Not so long ago I thought that a chickpea was a fairly simple legume that made for a nice addition to a salad or curry but boy was I wrong. This unassuming ingredient is extremely versatile and can be used to create sweet and savoury dishes that dreams are made of. One brand proving just what a chickpea can do is Cheaky Co. I came across this brand a few months ago when I saw someone post about their Chickpea Cookie Dough (called D'öh) and basically my life changed for the better. I met the brains behind this brand, Lucas Adams, more than I care to mention (because he often does personal deliveries) and I'd love to introduce him and the brand to you - read more in the interview below.
Tell us about yourself.
I’ll keep is professional/business oriented: I studied as an industrial designer, and have a penchant for product design, packaging and branding. I’ve growing history building brands from the ground up, with my last venture being in the tech-startup space (far from food/confectionery) called Nifty250 – it was the easiest way to have your Instagram pictures printed and delivered to your door.
What does a day in your life look like?
If we’re talking a typical work/play day at Cheaky Co, it’s best described as a hot mess with multiple tasks being woven into one at all times to try keep our business as highly functional, but ultra-lean as possible. We’ve been very lucky in being a new business that’s had just enough time to land some shelf space for our products to see us through the initial stages of lockdown in SA.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Irrespective of where the term is being applied, it's being able to continually perform a task (or set) in a manner that is manageable and feasible for everyone and everything involved, over time. If we’re being contextual within the retail product space – it means producing, selling and consuming in a manner that has the least friction (read: negative impact) within the environments the given item travels through, right to the end of the product lifecycle.
How can people support your brand during the current pandemic we are facing?
It sounds cold, but it isn’t: “put your money where your mouth (and your ethics) are”. So many people don’t consciously realise that what they spend their money on, ultimately is a form of “voting” (e.g. the product, and this the company that produces it). If you feel strongly about a brand's cause, it’s a stance in the market, and so forth, vote for it by purchasing its products or services.
If you had to choose one product from the Cheaky Co range, which one would it be?
O.R.B.S (see our soundtrack )
What advice would you give to someone looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
Read and gain a thorough understanding of the very word, then take this understanding and evaluate the choices you are making in your purchases, manner of living, and so forth.
What are your fav sustainable SA brands?
Yuppiechef has always been the gold standard for in terms of having paved the way for e-commerce in SA/showing how a brand differs from a non-brand/corporate transparency/sticking to your mission.
What is your advice for someone wanting to start a sustainable brand?
Once again, first ensure you are very clear about what that means in general, to you, to the industry your wanting to start something within, what current brands are touting this, and what is possible when starting out as a tiny company. In the end, it's essential that you start with ethics/sustainable/fairtrade being a part of the decision-making process right from the beginning; without action, these are all frivolous keywords used to up-sell and promote vague ideas which are used erroneously within many industries.
Start small, say what you mean, do what you say and don’t get caught up with the words.
The Coronavirus has affected every person around the globe in some way. And while we would never say that a pandemic is positive, we have seen some changes in the way businesses and individuals live. How do you think the world will change once things go "back to normal".
I’ll stick to what I know: I definitely think SA’s e-commerce industry will have seen its base line (sales/traction) increased, as many would have come to realise (through a pandemic monopoly of sorts) that paying that courier-fee to have goods delivered direct to you, ain't that bad.