INTERVIEW: DANAE DADE


This Friday we have the pleasure to share our latest interview with Danae; the founder of Cookie&Biscuit. We love their inspiring Instagram account and delicious, healthy vegan treats! Read on to find out what first inspired Danae to start up the business and why veganism is such an important part of Cookie&Biscuit. 


Hi Danae! Tell us a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?

I grew up in Buffalo NY, with my twin brother, older brother and my amazing mother. Although my mom worked loads, she always prepared healthy fresh meals for us. I learned from a young age that the kitchen is truly the heart of the home. We were a very veggie-friendly family, which I think was the biggest influence on me regarding food and the importance of whole foods.


When did you decide to start up Cookie&Biscuit and why?

I started cookie&biscuit while on maternity leave with my daughter. I wanted to avoid the sugary, overprocessed treats that were on the shop shelves, but also wanted a delicious, sweet treat every now and again. It wasn’t completely vegan at first, but it was only a matter of months till I mastered baking without eggs/butter. And it was the best decision ever!



What sets Cookie and Biscuit apart from the competition?

Being just a wee bit homesick, I wanted to create healthier vegan versions of some of my favourite American treats. But what really sets us apart is that Cookie&biscuit uses mostly organic ingredients, and I steer clear of white flour/sugars, using primarily spelt flour, raw cacao and coconut palm sugar. Our treats often incorporate vegetables and fruits as main ingredients, beetroot brownies are a big favourite!

 

Once I conquered adapting my recipes to using vegan ingredients, there really was no turning back. My customers welcomed the switch which only reaffirmed my decision.


Tell us why you first decided to go vegan?

I am vegan and it has been a slow and steady transition over the last few years. At first, it was for health reasons, then I stopped ignoring the bigger issues surrounding the environment, animal cruelty and general compassion for living beings and I became more immersed in the lifestyle.



What’s your one health tip?

Eat your veggies and MOVE your body!


What’s your favourite Cookie&Biscuit recipe?

That’s like asking me to choose which child is my favourite! But I do favour the rye chocolate chunk cookies because they are the closest I can get to Tollhouse soft batch cookies (American cupboard staple, but way too sweet I can’t even enjoy them if I wanted too!)


What’s it like being vegan in London where you live? London is amazing for vegan food! I just wish there were more restaurants and shops closer to where I live in South East London. My current favourites are the usual suspects: Cook Daily, Fed By Water and next on my list is Mooshies burgers!



Why do you think there has been such a rise in veganism over the last few years?

I think there are several reasons; including the greater awareness of climate change and the environment in general. Social media also now means awareness is spread in a more visual, community-based way, there are so many more documentaries out now that help educate people on the reality of the meat/dairy industry. It’s hard not to be vegan!


What inspires you?

My husband and my two children, Frankie age 5, Bowie age 1. I have always been a self-motivated person, but my family really inspires me to be the best version of myself! (Not to say that we don’t have bad days!)


What’s your average day like?

For a non-market day, I wake up around 7 am, get the kids breakfast, and make power smoothies for everyone. I check my emails while they eat and then get everyone ready for the day. I go on the school run and then head home to bake/test recipes/post office runs/work on social media updates. I also try my best to fit in a quick workout before midday, whether it’s a short run or 30mins of yoga. Lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day, full of leafy greens, grain base roasted veggies, and all the toppings (seeds, nuts, dressings, herbs etc). My afternoons are usually spent networking/meetings/running errands before school pick up. Between 3:30-8pm I try my best to put the work away and focus on the kids. By 8:30 I am on the sofa with my laptop planning the next day! I am usually tucked in bed by 10:30-11.



Do you think you have a work/life balance?

It really depends on the day! But my family LOVES food, and we manage to balance it all somehow.


What’s the best part of your job?

Doing events and feeding people delicious food!


What words do you live by?

Thoughts become things.


What’s next for you and Cookie&Biscuit?

I am developing a cookbook with savoury and sweet recipes, and few other top secret projects I can’t really spill the beans on just yet. I also put on a monthly vegan supper club and yoga brunches (with Serena Lee of Vegans of LDN) under the name The V Spot which have been going really well, so always looking for new locations to pop up in!


If you loved hearing from Danae just as much as we did and starting feeling hungry reading this article check out Cookie&Biscuit treats here.  If you are a vegan individual or business then please get in touch to be a part of our interview series at contact@theveganedition.com.

All images via Danae Dade.

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