Saltash woman invents revolutionary plant-based snack range after spotting ‘gap’ in market
A Saltash entrepreneur started her own healthy plant-based snack range after identifying a gap in the market. Alice Harper (26) says she is very much a “one man band” and has done everything herself to make her product the best it can be.
The product, known as Tempiii, is made from tempeh, a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans. Alice says the product is relatively unheard of, but has many health benefits because it is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
She also says it is a good meat alternative as it is a natural product with a “satisfying bite”. The business, Harper’s Health, operates from Callington, but the product is available online and can be collected from Devonport Guildhall.
Tempiii and Harper’s Health initially launched just before Christmas, but with the website only launching in the last month, Alice says it almost feels like she’s just getting started. She said: “We launched around Christmas time, which as you can imagine is quite a challenging time to launch a healthy snack range, but I decided I had to get it out there and the Christmas market was great for that kind of thing.
“It’s done really, really well and in some cases I’ve actually sold out completely, so that’s been really great. Before that I spent a whole year working on the product development side of things trying to get suitable packaging suppliers, the actual ingredients and trying to find a kitchen to work from.
“Also, the website went up a month ago, so I feel like I’ve only just launched.” Alice studied nutrition at university in London and is a registered associate nutritionist.
Alice at an event showcasing her brand new products (Image: Harper’s Health)
Discussing where the idea came from, she said: “Food is my life and this business didn’t necessarily come out of nowhere, but everything seemed to. Last year, when I was finishing my thesis, I had the idea to to create a snack range from tempeh.
“I had it for the first time in Indonesia when I was traveling between uni and I have a plant-based diet anyway, so the product aligns with that. Tempeh is quite unique in that it has quite a meaty texture, but it’s still a bean product and a very very natural thing, so that’s why I wanted to bring it in and make it more accessible to people in the UK. When I finished uni I just thought if I didn’t If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.”
Alice said that if her product ever ended up in a supermarket, she would like to see it in a “grab and go section”. “You open it and it’s ready to eat,” she said.
The product contains no meat or dairy and Alice has developed three flavors: Sweet soy, Tandoori and Fajita. Alice said: “I tried to make them all very different and because it’s a niche product, I made the flavors very recognizable that people would be more familiar with.
“Hopefully, as it takes off, more flavors will take off. Right now, my favorite is Sweet Soy because it’s sweet and salty, so you can’t go wrong.”
If you want to get your hands on Alice’s Tempiii, you can visit her website here.