““We’d like to see Sweet not Sugar evolve from a position of strength, where people have the confidence that we don’t just make keto stuff, we live it ourselves.””
One of Nelson’s latest food offerings, the new Sweet not Sugar store on Montgomery Square, has a name synonymous with keto, and two owners who live and breathe a sustainable method of low-carb, high-fat eating.
Now available at the Sweet not Sugar store is Sweet not Sugar’s newly launched range of sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, diabetic friendly, low-carb baking mixes, a gorgeous cabinet full of takeaway keto friendly sweet and savoury treats, as well as a range of locally and New Zealand made keto friendly drinks and food products from like-minded suppliers.
Sam Wilson and Paula Kilkelly embarked on their own keto journey two and a half years ago.
Like many who embrace keto, Paula turned to the eating regime to shift the weight she had gained during pregnancy.
“I thought it would be a diet, that I would lose weight then go back to eating normally.
“I lost 17kgs in 12 weeks. That was two and a half years ago and I haven’t looked back.”
Sam meanwhile was starting to get a bit of food envy watching Paula prepare her stunning keto meals.
He got on board a year later, and while he didn’t have weight to lose, he says that he immediately noticed his energy levels were so much higher, he was more mentally focused, had no bloating, and experienced a general feeling of wellbeing from ditching the carbs.
Sam gave up a 17-year career in the brewing industry and a passion for beer to start Sweet not Sugar with Paula.
“If a brewer can do low carb, anyone can,” he says.
The couple have since evolved their own keto diet into what they call a sustainable form, where they allow moderate carb vegetables for greater nutritional variety.
The Sweet not Sugar range has been available at markets, and the new store officially opened early July.
Paula and Sam say Covid-19 gave them the push they needed to take the next step.
“Cafes and social spaces were the first places to close, and since we used to supply to cafes, that affected us.
“Covid-19 pushed us to develop our dry mix range so we could get our food out to people to make it themselves, at home.
“Our dry mixes have a very good shelf life, and we put as much in them as possible to keep it simple.
“People are sharing pictures of what they’ve made and it actually looks the same as when we’ve made them!”
As Sweet not Sugar continues to evolve, Paula and Sam are now working flat tack in their commercial kitchen to hand mix and package their dry mixes and prepare cabinet food for their store and for other local cafes.
They get plenty of enquiry from outside of Nelson and while not currently available, the couple is already thinking about their next step.
“We are looking at having more of an online presence and distributing through another online keto distributor. We would need more staff.
“We’d like to see Sweet not Sugar evolve from a position of strength, where people have the confidence that we don’t just make keto stuff, we live it ourselves.”