‘It seems like a dream’ — The Happy Pear talks passion and porridge

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on RachelKhoo.com and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

In some cases, two is better than one — and this is particularly true of Irish siblings Stephen and David Flynn, who share more than their mirrored appearances. These plant-powered brothers, better known to much of the world as The Happy Pear, run two cafes, a natural food shop, a sprout farm, a range of products, an online shop, courses and talks, and a popular YouTube channel together. They’ve also published multiple books and frequently pop up on FoodTube. Let’s just say this pair can multi-task. We asked these accomplished brothers how it all began, and what they’re up to next:

You started your first business together at 24 years of age. What originally inspired your passion for and love of healthy eating? Where did it all begin for you both?

After studying in college, we went travelling separately on the quintessential journey ‘in search of truth to find ourselves’ for a couple of years. We experimented with food and diets, and found that we felt much better about ourselves, had more energy and were fitter when we ate a plant-based diet; and we’ve been eating this way for more than 14 years now. We always knew we wanted to work together!

In putting your cookbook together you started with 250 recipes that you needed to narrow down… now for a tougher challenge: can you name your favourite recipe?

We both like simple food. We both love porridge and eat it every day. We’ve been giving it away for free in our cafes every morning for around the past six years. I [David] love picnics, where there’s lots of choice and mixing and matching. We also love a little cake every now and then, (who doesn’t?). From our new book I love the pecan pies and Stephen’s favourite is the chocolate salted caramel tart or the vegan Knickerbocker glory.

The happy pear

We love your books, but tell us a little about your businesses too … 

We love what we do and we now have around 100 really great people working with us, who are passionate about inspiring a healthier, happier world.

In terms of our business, we have a natural food shop, two cafes in Greystones, Co. Wicklow [on the east coast of Ireland around 40 minutes from Dublin city], a superfood sprout farm, a range of own-label products, an online shop, health education talks and courses, and we’re also part of Jamie Oliver’s Family Food Tube – the largest foodie community in Europe!

Our brother Darragh runs the food production side of our business and our sprout farm. We now produce a variety of sprouts and shoots, ‘grow your own’ seeds, wheatgrass, and award-winning pestos (sun-dried tomato, lovely basil and coriander) for our own cafes and shop, and for hundreds of retail stores across Ireland.

What’s a typical day in the life of The Happy Pear?

No two days are ever the same for us! We could be doing media, or filming for our YouTube channel or FoodTube, or in meetings, or doing tastings or recipe development, or preparing and doing a talk or health education course! It’s very varied and we love it – we’re not great at sitting still. We also make exercise part of every day and we’ll usually fit in some yoga or a run or maybe a swim in the sea!

Now, be honest, is there any sibling rivalry between two brothers working together every day?

Not anymore! We used to be super competitive with each other growing up but not so much today. Now we focus on working together and have found it amazing. Being a twin means you always have great support from one another, which is hugely beneficial for business.

Outdoor week - The happy pear 1

Can you name your proudest achievement/biggest highlight of The Happy Pear journey so far?

I think we’re probably proudest of the team we have working with us. When we started there was just a few of us and now we have around 100 really amazing people working with The Happy Pear. Sometimes when we reflect back on it all, it seems like a dream – a really fun dream that we’re really proud to be part of!

What’s next for The Happy Pear?

Onwards and upwards! We started The Happy Pear to start a healthy food revolution so we feel we’re only starting to gain traction now. This year, aside from our new book, we’re focused on producing more products for retail, which is very exciting. We’re also hoping to be able to share our message through a TV show one day but really we see no limits to what we’re doing.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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