Turmeric is one of my daily necessities. I pop it in porridge, curries, lemon water, smoothies, tea, and I love creamy turmeric lattes!
This is why coming across the brand, Wunder Workshop, was so exciting for me. The London based brand has a range of organic certified turmeric products. From the raved about Turmeric CBD oil, to a blend of adaptogens and turmeric, turmeric honey, turmeric tea, and of course turmeric lattes – from the original, which is blended with coconut milk powder, to turmeric and cacao, and turmeric and chai.
Founder, Zoe, sits down with us to tell us more about Wunder Workshop, how the brand came to be, where they source their turmeric, and why it’s so beneficial to your diet. She also shares her start-up tips for future entrepreneurs.
Tell me the Wunder Workshop story. How did you begin? Did you ever think you would end up working in the wellness/health food industry?
I grew up surrounded by interesting books about traditional medicine, the power of plants and how to create all kinds of natural remedies from an early age. My late mother used to cook a lot with turmeric and she often put turmeric in her nut milks and in porridge, giving everything a golden hue!
It was only when I visited Sri Lanka for the first time and we were taught by Ayurvedic doctors about all the benefits of spices and traditional medicine, that turmeric really stood out to me as the one and only wunder spice!
Our brand is very transparent, and we want our turmeric products to be good for our customers as well as the planet and the people who provide our ingredients.
What makes Wunder Workshop unique? What kinds of turmeric products do you have? Are they suitable for everyone?
We care about the origin of all our ingredients and on my travels through Sri Lanka 4 years ago I went out on a tuktuk and drove to several farms, of which one has turned out to be our long trusted high quality, single origin turmeric supplier for the past 2,5 years. This farm uses a technique known as Analogue forestry, which imitates the original native biodiversity of the region’s flora and fauna, by planting in the shade of tree canopies to assist in replenishing the nutrition and moisture of the soil. This farming style goes beyond the conventional mono-culture techniques and even beyond our Organic logo. Besides guaranteeing pesticide and chemical free production, Analogue forestry helps to rebuild a sustainable ecosystem and empowers rural communities.
We are the first turmeric brand and we pride ourselves on focusing on Consumption with Purpose, which means we make all of our products the most bioavailable (easy to absorb by your body). Turmeric by itself can’t be absorbed in your system, and therefore needs little helpers such as black pepper, healthy fats and or ginger. Turmeric is suitable for most people, however those on blood-thinners and anti-inflammatory medication should check with a health practitioner as it may interfere with their medication.
What are the benefits of turmeric? How do you add turmeric into your daily routine?
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory powers strike me as the most important. We all tend to struggle with some form of inflammation in our bodies, whether it is from our lifestyle choices or due to stress and living in a polluted city like London. Many diseases stem from chronic inflammation in our bodies, so I find it very important to take turmeric daily in order to invest in my long-term health and minimise any unnecessary inflammation. My favourite way is by simply having a warming Golden Mylk every day and Turmeric x CBD drops twice a day.
Can you explain Ayurveda to us?
Ayurveda means translated “the science of life” ….it is believed that Ayurvedic medicine was the first health system, from which Chinese medicine was developed and consequently the medical system as we know it in the Western world. So, it can be argued to be the root of all modern medicine.
Our brand’s ethos (Consumption with purpose) is founded on Ayurveda’s principles as we believe that prevention is better than cure and we believe in the uniqueness of every individual. Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to health rather than seeking one drug to cure illnesses, it assesses the balance between all aspects of one’s life.
In Ayurveda, disease is a sign of unbalance in your personal constitution, so one has to go to the very root of this issue. By adding a bit of Wunder daily we hope you can create a routine that forms one piece of the bigger picture.
What’s your typical day like? Do you have any special daily rituals?
I like to wake up with the light so in the summer that means around 6 am and in the winter around 7.30am. I am so grateful to be my own boss and be able to decide when my day starts.
I usually start with writing in my gratitude journal or meditate, followed by getting ready for the day and making a Apple Cider Vinegar tonic followed by a golden potion, usually consisting of Turmeric, a combination of adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, Cordyceps and ginger by using my Golden Balance and Golden Shroom blends, blended with coconut butter and oat milk.
