Feature picture by Julia Ripard.

I am so grateful for the friendships formed at the gym I frequent. I have met some amazing people like Emma, with whom I have cultivated a meaningful friendship.

Emma is the founder of Honest, a local health food brand that specializes in handcrafted treats. I’m a huge fan of hers and if you know me and have invited me to dinner, I have probably shown up bearing a box of Honest goodies for you to try.

Emma and I have sat down many times to chat over coffee but finally I get to put her in the spotlight and document this chat for you all to read ….

Emma, for the sake of those that aren’t familiar with HONEST, what is it that you do?

Honest is a health food collective, which is all artisanal, vegan, dairy/gluten/sugar free. We are also low GI, so you don’t get those nasty sugar spikes. It’s an online shop that focuses on the ethos ‘Health is Wealth’.

I hope to redefine not only how you think about food, but how it makes you feel. Our delicious, small batches of superfood and love infused chocolates, granolas, breads and spreads will energise, heal and nourish you – so you can have your wellness and eat your cake too.

What is unique about the products that you make?

I honestly (no pun intended) feel that the love I have for the brand and all it stands for is translated into the taste.

Our artisan chocolates are a guilt free indulgence, infused with a pure devotion to your health and vitality. Each bar is handcrafted with traditional stove-top methods, using raw cacao.

What led you to set up this venture?

I have a very long and complicated relationship with food. When I was a teenager I went through a period of eating disorders which really warped my perspective. When I decided to finally stop six years later and focus on my health, it was my way of dealing with the anxiety I had manifested within myself. I would get panic attacks being around food, and I told myself, Emma this is not ok, you’re stronger than this. So I forced myself to face this fear I had, researched a lot, played around with ingredients I felt comfortable with and one thing led to another.

It happened very organically, it made sense. A lot of the time people are quite surprised about how open I am about my previous eating disorders but I think that there’s no reason to feel ashamed and if people were more open with their struggles it would be easier to find a support network, and not face it alone. That’s what Honest is; transparent when it comes to ingredients and mission.

What impact has HONEST had on your life and would you say you’re in a better place for it today?

I feel very grateful for being able to work on something which I love. It doesn’t even feel like work, in the sense that I wake up everyday happy and excited to get to work, experiment, brainstorm, create. It has been very therapeutic to work with food and re-establish a healthy mindset towards it.

As a business, what are the 3 things you prioritize?

My clients are my number one priority, it’s why I do what I do, so customer satisfaction is number one. Innovation would come in second, I strive to set the brand apart from what already exists in the market. Nowadays it’s so hard to do, to come up with something truly original, but I always liked a challenge. Lastly, I would say effectiveness. Honest was never created with the sole intention of profits and sales. I wanted to make an impact and effect change in the way we look at food and our attitude towards health. Even if I’m making the smallest impact, for me that’s a win.

What do you do nowadays to ensure that you lead a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically?

For me, leading a healthy lifestyle in the physical sense was never an issue; I have always been very active and involved in sports in some way.

Mentally I had to go back to basics and address all the emotions and self-limiting beliefs, by incorporating yoga and meditation (as much as possible daily), keeping a journal which helps me make sense of all that goes on in my mind, listing down 3 things which I’m grateful for everyday and focusing on being present and self-aware.

Through your experience have you got any life lessons that you could pass on to our readers?

I definitely urge those facing eating disorders to reach out for help. Whether it’s a professional, a friend, family member, anyone. It’s a very tough step to take but ultimately you need to think about your health. You are more than your body, so don’t minimise all that you are to a number on the scale or a jean size. There’s so much more to a person.

What future plans do you have for HONEST?

It’s always exciting to think about the future, there is so much I would like to achieve through the brand.

However in the near future I’m working on a couple of projects to set up a network for people who are searching for support or to educate themselves on nutrition.

Some pop-up events, stockists throughout Malta and hopefully in a couple of years a cafe. I’m very thankful and humbled by all the feedback I receive so it’s my dream for Honest to find a home soon 🙂

Click here to access Honest’s full product list.

You can find out more about Emma and Honest via Facebook and Instagram or contact her via email on emma@honestfoodmalta.com.

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