A Cup of Chai With Heidi, Co-Founder of Ulu Hye

In light of our exciting Easter collab with Ulu Hye - we had a cup of chai with Ulu Hye Founder, Heidi. Born from humble beginnings on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Heidi and Co-Founder Vasia are the first movers and shakers to introduce a world first homemade nut milk base to your day-to-day living. Ulu Hye offers a sustainable yet healthy solution to plant-based milk offerings. One small jar makes 10 litres of homemade mylk.

Let's start with a bit about yourself - who are you and what are you the maker of?

Hi, I’m Heidi and I’m one of the Co-Founders of Ulu Hye. We launched our world-first Mylk Bases in 2017, which allows you to make fresh, plant-based milk in the comfort of your own home in just one minute!

Tell us a bit about Ulu Hye, how did it all start?

Vasia (Co-Founder) and I are best friends originally from country Victoria who’ve always been passionate about sustainability and saving the planet. While we were trying to reduce our household waste, we struggled with how many milk cartons we were using each week, so we dug deeper into the recycling process around UHT cartons and what we found was very disappointing – only a small amount of these cartons were able to be recycled properly, with majority ending up as landfill. This was the catalyst for us to try and find a waste-free solution to
plant-based milks. We engaged a food scientist to help us on our journey and proudly launched our first Nut Mylk Base to market in 2017.

What does an average working day look like for you?

Being a mum of two means that my days are pretty chaotic to say the least. A typical day consists of waking up around 5am to start work before my kids wake up at 6.30am. Once they’re up, it's breastfeeding and changing Arlo (7 months) and getting Zigi (2.5 years) started for the day with breakfast. Once they're sorted, I make my first coffee and then we might take a stroll down to the beach or to the local bakery and then back home for Arlo's first nap. When Arlo goes down, I set Zigi up on the couch with her morning tea and Playschool on the TV (please don’t judge me!) so I can smash out some work. When Arlo wakes up we either go to the gym (the kids go in the creche), to swimming lessons or messy play and then back home by noon for lunch and their nap time, which is when I go back on the computer and smash out as much work as humanly possible.

Afternoons consist of playdates with friends, cooking and eating dinner, tidying up and bedtime routine. Once the kids are asleep, I jump back on the computer for a few hours whilst watching a show with my husband, Tobi. Bedtime is usually 9pm and I decompress with a good book. The work/life juggle is real!

What are Ulu Hye's greatest achievements and what are you most proud of?

Honestly, just still being here is huge. Not only is the food and beverage industry brutal but we've gone through some challenging times (*ah herm* a pandemic!), so just being here, and still growing, is something I’m incredibly proud of.

What's been the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge would be finding a team (manufacturer, suppliers, marketing, etc.) that I trust, know and enjoy working with. Having a team working with you and for you, that understands your vision and are driven to help achieve it is everything. My advice is to hold on to those that you gel with – they're hard to find.

When you've got a bit of free time, what do you like to do?

It's been a while but I absolutely adore scuba diving and freediving. I’m also a book fiend and read one book a week. I also love to lose myself in a good TV show – the kind where you sacrifice sleep to watch another episode. Cooking, exercising, practicing yoga, getting crafty and hanging out with my nearest and dearest.

What's your favourite Ulu Hye Nut Mylk Base? Have you got any favourite recipes you like to create with Ulu Hye?

My favourite is the Nut Mylk Base as it's just so creamy and doesn't taste like any particular nut. It also makes a mean white bechamel sauce!

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Lombok, Indonesia. It's our happy place and I'm dying to get back there.

Are you working towards anything exciting that you can share with us?

So many exciting things! We’re currently working at making our products far more accessible as well as some exciting new flavours - stay tuned.