I usually work from Soho House or from home depending where my meetings are and start working around 8-9am. Every day is different so some days I will finish by 7pm and cook some food or go out and meet friends for drinks and dinner, but as I am more productive at night, I also like to work later at night. I would say that’s when I get all my creative work done. I will end the day with mapping my top tasks I want to achieve the next day.
How do you keep healthy? What’s your typical day on a plate?
As mentioned above, I start with a tonic and a golden potion, I don’t always feel like having breakfast after that, but when I do I will have porridge with oat milk and turmeric, coconut butter and blue berries if they are in season.
My lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day and consist of sourdough bread with a vegan topping, such as sautéed mushrooms, avocado, chickpeas or aubergines and basically any other seasonal ingredients I receive in my weekly Riverford vegetable box. I love huge salads, and will try and combine at least 6 vegetable and herbs, sprinkled with sesame and pumpkin seeds.
In the evening I will have a small curry or something containing sweet potatoes, greens and mushrooms ( I love mushrooms!!).
What have you learnt about business and entrepreneurship since starting Wunder Workshop? Is there any advice you can give to someone who is aspiring to start their own business, or do you have any tips for anyone wanting to go into wellness and/or health industry?
For me the most straightforward element is to check-in with yourself and be sure that you have a burning desire to be fully, or at least as much as you can, in control of your own life and happiness. Working for someone else will most likely involve achieving things for their benefit, of course it pays your rent and I don’t want to generalise, as every job certainly has its merits. But if you want to enjoy the NOW and not only think about the next weekend or next holiday, I think you are already a lot closer to the right attitude for starting up your own thing.
Being fearless is another important attribute. All that is holding us back from success if often fear: fear of uncertainty, fear of an insecure income, and most often fear of failure. But it is so important to actually thrive on these aspects, I find uncertainty and change so exciting and that is what gets me jumping out of bed every morning. Our time on this planet is so short and I think that is why we just need to make the most of all our dreams and desires and just go for it.
Reaching out to other people is the third most important thing, I have learned so much from like-minded people and small business owners, more than from long established business mentors. It is the small struggles that are often the issue, and speaking to someone who is going through a similar experience is so much more beneficial than getting a top-down big business advice as that can often feel even more daunting. Talking and sharing can be so inspiring and put things into perspective.
What are the three things you love most about what you do?
– The uncertainty of every day, offering endless opportunities.
– Having the freedom to create the life I want to lead.
– Supporting sustainable farming and creating awareness about the importance of the origin of everything we consume.
Running a business can be really rewarding, but it can be really stressful at the same time. Do you have any tips for combating stress?
As simple as taking oneself out of the situation, literally just going for a walk around the block or sitting on a bench in the park. This brings back my focus on the essential and creates perspective. When we consume ourselves with the stress, it kind of eats you up and makes things seem so much worse. I also love the mantra “This too shall pass”.
Do you travel much for business, or more for leisure? Do you have any wellness/health retreats you can recommend?
I travel a lot, I don’t stop working but that is what I love. I am so grateful that I can pick up my laptop and work from anywhere in the world, it inspires me a lot and all my new creative ideas stem from leaving the comfort zone by expanding my horizon, meeting new people and to learn from different cultures. I haven’t been on a retreat yet as I often find my strength in travelling around alone at my own pace, and turning more inwards. I will hopefully attend a retreat in the next year though, for example Steffy White’s or Avalon Wellbeing’s retreats look wonderful!
Is there a particular businessperson you look up to and admire?
No one person in particular, it is a combination of people. Just to name a few: Yvon Chouinard, – Patagonia’s founder; Renée Elliot – Founder of Planet Organic; and my friend Jeanne De Kroon – founder Zazi Vintage.
What does the future look like for you and Wunder Workshop?
We continue to innovate and have many more product ideas. We are looking to crowdfund soon, to increase our reach. So far we have grown organically which has been very rewarding. But most importantly we want to work on understanding how we can make every element of business the most sustainable – from ingredients, farming, production, packaging and the people who grow and create our products with us.
We are also working on finding the best community projects in relation to biodiversity and education in Sri Lanka to give back to the communities that grow our beautiful ingredients and to maintain their traditional Ayurvedic wisdom.