I’m Andrea Orazi, the co-founder of The Chufa Co. and also mum to Teddy & Maeve. My role as a mum really informed a lot of decisions we made when we were setting up our company and helped us form our company values for clean-labeled and great tasting dairy alternatives. The moment my kids started to eat real food, I became hyper-aware of what they were putting in their young bodies. And I started to pay a lot more attention to all the ingredients – I made sure I was buying the best possible options. For me that meant organic, non-GMO, mostly plant-based foods without additives, preservatives, etc. When we founded The Chufa Co., I knew we had to stick to my own rules.

This is such an exciting time for young emerging food brands and I feel spoiled for choice when shopping for my family. I’m also really excited to be part of this movement.

I feel really good when I bring Yoso home for my family and I love how their yogurt fills a gap in the market, not only as an alternative, but a great tasting one! (because that’s the hardest part!).

We asked a few questions about her dairy-free lifestyle as part of this series, Living Dairy Free:

Why are you dairy-free?

Well I am not 100% dairy free, although I feel a lot better when I am, both from a health and environmental perspective. I did go completely off dairy two years ago when my daughter was born – we quickly figured out she had a dairy allergy, which meant I had to cut it out of my diet. It was tricky at first, but luckily, there are so many amazing alternatives out there that made the transition so easy.

Top five favourite dairy-free products?

1/ I love Yoso’s Cultured Almond & Cashew, my daughter and I go through at least 2 tubs per week!
2/ Of course, our products… My top favourite vegan ice-cream is our Strawberry Cardamom – it’s next level. We had The University of Guelph formulate our ice-cream and it is so creamy you would not believe it’s not a cream base! Our horchata is pretty yummy too.
3/ Culcherd’s Herb and Garlic is hands down better than Boursin. And their butter is great (especially on popcorn!)
4/ Nona Vegan’s Cheesy Sauce. There’s no way I’ve thought ahead to soak cashews and this sauce is so convenient and kids feel like they’re getting a treat!
5/ Greenhouse Almond Milk. I was pretty disappointed when it went on hiatus. Glad to see it back!

Favourite local spot to eat that accommodates dairy-free?

Sorelle is great – the food is so decadent and atmosphere so beautiful.

Favourite place to shop for groceries?

The Big Carrot & Fiesta Farms