In today’s episode of “Meet the Londoner” I have some special guests with me. Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, the Squirrel Sisters from London. They have developed healty and yummy snacks and are using “threat your health” as their motto. Enjoy the interview!
Who are the Squirrel Sisters?
Hi Gracie and Sophie, thanks for taking your time for this interview. Please tell us a bit about yourselves.
When did you start your business and why?
Health, wellness, food and how it makes us feel has always been a passion of ours. Quite a few years after university Sophie moved to Singapore and I was in London so we decided to start a blog as a fun thing to do together while living on opposite sides of the world. Initially it was never a business idea, just a passion of ours, something fun to do together.
Our blog was a place for us to document our healthy and delicious discoveries and recipes. At the time we found that most blogs were quite ‘preachy’ and promoted lifestyles that were unrealistic, restrictive and not sustainable so we wanted to create a platform that was all about balance- enjoying life while feeling great; we named our blog Squirrel Sisters (the name came from a nickname which has stuck with us since childhood- Squirrel rhymes with our surname ‘Tyrrell’ and is much more fun to say! Coincidentally and perhaps luckily, we also love nuts!).
Our blog gained a following quickly; People connected with our mission and the fact that we are two normal girls with a busy lifestyle that want to enjoy life while feeling great.
With a growing following we saw an opportunity to turn our blog into a business so after much planning and preparation launched our snack bars in November 2015, which we already had the recipes for.
The recipes were developed by me (Gracie) when we lived together after university in Balham. I used to make them for Sophie because she has a gluten-intolorance and at the time there wasn’t really anything available that was gluten-free, refined sugar free and delicious. Anything gluten-free that did taste good tended to be full of sugar and additives. So I made the bars for Sophie (and myself) so she could enjoy a delicious snack that tasted like an indulgent treat with the bonus of health benefits.
What kind of products do you offer and in which flavours do they come?
We have a range of multi award-winning healthy snacks that are available across the nation in over 2000 stores including Waitrose, Holland and Barrett, Ocado, Whole Foods, Selfridges, BP (petrol stations, Harvey Nichols and many more.
We create healthy snacks that tasted like a treat…. that enable you to treat yourself while treating your health. Snacks made with real, natural, kitchen cupboard ingredients that are indulgent and delicious with the added benefit of being good for you. We want to prove that you don’t have to miss out or feel restricted by being healthy.
Our range includes Snack Bars, which come in 4 flavours: Cacao Brownie, Cacao Orange, Raspberry Ripple and Coconut Cashew. Our range also include Raw Bites Shar Bags, which come in 2 flavours: Cacao Brownie and Cacao Orange.
What makes your snack bars special?
Our products are unique because we are one of the ONLY healthy snack brands available that don’t add any syrups, pastes or sugar alternatives, which is why we have been certified by Sugarwise.
So many so many health brands add things that sound much ‘prettier’ than sugar, like coconut nectar blossom, maple syrup and brown rice syrup, which is essentially just as bad as refined sugar- if not worse! We call these products ‘perceived health’. But our products are genuinely healthy because we only use whole dates to bind and sweeten all our products. They are also a healthier choice because they contain fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Our bars and share bags also fit in with a number of lifestyles such as vegan, paleo, gluten and refined sugar free, and they are 100% raw. They can be eaten any time of the day; pre/post workout, for breakfast, the snack between meals, after dinner as a healthy pudding- they are the perfect guilt-free treat!
Our products are also multi award winning, which really helps us stand out (3 Great Taste Awards, The Women’s Health BEST bar/ball snack award 2018, The Bronze Free From Award, The Veggie ‘Best Snack’).
Our bars are also innovative in format, beautifully packaged and delicious… as well as being made with 100% natural ingredients of the highest quality.
Which flavour is the most popular?
Our cacao range (cacao brownie and cacao orange) are the most popular flavours- chocolatey goodness that tastes amazing and is also good for you is a winner.
Do you have an own shop in London?
No we don’t have our own shop but you can find out products in lots of retailers including Waitrose, Whole Foods, Holland and Barrett, BP, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Sourced Market, As Nature Intended and many more.
Which topics do you talk about on your blog?
We talk about lots of things that relate to treating your health and business. We review health and wellness products, have lots of healthy and delicious recipes, give our tips on running a start up business and lots of other things.
The Squirrel Sisters about London
What would you recommend for a first-time visitor in London to see?
- Buckingham palace- always cool to see that.
- And make sure you just spend a day walking around central London.
- Hampton Court (just on the outskirts of London) is great
- Richmond Park is beautiful as well – we grew up in Richmond so have very fond memories of the park.
3 words to describe London:
Exciting, unique and beautiful.
Where do you go for a good breakfast?
The Wolseley in Mayfair is incredible but quite pricey! It has a real old English feel to it.
The best museum in London is…?
The Natural History Museum is pretty cool – such a beautiful building.
The coolest bar in London is…?
There are SO many but we would recommend the Evans and Peel (The Detective Agency). You will need to create a fun story in order to get past the detective!
If you need some peace from the City, where do you go?
We love getting out of London, it’s definitely needed sometimes to relax the mind. We love Wales (near Abergavenny) for walks and fresh air. We also love Dartmouth by the sea.
Fun stuff about the Squirrel Sisters
Milk in first or last?
What’s your motto in life?
Always trust your gut!
What are your wishes for the new year?
For people to be kind to others no matter what.
The Squirrel Sisters on Social Media
- You can find the blog on the website of the Squirrel Sisters.
- Find them on Facebook @squirrelsisters
- They are on Twitter as @squirrelsisters
- And on Instagram @squirrelsisters
- And also on Pinterest as Squirrelsis0519
Dear Gracie, dear Sophie, thanks again for your time, the insights into your business and your London tipps.
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