Plant powder blends

At the market: Every Sunday in the Main Hall

Contact: Shay Wright & Vinny Lohan

Call/text: 028 523 1560 

Email: shay@elemental.co

Website: elementalfood.co

Instagram:  @love.elementalfood

Shay and Vinny's Story

Shay Wright, Vinny Lohan, and their team at Elemental Food, are regularly at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market on Sunday mornings, sharing their tasty super nutrition blends and having health chats


How did you two meet?

We met at university and we were both active in social impact initiatives.


After university?

Shay joined the Icehouse to work with Māori businesses and food growers, while Vinny spent 8 years in India building a technology company, before returning to New Zealand to support his dad through his cancer journey.


Where did your business idea come from?

When Covid took a toll on those around us, we wanted to ensure that our families had what they needed to reclaim their health and vitality.


We focussed on finding the most nutrient dense foods, and natural medicines from nature. Two years of studying the research and international sourcing trips, drew us to particular foods, herbal medicines, and technology. We heard reports of food becoming less nutritious as CO2 levels rise and felt we could do better than many of the widely available supplements, and with more integrity. 


What do you make?

We make superior powder blends from the best sources of fruit, vegetables, and herbal medicines, that we can find around the world. We work with local and organic growers who we trust. We freeze-dry the foods so they can be turned into a powder while maintaining the flavour, fibre, and nutrition levels and active compounds. 


How do you develop your flavours/blends?

This is pure alchemy! It took more than a year to formulate our three super nutrition blends, balancing potency and nutrient-density with taste, and cost-effectiveness. By carefully pairing the potent medicinal herbs with the delicious flavours of mango, berries, banana, and earthy cacao tones, we have created health foods that actually taste delicious.


What are your customers saying?

Lots of mums regularly buy from us, to nourish themselves and their families. They tell us so many creative ways that they are having the blends – adding them to smoothies, chia bowls, porridge, yoghurt, and even ice cream!  Heaps of kids love them - some call it their ‘growth potion’. Some of our customers are athletes who enjoy it before and after their workouts. Even elderly and people with serious health conditions are giving us positive feedback. And it is a big hit with people on a range of diets - the plant-based/vegan community, and those with gluten, soy, dairy, and nut allergies.


How are you so sure that it is good for you?

Our families have been regularly taking our blends daily for the last six months and are noticing the difference. Ingredients like turmeric, medical mushrooms, kelp, maca, and cacao, can support the body when taken regularly - often it takes at least 21 days to build up in the body.  We also comprehensively lab test every batch. Our latest results just came in and we were delighted at the high levels of micronutrients across the three blends. 


Why do you sell at markets?

Farmers markets are a great way to connect with the community. We love people trying our blends and giving us their feedback each week - they come back and tell us how they have been enjoying the blends and what health improvements they are noticing. 


Where to from here?

We have a big social mission ahead of us, developing an honest food chain, sourcing the best from around the country and the world, supporting growers, and even using rescue foods. We are now working with markets, health stores, and interacting directly with our growing community through our website. 


Do you get any free time?

We both have a love for nature, getting out in the elements, and mucking in on the family farm in the Far North.  When we can, we also enjoy wellness festivals, making music, spending time with spiritual masters, indigenous communities, and discussing philosophy. 

As published in Ponsonby News : June 2024