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We've just reached the end of Veganuary (yes, it is a thing), with anyone and everyone – including our fave power couple Beyonce and Jay Z joining in on the Vegan action. It’s safe to say healthy, conscious eating is officially cool. Helping jump-start the more sustainable aspects of a new lifestyle are Iranian born Yasmine Larizadeh and Shirin Kouros who have made healthy eating super easy, and tasty too, with the opening of The Good Life eatery on London’s Sloane Avenue.
Already garnering the attention of many, including the likes of Hugh Grant, Adele and Millie Mackintosh, Grazia Daily just had to see (aka taste) what all the buzz was about. Safe to say it was hard to get a word in edgeways what with all the tasty food and cold pressed juices to sample! But we managed… ish.
Arguably London has been lagging behind cities the likes of New York and LA in providing a haven for the health conscious, The Good Life seems to be one of the first to jump start that trend. What inspired you to start The Good Life eatery?
Yasmine: We grew up in the states so for us it was normal, you go around the corner and you grab a bottle of juice. Here, even a nice crunchy salad, unless you are willing to spend 50 pounds on your food is hard to find.
Shirin: We wanted to make healthy eating taste good, and acceptable. In London it’s lacking. The luxury of what we have is we both had a lot of ideas and because I’m a chef we were able to literally sit in my kitchen and try things out. It’s really good to have someone who’s a real foodie and someone who’s really healthy. Yasmine gave the normal; at times she’d be like ‘put some cheese in that’ and I’m like ‘CHEESE!?’ but those are some of our bestselling ingredients. We want it to be something that’s easy and something for everyone.
How did you create the menu?
Yasmine: We did a whole research and development trip in LA and New York… We went there and saw what people are really liking and what they’re eating as well as what we like and what we eat and we kind of just smashed it up.
Where do you source your ingredients? Are they locally sourced and do you support local farmers?
Yasmine: We’re doing our best to have the lowest travel from where we source our food to where we put it on people’s plates. It’s definitely more respectful for the planet to get something from your market around the corner.
What are your favourite dishes at The Good Life?
Shirin: I love the goodness bowl. It’s sort of a play on macro biotic – having a bit of a pulse, bit of a grain, bit of a pickle, some sea weed… a balanced meal.
Yasmine: We've just reintroduced the quinoa burger. They are…. you’re going to die. I’ve been harassed to bring it back.
Your juices are cold pressed – can you explain what that means and why is it better than regular juices?
Shirin: The enzymes in the fruit are where the nutritional content is maintained and heat kills enzymes. So since there’s no heat exchanged when using a cold pressed juicer, the entirety of the fruit is all kept. Also it’s the easiest way of extracting juice out of leafy greens. Parsley and all that is just mush if you put it through a normal juicer.
When did you first realize you had something good on your hands?
Yasmine: I think it was like November / December. We had quite a few really big chefs who started following us on like Twitter and Instagram. From a business perspective a lot of pretty high profile people offered investment.
Shirin: I knew we had something good before Christmas, then we went away for like 10 days and when we came back I remember I was calculating what fruit and veg we needed to start our first day of juice and I did our original order; we opened our doors on that first day and by like 2 o’clock we had sold out of juice and we were packed!
What do you think it is about The Good Life that’s proving so attractive to customers?
Yasmine: Our branding isn’t in tune with a lot of other places that have tried to do this, they either go really hippy or really upmarket and we’re trying to go for a more urban vibe.
Shirin: We don’t want people to think that if they come in here they’ll have to sing koombaya or be like ‘oh because I’m on Sloane avenue...’ it should be a chilled, relaxed way to eat healthy. We’re [also] different from a lot of juice detox companies in that we’re not promoting diet or calorie counting or juicing as like a meal. We don’t want people to think that they can replace food with juice, it should be in addition to, unless you want to do like a one-day juice cleanse or something.
Yasmine: We’re totally against calorie counting, that’s such a syndrome of the 90’s. It’s just lame and people need to stop. Enough, enough with this shit. Eating disorders and calorie counting and like ‘I’m only going to eat half a piece of sashimi for lunch’, enough. Eat! Eat well. But eat!
You’ve gotten support from quite a few celebs as well…
Yasmine: Yeah! Hugh Grant last week. Eva Herzigova - she’s one of our regulars. Adele loves it here… The drummer of the Rolling Stones, the guy from breaking bad – Jesse Pinkman. Zoë Saldana. It’s nice because they’re regular; they don’t just come once.
Everything about The Good Life is very Instagram friendly; from the quirky tip jars to the food. Do you think social media has helped The Good Life at all?
Yasmine: It’s launched our business, 100%. There’s no better advertising, no better marketing that you could ever possibly do. We didn’t even hire a PR until a few months ago. The amount of press that we got from Facebook, from Instagram… it’s insane. For me I’ve always been quite a quirky weirdo so I do that stuff anyway in my own daily life. I feel like since we are the birth of the Internet babies for us it just an easier market to tap into because we know what people find cool and we know what people find funny.
What are your plans for The Good life moving forwards?
Yasmine: We’re looking for a second site now and we’re doing a lot of cross collaborations with certain other stores and potentially supermarkets. We don’t want to go high street though, we want to keep it local.
You’re scheduled for the electric chair. What would be your last meal?
Both: Iranian food, hands down.
Click through the gallery below to see more from The Good Life...
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