. How do you make healthy food exciting for them?
I think it’s mostly having them be part of the preparation process and engaging in it. They are always excited to try what they make. I’m not saying that they are perfect. They also like to eat crap rather than a bowl of kale just as every other kid does but we try to limit the amount that they consume.
- You are very popular for creating vegan versions of non-vegan foods (eg.smoked salmon out of carrots). What is your favorite alternative that you have created?
I do love that smoked salmon one! We also have a beetroot Wellington (like a beef Wellington) that is fabulous. We have a recipe for a vegan steak which is remarkably like meat and I’d also highly recommend the Philly Cheese Steak.
- What breakfast and lunch would you recommend to anybody visiting one of your cafés?
We do free porridge every day for brekkie. If you’re up for paying we have a pimped out porridge with berry compote, coconut yoghurt, almond butter and lots of lovely bits.
For lunch, we do a variety of soups, salads, and wraps but it’s hard to beat a Buddha bowl!
- What’s your top piece of advice for somebody looking to lead a healthier lifestyle?
Do it because you have an interest, not if you feel forced. Just take it slowly and don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Fundamentally we are all going to die eventually so I think its more about eating more veg and more importantly enjoying life. Keep doing what makes you happy!
We have a new book being released on May 5th called Recipe for Happiness. It’s available to preorder if anybody is interested in it now.
You can find Stephen & David at thehappypear.ie , on Instagram and Twitter @thehappypear, on Facebook and on Youtube. You can also find their product range online or instore at Supervalu and Centra.
Until next time,