Since starting LK, I’ve have been one of coconut oils biggest fans!! Being dairy-free, I use it in nearly all of my baking, not to mention the extra tub I keep in my bathroom for my body, hair and makeup remover! Lucy has done such an amazing job with her oil and her new product ranges and I love the story behind her company. It’s really amazing to see other people (and in Lucy’s case her entire family) changing their lives around due to her diagnosis and creating a business as a result.
What inspired you to start your own business, and why did you choose coconut oil as your main product?
Lucy Bee is a family run business. My dad is the business man; he looks after the numbers. I look after the social media and work with the rest of the team on recipe creation and development, marketing and the customer contact side of the business.
The reason Lucy Bee started is because I am a coeliac. When I was 18 months old, I was very poorly and my parents had to completely change their way of eating as they always had to check labels and cook from scratch. This made them very aware of what we put into our bodies and the importance of good health.
We were introduced to coconut oil by a friend from Hong Kong and we soon realised what an incredible oil it was for cooking as well as for beauty. There were only a few coconut oils on the market at the time and my dad knew we could bring out the best product which was not only Fair Trade, extra virgin, raw and organic but also a competitive price.
Our oils are never mixed and are from either the Philippines, the Solomon Islands or Sri Lanka (each label will tell you where it’s from).
We have recently extended our range to include cinnamon, turmeric, cacao, maca, lucuma, epsom salts, Himalayan salt and dead sea salts. We’re always looking at new products, so watch this space!
What are the main benefits of including coconut oil in your diet?
Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). The body uses this kind of fat incredibly efficiently and has many benefits.
It also contains approximately 48% lauric acid – the only other place you get such a high amount of this is from a mother’s breast milk. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and antioxidant.
Due to EU rules and regulations I am not allowed to state the health benefits but I would suggest googling/researching the above for more information.
What are your favourite restaurants or café’s that cater to a healthy lifestyle?
Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I haven’t got one. I live in Hertfordshire so we don’t really have any healthy restaurants/cafes here. When I’m in London I like visiting different ones. I’m also a strong believer in balance – I eat in all sorts of restaurants not just ones that are super healthy. I like to feast on naughty foods when I’m with friends.
What is your favourite way to use coconut oil as a beauty product?
It’s simple but it’s my most used way and that’s as a makeup remover. It even wipes away the most stubborn waterproof mascara.
Your coconut oil is certified fair trade – why do you believe that buying fair trade products where possible is so important?
Lucy Bee is proud to be Fair Trade. So far with our followers help and their continued support we’ve helped to;
– produce/build equipment and living essentials, such as water wells, solar lighting and phone technology (Philippines, India, Peru)
– ensure all workers (from the farmers to factory workers) are paid a fair wage and have contracts so they cannot be exploited (farmers receive a fair price for their coconuts)
– no child labour and cruelty to or misuse of animals (monkeys are never used during harvesting)
– supporting a more sustainable way of life, including basics such as food, medicine and schooling (Sri Lanka)
– created an extended education centre for the children of the single mothers to teach them English, thus improve their future prospects (Dominican Republic)
and the work continues…
These are the reasons it’s so important for us to be Fair Trade. I learnt about it at school but didn’t really ‘get it’. Now I always look out for Fair Trade labels as you know you are contributing and helping others as well as preventing things like no animal cruelty or child labour.
What is your ethos on food?
I try to eat as close to nature as possible and buy organic food wherever possible. I am very passionate about eating healthily but I truly believe in balance too. I love going out for meals and eating things I wouldn’t necessarily cook at home and I’m definitely someone who loves to have one too many cocktails on the weekend. Life is for living so it’s all about balance.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who might be interested in starting their own business or blog?
Be passionate. If you truly love and believe in what you are doing, then your work will show it. Get advice, read books and make sure you have supportive people around you! Good Luck!
What are your favourite ways to use your super food powders?
There are so many ways to use them and they are all very different. We have lots of recipes on our website if you’re stuck for ideas!
Where do you see yourself/your business in 5 years’ time?
I honestly have no idea, hopefully still enjoying and loving what we are doing here at Lucy Bee. Five years seems so far away and it’s pretty scary to think about. I’ll be 30 then so no doubt I’ll be planning a big party and hopefully I’ll still be publishing books and bringing out brilliant products with my family and friends who I get to work with every day!
Do you have a favourite dessert recipe that uses coconut oil?
I’m not really a dessert person. I’m more of a quick dessert kind of girl but I always make our very easy Raspberry Bakewell Cake – especially this time of year when we have lots of raspberries in the garden. They are divine! Recipe here –
Do you have a favourite exercise class or gym?
I love Body Pump and spin classes although I have recently cancelled my gym membership. I’m now into doing high intensity training at home first thing in the morning – that way there are no excuses. I also really enjoy going for long country walks with friends to catch up or on my own to clear my head and relax.
What does a standard day look like for you?
Every day is different. Some days I’ll be in the office all day doing admin and catching up on emails. Other days I’ll be recipe testing in the kitchen. I’ve also started doing videos for our social media channels so I’ll try to do this once a week. Sometimes I’ll be doing in-store demos around London or I I’ll be out at meetings. This is why I love my job so much because it’s always so varied from day to day.