Make it Raw was born in 2011 from a passion for wholesome, raw food and a desire to provide delicious options for the health-conscious and those on restricted diets. After noticing a gap in the cracker, cereal and muesli bar market, Julia Warren set about creating a tasty range of raw, gluten-free food in small batches. As a track and field athlete during her teenage years in North Canterbury, Julia developed a talent for coming up with healthy meals and snacks: “Even then I was interested in food that is more nutritious and better for the body.”
Her interest grew while working at a health food store in Auckland; learning how to activate and sprout foods to release their full nutritional benefits. Julia and her husband, Max, moved back to Christchurch a week before the February 2011 earthquake. As an architect, Max found himself with plenty of work, but Julia needed to get creative and Make It Raw was founded.
She opened a stall at the Ohoka Farmers Market and the business grew from there. It’s since expanded into a team of like-minded individuals and Make It Raw products are stocked in more than 65 stores throughout New Zealand. Continually striving for healthier living, every batch is still handcrafted in the team’s kitchen.
From wholefood crackers and ‘grawnola’ bars to chocolate, tarts and sweet treats galore, there’s something for everyone at Make It Raw. Whether you’re gluten-free, dairy-free or simply keen to avoid these products, you’ll love Make It Raw’s assortment of treats. All of their sweet desserts are free of refined sugar and eggs.
Plant foods are full of nutrients and enzymes. Heating them above 46 degrees can destroy many of their beneficial properties. Make It Raw products are dehydrated at low temperatures, so the ingredients remain alive and have the best potential to nurture your health and wellbeing.
Why North Canterbury? Both Max and I grew up in North Canterbury: Loburn for me and Ohoka for Max, so it was probably inevitable that we returned here eventually. With Olive, 2, and Poppy on the way in 2018 we wanted to make the move out from Christchurch and luckily came across the perfect section in Waikuku Beach. We moved into our brand new house in June this year and love living in Waikuku. For Make it Raw the biggest drawcard was being able to pop my container kitchen on my mum’s back lawn in Fernside! When we were starting out that was a much more financially viable option than hiring a kitchen in Christchurch.
What is your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? As we are right at the beach we love heading down there early for a walk, surf or just to make sand castles with our girls.
Name your top three North Canterbury brands (other than your own!): Ohoka Farmers Market – this is where Make it Raw began and we wouldn’t be what we are today without the market. Black Estate – we have had a few Make it Raw Christmas parties there and Max and I have celebrated a few milestones sipping their delicious Pinot Noir. The food, the wine, the atmosphere and view just make this place so special. Three Lamas Coffee – gotta have good coffee!