This isn’t the first time that I’ve had the pleasure of being in Sophie Hechinger’s company, though things are very different from the first time I met her a year ago. She had just set out on her journey as the founder of the The Rawesome Factory – the professional extension of a personal smoothie experiment designed for better health. In just a matter of months of deciding to start her venture, she had fully embedded herself into the startup scene by hijacking a space at Le Labo, a cafe well known for hosting Berlin’s energetic entrepreneurs. In doing so, she established a reputation for her conscious approach towards health and became a regular guest at SoundCloud, where she made smoothies as part of their food programme.
As a natural innovator, Sophie makes things happen. She’s embraced all the challenges that come with setting up a food business and despite Rawesome’s popularity, she describes how she decided to take her passion in new directions as, “in the end I found out that it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to”. She goes on to explain, “I don’t know if it’s going to be Rawesome again, but I have ideas all the time, I want to make nut butters and superfood bars and raw, vegan milks. I’m always inviting friends over, so I’m always trying stuff out.”
Today, I’m sitting in Sophie’s kitchen as she’s casually throwing ingredients together. We’d arranged to photograph some of her smoothie recipes, but as it turns out she is also making some bread and cashew nut cookies for us to eat as we talk. And, when I ask her if she’ll be sharing these recipes with us, she modestly says, “oh, I don’t really use recipes, I just make them up,” and I laugh, because when it comes to cooking, Sophie’s just naturally intuitive. She’s been vegetarian, she’s experimented with eating raw, found herself trying paleo, and with every new approach she’s become more creative with supporting herself in the right way for her body.
Having experienced the intensity of working in the startup community, Sophie is acutely aware of how it’s not always simple to prioritise health – people are constantly searching for, as she puts it, a “body-hack” – something to keep you powering through the days, which often merge into one. Sophie’s passion for focussing on what the body needs, “it’s just seriously one of my favourite topics ever”, made conscious eating more accessible with Rawesome resulting in a large, varying customer base who now sorely miss her.
Although her approach may have changed from “tuning and hacking your body” since leaving the startup scene, Sophie continues to explore food as a way to make you feel energised. At the moment she thinks that, “a healthy vegan diet is the best for your health – and is the best for the planet and animals”.
As a natural influencer people’s perceptions around her are changing – just by cooking for people she’s shown them “how awesome vegan food can be”. Her face lights up as she tells me about a Whatsapp message she recently received following a long discussion with a friend that read, “actually, after thinking about it for a while, I really don’t see any benefits of eating meat, I’m going to be a vegetarian now.” Laughing, she says, “It’s like, strike! But of course everyone can eat whatever they want to eat!” She goes on to explain that, “sometimes all it takes is time to make a switch in your diet, you need to educate yourself about it, or you need to go shopping and you need to think about new things that you’re going to eat or replace stuff with.”
Sometimes all it takes is time to make a switch in your diet, you need to educate yourself about it, or you need to go shopping and you need to think about new things that you’re going to eat or replace stuff with.
With the cashew nut cookies, fresh herb-tomato-nut bread and Rawesome’s Detwin smoothie happily tried and tested, I leave her apartment feeling nourished and with no doubt in my mind that anything Sophie gets involved with in the future will be full of passion and personality.
If you want to become vegan, try a raw food diet first because after you’ve gone raw, eating vegan is easy!