Producer of the Month: Henny Hales, Roar Museli Ltd
Oat cuisine has never tasted as good as Roar porridge, especially when it is snowing. With three flavours available, Henny Hales’ Roar porridge pods are the healthy and nutritious solution for a quick and wholesome breakfast. Just add hot water.
Britain is one of the world's largest consumers of sugared breakfast cereals. In 2010 journalist Felicity Lawrence argued that when the traditional British breakfast was conquered by processed cereal it was the start of convenience food “worming into our confused consciousness as [being] intrinsically healthy.” She wrote: “The transformation of the British breakfast in the last 100 years has been complete. Unlike our European partners we have succumbed almost entirely to the American invention. A century ago simple cereal grains, cooked either as porridge or bread, were the staples of breakfast.”
As the amount of sugar involved in processed cereals dawns on the British consumer consciousness plus the considerable confusion as to what the definition of a genuinely healthy breakfast is, many find it easier just to go without. This, however, is not the solution as researchers discovered in October, last year. Brain scans showed that skipping breakfast makes fatty, high calorie food appear far more attractive later in the day.
With an estimated 47% of British people regularly skipping breakfast during the week, Farmhouse Breakfast Week has set a challenge - to eat breakfast every day. Thankfully, due to fantastic British products such as Roar porridge pods, this is no challenge.
Henny Hales, a former chef and lover of breakfasts founded Roar Muesli Ltd in 2012. Prior to establishing the company she spent a great deal of time researching, sourcing and testing recipes before she found the winning formula. She developed the porridge pods to provide a fuss free healthy start to the day to meet with the demands of work or running a family. The pods take three minutes to make by just adding hot water.
Her secret recipe means that Roar is the only quick porridge on the market to use a mix of stabilised oats and oat bran which means the oats are less tampered with. There are three flavoured porridge pods available - apple & fig, pure with seeds and raspberry with pomegranate. They are made in kitchens in Shropshire, with no added sugar, salt or chemical preservatives. All ingredients are sourced as locally as possible.
Roar is predominantly an online business. You can order a box of 6 pods or a fortnightly breakfast box - the focus is to keep customers eating a healthy breakfast and deter them from skipping breakfast or being tempted into buying a pastry on the way to work.
- What do you enjoy most about producing porridge?
Definitely the mixing and mingling of the new recipes in the kitchen, and having porridge on tap every morning.
- What do you enjoy the least?
Having to put my financial head on and do the accounts. I'm much happier in the kitchen conjuring up new ideas for Roar.
- Why should we buy British oats?
I like to use British grain as it is always good quality and it has a low carbon footprint compared to imported grain. It also helps to support British farming which is good for the economy and for maintaining the countryside.
- What achievement are you most proud of?
Getting Roar off the ground,… I feel proud when I look back at the initial thought process of wanting a healthy and quick but no- microwave porridge to actually seeing our pods being produced and then enjoyed by our lovely customers. We have lots of great ideas for this coming year which I can't wait to bring to the market.
- What are your predictions for the future of British food and if you were Prime Minister what would you do to encourage more people to buy British?
People are caring far more about where their food comes, I can only see this growing as awareness and support of home produced food becomes more mainstream and no longer a niche market.
If I was Prime Minister…I would promote the idea of healthy eating hand-in-hand with eating British.
We could encourage this through more 'British Food' sections/promotions in supermarkets and through higher import duties on certain foods.
- Best budget tip?
Eat breakfast every day, if I miss breakfast I tend to eat a much larger lunch and more nibbles which all adds up.
- If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British food?
Love our Land: Eat British
- What other British food producers do you rate?
Cotswold Rapeseed Oil producer, R-oil - there is always a bottle by the cooker. And Sipsmith Spirits, a small batch distillery in west London, their sloe gin goes down very well in the winter!
- What's on the menu this evening?
Once our son is in bed sometimes a quick supper is all I have the energy for. Tonight we're having a treat with Somerset lamb steak served with a seasonal celeriac mash and roasted beetroot.
- How can people get hold of your produce?
You can order on line at www.roarmuesli.co.uk
We currently sell our porridge pods and subscription boxes online, however, in the future we will be introducing mueslis, sachets and more monthly boxes…Watch this space!