“Watch out for forklifts,” Jackie Booth warns us, “they don’t stop.” Booth is one of two smoothie mavens who make up Where the Wild Things Grow, a superfood-smoothie company based out of the Eastern Suburbs.
As we walk through the massive complex of Sydney’s Flemington Growers’ Markets, forklifts carrying crates of sweet summer mangoes and big bunches of curly-leaf kale are zipping within inches of our sneakers, and I believe her. It won’t be the last time that she and friend-turned-business-partner Luisa Hammond-Parker place a friendly, guiding hand on my arm. They know a thing or two about what it takes to maneuver through this frenzied space.
“The first time we came here we were wearing little shorts and singlets,” says Booth, looking around into the endless line-up of male faces. It didn’t take long for the women to learn that the growers’ market is definitely a man’s world.
Thankfully for Booth and Hammond-Parker, when they were just starting out, a friend introduced them to Jono, who would become their main supplier and close friend during their weekly visits to Flemington.
It was back in February when Booth and Hammond-Parker had their first official foray into green smoothies. Both were health conscious from a young age, and the women had been looking for a way to break out of the corporate world into something a little more nourishing, both mentally and physically.
Booth says the major difference between the currently trending cold-pressed green juices on the market and WTWTG is that, being blended, their smoothies retain the majority of the natural fibre that can be lost during the juicing process. Making the smoothies heartier and more nutrient dense than a standard cold-pressed juice.
As we continue to chat through the process of making wholefood smoothies, we’ve been joined by Jono, who excitedly shows us the best stalls to buy the types of produce used to make the three flavours currently on offer from WTWTG; The Super Green, Rose-Berry and Nuts for Cacao.
Picking the perfect recipe of kale, spinach, pear, cucumber, celery, avocado, coconut water, lemon or lime juice (whichever is easier to come by) and a touch of spirulina for their first Super Green Smoothie actually took hours. Booth and Hammond-Parker recount adding and taking away ingredients over and over again to end up with a recipe unique from other smoothie or juice combinations.
“We always wanted it to be a fairly even mix of fruit and veggies,” Booth explains, “not just fruit, but enough for that natural sweetness.”
After the success of their initial trial of the green smoothie, they created the additional two flavours; Rose-Berry, which combines a variety of anti-oxidant rich berries with cos lettuce and beetroot to fulfill the veggie portion of the recipe, and Nuts for Cacao, made with activated cashew nuts, dates, cacao and chia seeds.
As we continue our stroll through the numerous buildings of the complex, Booth explains that each one contains a different arrangement of suppliers, from the organic growers who sell on a smaller, more personal scale (such as to WTWTG), to the largest bulk producers supplying all of Sydney’s major supermarket chains on a daily basis.
“You build fantastic relationships,” Hammond-Parker tells us. If a regular supplier doesn’t have what you need, he’ll be sure to suggest someone who does.
These days, most of the produce for WTWTG is hand-selected from around NSW and delivered to their Eastern Suburbs location. The business has finally grown into a full-time job for both women, which means their Tuesday morning visits to Flemington have become fewer and farther between. But it’s reassuring to see firsthand just how well-educated these market visits have made Booth and Hammond-Parker on the best of what’s around when it comes to nourishing your body.
Where the Wild Things Grow smoothies are available in selected cafes through the Eastern Suburbs, Mosman and the CBD. More information available on their website wherethewildthingsgrow.com.au.