DECEIVINGLY GOOD FOR YOU
A combination of a sweet tooth and a zest for all things healthy, has inspired two local entrepreneurs to develop their own range of wholefood desserts, writes Gail Bailey
It’s that time of year again when many of us are beginning to re-think our diets and fitness regimes after over-indulging, and one local company is helping us to do just that without denying ourselves a sweet treat.
Ryan McCarthy and Laura Barton, both ex Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Formers, began their business in Ryan’s mother’s kitchen in the village of West Bradford in 2016. Driven by an original concept and passion for a healthy lifestyle, Sweet Deceits now occupies a 1,300 sq ft production area in Guide, where the pair are continuing to develop more products that ensure we can satisfy our sweet cravings without sacrificing our health.
The idea that we can eat chocolate brownies, caramel slice, almond butter flapjacks and chocolate chip cookies whilst still maintaining a healthy diet appeals to most of us and Sweet Deceits show how it’s done. The products don’t taste like you expect a healthy option to, and this was further recognised when the company’s products were recognised by the Great Taste Awards – the Oscars of the food world.
Sweet Deceits initially began producing kits which allowed customers to bake their favourite products at home, an innovative concept and unique idea, which helped them to get noticed. But the plan was always to introduce ready-made snacks into the market as soon as they could: “We saw a gap in the market for healthy snacks as most of the ones we came across were all about dates and nuts and little else! We knew we could create something that had the taste factor as well as the health benefits,” explains Ryan.
“We’d love to tell you a story about how we travelled the world, found a mystical island and some coconuts fell onto our heads, inspiring us to launch Sweet Deceits, but unfortunately, that’s not the case,” says Ryan: “There’s no elaborate story, we’re just two ordinary people who have combined our love of food, sweet treats and indulgence with our passion for health, nutrition and wellbeing.”
Coconuts do however feature very much in the goodness that goes into each of Sweet Deceits’ tasty products: “One of the key ingredients of our recipes is the use of coconut blossom nectar which is a raw sweetener from the sap of a coconut tree. It’s a natural sugar which has a low GI value, meaning that unlike refined sugars it doesn’t cause sharp changes in blood sugar levels – which also means no ‘sugar dip’ and no subsequent craving,” adds Laura.
The focus is very much on ensuring the ingredients are nutrient dense, not high in calories, yet having a taste that is both rich and satisfying: “We count the goodness not the calories,” says Ryan, and this has been recognised by lots of health market leader stockists including Planet Organic, Holland & Barrett, Kettlebell Kitchen and other independent retailers up and down the country, along with Clitheroe’s Holmes Mill.
Laura says: “Every ingredient in our products is included for a nutritional benefit as well as for taste. We want to eat healthily but be able to do it without restrictions and that’s what we’ve managed to achieve with our desserts and snacks.”
All the ingredients are detailed on the company’s website, they are all organic wherever they can be and ethically sourced. One of the most popular of Sweet Deceits’ offerings is their wonderful rich chocolate brownie and Laura, who is a self-confessed chocoholic, explains the benefits of the unrefined cocoa they use: “Cacao powder is one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants and is rich in sulphur, giving us strong and healthy hair and nails, as well as beautiful skin. It even acts as a mood booster by raising levels of serotonin, so these brownies really do make you happy!”
Sweet Deceits is an ethical company in terms of the environment too, and wastage is reduced when the end cuts from the chocolate brownie trays are wrapped and donated to the NHS, where Laura’s mum works, so hard-working staff can grab a healthy free treat during a coffee break: “Being in the food industry has really opened up my eyes to how we produce food,” explains Laura. “Our products are all dairy free, gluten free, predominantly vegan, with no refined sugar and we can do all this without compromising on taste!”
Driven by passion, commitment and enthusiasm the future is certainly sweet for this young company: “We’re ready now to rev it up as we head into 2019,” explained Ryan: “We’ve laid the foundations for Sweet Deceits and are now planning to innovate further with even more fantastic healthy products on the horizon.”