interview | caroline chang
The last seven and a half months have obviously meant replacing my glass of red or chewy margarita with a big, fat glass of water.
It’s been a lot easier than I originally anticipated, and I have become quite the ice-tea connoisseur (I make my own at home, to avoid all the added sugars and nasties), and I spend most mornings slicing up fruit and topping berries that end up going in my water bottle.
What I’ve also turned to is apple cider vinegar. Now I know this is no newbie on the health scene, but I’ve found that this has been particularly helpful with any “funnies” of the pregnancy, like reflux, an upset tummy or even stabilising blood sugar levels. Plus, it’s freaking delicious, especially when it comes in the form of Applelachia.
If this is the first time you hear the name, grab your bag and head down to your nearest THR1VE restaurant and grab yourself a bottle. You will never believe this almost soft-drink-like soda is just a concoction of nothing but the good stuff. My absolute fave is the passionfruit, and I’ve made sure the fridge has been fully stocked at home during the last seven months.
I had the chance to chat to Caroline Chang, director of this wonderful little bottle of daily ACV.
What inspired you to create the Applelachia range?
Since my teens I’d suffered from IBS and had a serious addiction to sugar – when I turned 23 I was so fed up with feeling sluggish, waking up tired and not feeling like I knew I should. I developed an unhealthy obsession with cleansing, detoxing and tried all these different eating lifestyles which turned into a vicious cycle – I even fasted for 14 days! These all worked intermittently but when I stopped the program symptoms crept back. I always knew about the benefits of ACV so I bit the bullet and decided to SIMPLIFY. I resorted to doing one thing which was drinking ACV everyday.
I started by diluting it in a big bottle of filtered water and sip as soon as Id wake up. I did this everyday for 3 weeks and I realised I’d lost weight, digestion was regular, I was no longer bloated, dark circles improved dramatically and most importantly I stopped craving sugar! I knew it was from the ACV so I went searching the shops looking for a good tasting drink with it but there was nothing.
I had a problem and it became clear to me what the drinks industry was lacking, I was forced to treat myself and it worked! I thought that was cool so maybe I could assist those who have a similar condition to me. It really is a business that I started from my own journey – I am grateful for the gut issues and sugar cravings I used to suffer because it truly is what led me to creating the drink.
How is ACV beneficial for your average Aussie?
Anyone who suffers from;
- sugar cravings
- Sluggish digestion
- bad skin
- dark circles despite still getting a good nights rest
This may be a sign that you either suffer from Candida like I did, parasites, a sluggish liver or an over acidic PH. These are all tied in together.
ACV is made from fermenting apples with water which then turns into vinegar, a byproduct of beneficial living strands of bacteria is the result of this. This is called the Mother Culture.
– acetic acid which can be great for fat burning
– malic acid to tonify the liver
– prebiotics which work synergistically and help feed probiotics to flourish in our gut
This is why it is important to get the cloudy looking ACV – stay away from clear vinegars.
It is also known to;
– balance blood sugar levels
– alkalise the body
– be an anti-fungal
– be anti bacterial
Things like allergies and rashes could be sign of a build up of toxins – our skin is telling us something is wrong. I used to suffer from a bad rash known as dermagraphasism and had to take antihistamines & nasal spray daily before I left the house. I no longer get these rashes and have stopped taking antihistamines all together.
All the above helps support and improve the immune system.
There is also some exciting studies being carried out on Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) and it having a positive impact on improving cholesterol levels. SCFA are found in high levels in ACV.
What are the biggest challenges with running your own business?
I would not exchange my journey and where I am today for anything else but a few things I would consider running my business as challenging would be;
Being a small company and operating in a highly competitive marketplace
Everyone’s fighting for fridge space and big players are offering free stock to allocate the real estate. One product must come out before another can go in. When trying to break into retail, this is the reality of the landscape.
Being a one girl operation
I started Applelachia with no business experience, funding, mentoring and partners. It can get lonely and at times isolating. Having to make decisions which you may not know the best answer to on your own in a highly competitive and corporate environment proves challenging. In saying that, it still is kinda cool being my own boss 😉
…. & then trying to be everything
The nature of Applelachia’s existence is through purpose driven innovation. Because I have just myself to rely on I am focused on trying to be the best CEO I can be, which makes it a challenge expanding the range and product development.
Where do you get your flavour inspiration from?
All my flavours are workshopped in my kitchen. My favourite is the Superfood Cola which is the most innovative of all so far. I’ve taken the traditional cola recipe and upgraded it with better for you ingredients and boosted with my pride and joy ACV.
I look at traditional flavours and upgrade them with ingredients which have holistic benefits.
For e.g the Ginger, Turmeric & Yuzu which is an all round anti inflammatory flavour, the Superfood Cola which contains cinnamon to help balance blood sugar levels which is kinda a paradox being a cola, the Yuzu Lemonade I have replaced lemons with a superfood lemon citrus called yuzu. It is grown in Japan. I work on new flavours whenever I get the chance.
What’s your next big milestone / goal with your business?
I am super excited to be expanding my products range, keep an eye out in 2019. There will be more flavours coming out in time for Spring Summer this year too.