Hayley Gait-Golding - Urban Fresh Fruits, Dronfield
PUBLISHED: 14:05 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:33 20 February 2013
Hayley Gait-Golding challenges the nation's preference to sugary snacks, chocolate and crisps
Fruit Adventurer' Hayley Gait-Golding is a girl with an admirable vision - to challenge the nation's preference for a chocolate bar or bag of crisps. So high fat and sugary snacks beware, for this is one determined young Derbyshire business woman!
Her delicious range of Urban Fresh Fruits has only been available for just over a year but has already been a big hit in the mainstream stores with Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco Express, Morrisons and even some branches of Top Shop all stocking a selection of her healthy dried fruit snacks.
There are 10 intensely flavoured, pure and juicy fruits in the range: pineapple, mango, black cherry, white cherry, banana, strawberry, kiwi, cranberry, papaya and apple. Each little snack pack bag can count as one portion of your five-a-day. Hayley buys direct from overseas growers (rather than through wholesalers) who dry the fruit on site and everything is kept pure and simple with no added sugars or preservatives so the colours of the fruit are kept natural and flavours can really shine.
Her berries and cherries are grown and dried in Europe and her tropical fruits - mango, pineapple and bananas - in Ecuador. She ships her products by sea, as it's more environmentally friendly and as part of her company's sound ethical principles she's aiming for Urban Fresh Fruits to become carbon neutral this year. Her work also includes giving something back to the community with a tree planting project on the go and she also works with one of the farmers in Ecuador to set up a community project of building a nursery for the women who work at the fruit factory.
The bright and cheery packaging was designed by Hayley herself and is adorned with fun and funky drawings by artist Hettie Haworth and light-hearted messages such as: 'added stuff, yuk no way!', 'ideal at 9.07pm', 'like a fruity biscuit', 'like a lumpy smoothy' and 'soooo not chocolate' - which surely can't help but make even the most hardened junk food addict smile! She has recently designed a brand new range of packaging in a soft tactile material which features even more vibrant and eye-catching colours so her range of products will now be virtually unmistakable on the supermarket shelves!
Although all Hayley's products are 100 per cent natural not all is equal in the world of dried fruits. Many are in fact far from being healthy, banana chips have sometimes been deep-fried and others have had their flavours boosted with the addition of extra sugars and then been doused in sulphur dioxide and meta bishulphite to preserve their colour and shelf life ... 'yuk' indeed, as Hayley would say!
Now based in Duffield, Hayley started out as a graduate from Loughborough University and went on to work in various food companies in sales and marketing and then as a personal trainer giving advice on weight loss and nutrition. Clients would often ask what they could eat instead of a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps and her reply of 'an apple' wasn't often met with much enthusiasm.
As a self confessed, life-long fruit junkie (even her wedding cake was a huge carrot cake covered in berries!) Hayley admits to getting through an inordinate amount of fresh fruit every day. Her dried fruit range isn't intended to replace fresh fruits entirely, just to offer an alternative choice. And if you are craving something sweeter and more intensely flavoured than a piece of fresh fruit then dried fruit is often a healthy and satisfying alternative. Little packets of dried fruit you're out and about 'on the go' as they don't take up much room, won't bruise or spoil like fresh fruit and are much lighter than a bottle of juice or a smoothie.
Urban Fresh Fruits is becoming a well known name on the UK's festival and county show scene. It has had a stand at a number of events such as Summer in the Park, The Vitality Show, The Clothes Show, Northampton Balloon Festival, 'Fruit Stock' (the Innocent Drinks Festival) and Chatsworth Country Fair and has further nationwide expansion plans to move into more independent stores, health food shops and coffee shops throughout the country as well as larger retailers.
To go alongside her current dried fruit products Hayley is also developing a range of fun, kiddie-friendly 'sweet' like alternatives made from healthy pure fruit. So next time you reach for that mid morning/mid afternoon/evening sofa-bound treat packed with sugars, salts, preservatives and goodness knows what, think of the virtuous, yet tasty alternative you could be eating if your desk drawer, handbag, cupboard etc was ready stocked with a supply of Urban Fresh Fruits - contributing a portion of fruit towards your five-a-day and saving you from the temptations of an empty-caloried junk food snack!
To catch up with Hayley and her latest fruit adventures
join her on her 'not a blog' on the website at www.urbanfreshfruit.com
Urban Fresh Fruit, Hazelgrove House, 38a Hazelwood Road, Duffield, Derbyshire DE56 4AA Tel: 01332 843549