Fiovana is the brainchild of David Folkman and Craig Jones, two ex-innocent drinks employees.
Spurred on by the fact that water, ‘whilst keeping us alive, just isn’t exciting.’ They decided to create a range of better-for-you cordials blended with superfruit extracts and coconut sugar.
Available in an array of interesting flavours including Yuzu, Spanish Lemon and Lucuma, Lime, Mint & Baobob and Blood Orange, Carrot & Maca.
Fiovana drinks offer a flexible subscription service, from £9.99 a month for three beautifully designed bottles delivered straight through your letterbox.
David kindly sent a sample of drinks to review.
Lemon, Mint & Baobab
A refreshing and energizing sweet and sour experience, a nice mouth cleanser and pick me up.
Mango, Passion Fruit & Goji Berry
A tropical explosion in the mouth, with a ripe mango flavour paired with tart, tangy passion fruit.
Pomegranate, Cherry & Cardamom
A clean taste of pomegranate coupled with juicy cherries, though not as much cardamom as I expected (I am used to cardamom crammed chai tea.)
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to refined sugar, sweetener filled squashes and cordials, try Fiovana’s range of mouthwatering cordials.
Q&A with David
How do you go about concocting the superfruit flavours?
Craig (my business partner) and I used to work at innocent drinks. The then head of product developed, Lucy Thomas, now works with young brands creating new products – Lucy helped develop all our products and came up with the idea of using coconut nectar as a way to sweeten our drinks.
What is the most unusual flavoured cordial?
People buy our drinks because they’re all quite unusual and not the sort of flavours you find in the shops. I think the most unique is Yuzu, Spanish Lemon and Lucuma, it has two better-for you ingredients that most people don’t know; Yuzu and Lucuma.
So we hear the terms superfood/ superfruit a lot; what are some of the benefits of drinking Fiovana cordials over other types of cordial/ squash type drinks?
We don’t make any claims that our drinks will promote health, by the time they have been diluted with water there’s only a small amount of the good stuff in them. We include the unusual ingredients for two reasons, taste and also to introduce people to better-for-you ingredients that they may not have heard of. Our hope is that they’ll then look for them to include within their regular shop. Compared to other cordials and squash our drinks are significantly better for people in general. We have about no refined sugar and no artificial ingredients that make us unique in the category.
Your packaging is beautifully eye-catching. Tell me about how you work with International Artists?
Thanks you. Carrying on the theme of being unique compared to other brands sitting on supermarket shelves, we were keen to make sure our bottles look beautiful, almost collectible. We worked with three illustrators to design our bottle labels, one is from London, one from Barcelona and one in Berlin – we took an international approach to make sure we worked with the best European talent we could find.
Find out more about Fiovana cordials subscription service here.
I had a chat with Actress Bella Heesom ahead of her show at The Place Theatre in Bedford.
You can read our chat here.
Wandering down the dark stairs at London’s Kamio venue, I was struck by a feeling of dread. Mostly because the walls are painted in a red and black vortex design, which got me thinking what’s at the end of the stairs? Where does it lead? To a circus of hell?
Not quite, I was about about to interview Strong Asian Mothers, ahead of their first headline show of the year.
The room was dark but surprisingly spacious, band members, support acts and the backstage crew were busy clattering around onstage.
Drummer Josh and I waited politely whilst Strong Asian Son Amer was nestled in the sound booth. The next thing I know he drops to his knees and rather frantically searches for something in the dark – a micro SD card it turns out to record the gig on.
Lead singer Kalim aka Khushi’s delicate vocals drifted from the green room.
Strong Asian Mothers, released their latest EP, Animal earlier this year. I sat down for a chat with the band whilst they chowed down on Sainsbury’s Finest baguette and tzatziki that might’ve been slightly off.
Have a listen to our chat below:
The Animal EP is out now.
Doug and Mark Rowe are the kind of food geeks that, “you see in the shops inspecting the ingredients labels on the back of every product.” Hands up if you do the same.
The brothers are on a mission to help people cut out the junk and ‘food like products’ from their diets.
