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Meet The Maker: Susan Gafsen, Co-Founder of Pep & Lekker

Pep & Lekker Founder Susan Gafen Interview

Pep & Lekker: healthy Seed Snacks for the whole family!

I have always wanted to start my own business, and be my own boss. But it took me until I was in my 50s to have the courage. Even then, having worked for the same law firm for almost 20 years, I had to go to business school to gain the confidence to believe that I had what it took to be an entrepreneur.

The idea for Pep & Lekker came to me as I was struggling to find healthy nutritious food for my vegan son, Henry. He was a ‘lazy vegan’ and was happy to live on pasta, bread and soya, but he was looking grey, had no energy, and it was evident to me as a Mum that he was not getting the nutrients he needed. 

Pep and Lekker Vegan Rosemary and Hemp Seed Snacks

Respectful of his wishes to be a vegan, I began to carefully scrutinise labels and was shocked that so much of the food that I was buying was not as healthy as it purported to be. I did not understand half of the ingredients on the labels and could see that all the food that I was buying was loaded with sugar and salt. 

My first few shopping experiences of bringing back ‘healthy vegan’ food were a disaster. The rest of my family who were not vegan would not eat it and even Henry was unimpressed. Clearly there was a gap in the market for nutritious plant-based food that tasted great. 

I thought that I could do better so the idea of Pep & Lekker was born. It is all in the name, ‘Pep’ as in a ‘pep in your step’ as our snacks are loaded with protein, fibre and nutrients’ and ‘Lekker’ means tasty. A word with Dutch and Afrikaans origin, that’s also in the English Oxford dictionary. 

Our snacks include 14 all natural kitchen cupboard ingredients, which we list vertically on the back of the pack so that they can be scrutinised. They are free of all allergens (because why add an unnecessary allergen?), high in fibre, a source of protein and low in sugar. In fact, the savoury flavours have no sugar added.

Pep and Lekker Healthy Vegan Seed Snacks

My co-founder Juliette is a psychotherapist, and she understands that people’s relationship with food is a tricky one, and can start at a very young age. So we have provided a range of flavours, and made the snacks very versatile so they can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

I like to eat the Apple + Cinnamon and Cacao + Coconut flavours on their own, my husband likes to add salt and vinegar to his Rosemary + Hemp, and my boys Oliver and Henry eat the Fennel + Chia Seed Snacks with hummus. When the family gathers at the weekend, I add the Cumin & Linseed to salads for a bit of extra crunch and texture. The boys say they don’t like cumin but no one seems to notice!

I hope you find a flavour that is right for you! 

 

Shop Pep & Lekker

  • Apple + Cinnamon Seed Snack, 30g
    Apple + Cinnamon Seed Snack, 30g - Mighty Small
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  • Cacao + Coconut Seed Snack, 30g
    Cacao + Coconut Seed Snack, 30g - Mighty Small
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  • Cumin + Linseed Seed Snack, 30g
    Cumin + Linseed Seed Snack, 30g - Mighty Small
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