creative Q&A's, wellness + lifestyle

Q&A with… the pair behind The Pressery, London

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The Pressery, based in East London, was set up by Natali Stajcic and Chi-San Wan who share a love of whole foods and their health and healing benefits. A mutual interest in eating better, but not wanting to sacrifice on quality, led them to discover the taste of homemade almond milk.

As someone who is marginally lactose intolerant, any healthy, but equally delicious milk alternative has the thumbs up from me. Theirs is created from organic Spanish almonds, rich in protein, fibre and calcium. Not only does it taste delicious, either on its own or with coffee or morning cereals (for a super healthy dessert mix it with chia seeds and vanilla or cinnamon until it thickens- top tip!), but the packaging is refined and beautifully minimalist. Here, I asked the two how The Pressery started and what makes almond milk so special.

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How did you meet and how was The Pressery born?

We met through friends about 8 years ago and have always been mad about food and drink, that’s all we’d talk about and our lives revolved around. The Pressery came about after being frustrated with food and drinks claiming to be ‘natural’ when really, when you looked properly at the ingredients, there would be a massive list of things you wouldn’t recognise, so why would you want to put that in your body? We started making our own almond milk at home, then friends and family pushed us to make more and turn it into a business. We wanted to see products on the shelves with integrity and full of super-natural goodness. So we quit our jobs earlier this year and set about launching The Pressery, our first product being Almond Milk – no preservatives, additives or artificial sweeteners.

What do you think is special about almond milk? What are its health benefits?

Almond milk when freshly cold-pressed is the most delicious and healthy version of the current trend sweeping the UK in boxes. It’s already the fastest growing dairy-alternative in the US and outsells soy milk. We don’t see it as a dairy-alternative, but instead it’s a delicious plant-based healthy drink in which you can use for all things you would with dairy milk (cooking, baking, smoothies etc). The dairy industry is not what it used to be, so unless your dairy is from organic and free-range cows, you wouldn’t want to know how that pint got to your kitchen table. There’s a lot on the internet to learn about the dairy industry and you have to dig around yourself. We’re not opposed to cow’s milk. We just feel it’s better for our bodies and the environment to use plant based foods instead to nourish ourselves. Almond milk has all the great benefits of almonds of course: protein, calcium, magnesium, selenium…the list goes on. We use raw and organic Spanish almonds which means they haven’t gone through a heat process, so all the healthy oils remain intact and the nutritional content of the almonds have not been compromised. This also means what with being cold-pressed, The Pressery Almond Milk has a shorter shelf life than what most people have become accustomed to. But we stand by the fact that real food should go off, and not sit on shelves lasting for months and month, and that’s what makes our Almond Milk special.

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How is raw almond milk produced, do you make it in London?

We soak our raw, organic almonds overnight to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from sprouting, so the almonds essentially are ready to grow and therefore their nutritional content is increased. The soaking process also releases phytic acid which we rinse off thoroughly in the morning. We then cold-press the almonds with freshly filtered water from our reverse osmosis machine in our lovely kitchen in Haggerston, London. We do this with our very own hands twice a week and we deliver out to all our stockists on the same day.

What do you hope the future holds for The Pressery?

The answer to this changes daily, as The Pressery brand could be an umbrella for a number of things, but what remains the same still through all our romantic ideas and notions is that whatever we do, it’ll be done with genuine passion and integrity. We’d like to bring out more honest products, we’d like to have a small restaurant, we’d like to start a blog if we ever get any time to fit that in…! There’s just the two of us still, so we’re trying to cover everything but not spread ourselves too thinly.

Thanks Chi and Natali!

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Top two mages: Tomas Jivan at Courier, bottom: The Pressery’s Instagram, follow them here.

The Pressery is now sold in Daylesford Organic, Selfridges London, The Grocery Shoreditch, Pinch Pantry Hackney, Macintyre Coffee Hoxton, La Fromagerie Marylebone, Psycle London, Detox Kitchen London.