So they started making Nookie Bars, snack bars without a lot of the usual nasty ingredients – they’re gluten free and dairy free too.
There is still CHOCOLATE – CHUNKS OF IT!
Doug from Nookie Bar HQ kindly sent two flavours for review.
The Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip bar is smooth and not too sweet plus it has a strong taste of sesame seeds – which I liked, my fussy sister not so much.
My personal fave is the dark green Almond Butter, Spirulina and Chocolate Chunk flavour – don’t worry there’s no sign of Spirulina’s pond water smell or taste! (My packet of Spirulina powder is still hiding away in a cupboard. Do I put in food or make a face mask?) It’s a lovely chewy textured bar with an earthy taste and delicious chunks of choc on top.
The bars are small but satisfying and make perfect toppings for overnight oats, puds or just munching on the go.
Why not try chucking some chunks on top of your morning smoothies or Easter bakes.
I had a chat with Doug to find out more.
– What inspired you and Marcus to create Nookie Bars?
It was Marcus’s work over five years or so prior to us launching. He has always been into clean diets and he wanted to help people have a better option when giving themselves a treat.
The traditional confectionery bars such as Snickers – which you will see our peanut bar has a similar taste to – is just full of low grade ingredients. Thus could we produce something that tastes as good but is actually so much better for you. Healthy people are happier people!
What makes Nookie Bar’s unique?
We believe it is the fact that we have created really great tasting snack bars but without a lot of the nasty ingredients.
We’ve also run a chocolate theme through the brand. We conch our own chocolate recipe in London. All of the above comes as well with the bars being gluten and dairy free.
If you look at some brands like KIND who have some tasty products that are pretty clean but their third ingredient is glucose syrup. NAKD bars are the combination of nuts and seeds and sell really well but we’ve tried to get a more interesting bite taste.
– What are your plans moving forward?
We are trying to get in to more retail outlets so that we can grow our customer base. We’ll most likely be looking to add some new flavours to the mix in the second half of the year. And we will also be looking to hire our first full-time member of staff.
I’m looking forward to seeing what flavours the Rowe Bros come up with next.
Find out more and buy online over at the Nookie Bar website.
I had a noodle about at the Concept Y Store in tucked away in Soho’s Farrier’s Passage.
This cosy shop stocks a range of affordable, design led pieces from around the globe.
I had a chat with the lovely Laura who runs the shop plus she picks her fave pieces.
- You mentioned the Cock Heart jumper is really popular, why do you think it’s struck a chord with shoppers?
Laura: Yes Cockheart is super popular. Fashion can be taken really seriously, so Cockheart is lighthearted and refreshing for people to see. Also, I guess lots of people heart cocks!
- Are today’s shoppers interested in whether brands or pieces are ethically made or eco-friendly?
Laura: I think customers are definitely more aware of ethical fashion and the impact it has on our planet, industries, people etc. Although I do think there is a long long way to go and people should be more interested in the story behind the products they’re buying!
- Following on, of the brands you currently stock which are best suited to ethical and eco conscious shoppers?
Barocco Jewellery – Real London nuts and blackberries all cast in England.
MT Label Jewellery – Made out of recycled materials.
- Yoshi purses! Real leather and handmade in England(in-store only)
So there’s jewellery made from real nuts, duck brolly’s and cockheart jumpers, plus some ethical bits and bobs too.
What more could you want?
57A Brewer Street
If you’re looking to live a greener 2017, one of the most eco-conscious changes you can make is a reshuffle of your attitudes towards fashion, consumerism and secondhand clothing. I stepped away from fast fashion a year ago, and I haven’t looked back since.
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to climate change, second only to oil. ACTUAL OIL. A lot of this is because supply chains are long with many components; and often these components involve underpaid, sometimes underage, workers in terrible conditions. And then let’s talk about waste, as Greenpeace points out
‘400 billion square meters of textiles are produced annually, of which 60 billion square meters are left on the cutting room floor. Each year over 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide, and after its short lifespan, three out of four garments will end up in landfills…
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