1. What initially lead you to create your own almond milk?
Chi: We started making our own almond milk at home after realising all of the almond milks available on the shop shelves contained 1-3% almonds and the remaining ingredients are things you cannot pronounce and stuff your body does not need. If you cannot recognise the ingredients, how would your body recognise it?
2. How exactly do you make Almond milk?
Chi: We soak our raw and organic almonds for 12 hours in filtered water. We then rinse off the almonds, which also means the phytates are released during the soaking process. Next we put the almonds through our press machine with filtered water. This is our ORIGINAL Almond Milk. We have different flavours now, to which we add more to. For example, our CACAO is the same process, but with raw cacao, dates and vanilla added to the mix. The process had evolved over time, mostly due to financial restraints and lots of trial and error - in the beginning, we were pouring the almond milks with a funnel into each bottle which takes a while! Now we have bought a bottling chiller machine which is saving us lots of time, and spillages!
3. Were you always advocates of a healthy lifestyle and eating? Growing up, did you have any influences, or specific role models that made an impression on you?
Chi: I have always lived in a household where food played a massive part of every day life. I come from a Chinese family, and with the Chinese, you show your love with food. Meals were always made from scratch, and our home would always smell of broth from the morning onwards. My dad has always worked in restaurant kitchens, and has even opened his own. He’s a still a chef to this day, cooking everyday. I consider my upbringing to have had a massive affect on the way I eat and treat food now. Even though I went off to study fashion design and worked as a stylist for many years, my other love was food. It was always fashion and food. Now it’s gone full circle and come back to food.
Natali: Definitely not always been an advocate of a healthy lifestyle. I partied hard for a number of years and had lots of fun. I always liked to cook but didn’t pay much attention to nutrition. It was only after having my daughter and suffering from post natal psychosis that I realised I needed to pay more attention to what I was putting in my body to fully support my mind. This journey into eating a more whole food diet has been amazing and has truly become my passion.
4. What other healthy habits punctuate your week, is there anything else you like to eat, drink, see, or do that makes you feel great?
Chi: It sounds really cliched, but I TRY to drink hot water and lemon in the mornings, as I really do feel a difference from it, and that goes the same with dry brushing before showering. Natali and I try and do yoga at least once a week because it’s the only time we get to switch off and really focus on what we’re being taught. I try and walk places where possible, as aside from yoga, I don’t tend to exert energy elsewhere, which I know I should! But you know, we don’t beat ourselves up about it either.
Natali: For me exercise is key. I aim to go to astanga yoga twice a week and afro-contemporary brazilian dance once a week. That class is amazing and I smile the whole way through.
5. ...And Do you have any naughty vices? Cravings for pizzas, giant bars of chocolate, wine, cigarettes?
Chi: I don’t have a massive sweet tooth. My only vice is probably wine. I am easily swayed into having a glass, especially alongside delicious food. But again, I don’t see that as naughty, everything should be consumed in moderation. I never feel bad about what I eat or drink.
Natali: Oh yes. They are slowly fading away as my eating habits improve but I love cheese, wine, pizza, ale…it’s all about balance!
6. You recently showcased your creations during Selfridges' 'meet the makers' food festival. Who was your first stockist, and, what's been the best moment or achievement so far along The Pressery's journey?
Chi: Daylesford was our first retailer stockist. We started on a market 6 months ago, we launched back in March and by June we had a handful of stockists. I can’t really pin down a moment, I guess every day we pinch ourselves at the fact that we are doing exactly what we set out to do back in January (when it was just the initial stages) and MORE, and it’s only been 6 months. In the beginning, we were told we’d never get stocked in shops due to the short shelf life, but we have proven those people wrong. The more people know about how much unnecessary ingredients are added to their food and drink, the better. We wanted to be a part of that and help raise awareness.
Natali: For me it is every morning when I walk into our office and am reminded that it’s ours! Hard work pays off.
7. What's your favourite flavour creation you've made so far... and what's the best way to enjoy your Almond Milk?
Chi: I can’t play favourites because it all depends what I am in the mood for. There is always an almond milk flavour to suit my mood though!
Nat: I can pick a favourite. It would definitely be CACAO. I love to get my CACAO fix in the morning. Followed by TURMERIC in second place.
8. You're packaging design is visually very beautiful, are you interested in design, and in fashion, and does this link at all with the way you run The Pressery?
Chi: Thank you! I worked in fashion like I said before, but I was never into the crazy outlandish fashions though I can appreciate it. Instead, I was always more drawn to classic, well designed pieces that stood the test of time. I didn’t like trends and fads. So this probably translated into the design and aesthetics of The Pressery, the belief that less is more, which also lends itself to contents of the packaging - we don’t use any preservatives, additives or artificial sweeteners or vitamins, everything is natural and it is what it says on the tin.
Nat: Chi has the final creative say. I just pipe in sometimes with practicalities and key messages I feel that we need to get across.
9. What are your 5 favourite pieces on www.the-acey.com?
Chi: Oooh, hard one! Beaumont Organic Denim Madeleine Shirt Dress and Grey Fleck Josie Jumper, Stella + Alf Stripe Breton Top, Nanushka Thot Camel Wool Coat and any Groceries Apparel t-shirts!
Natali: Grey Macarla Trousers by Komodo, Beaumont Grey Fleck Josie Jumper, Stella + Alf Mohair pencil skirt, british wool tartan trousers and stripe breton top as you can never have too many
After an iced almond milk coffee at their Haggerston head quarters we leave Natali & Chi to pulp some nuts ready for deliveries to their retailers tomorrow. We’ll be seeing The Pressery girls again soon now we know their local to our ACEY studio. So go grab a bottle of this beautiful milk and feel good inside and out.