Alexandra Dudley is the founder of Punch Foods, a start-up company dedicated to producing genuinely healthy snacks that also taste totally delicious. Punch Foods Superseeds are 100% organic, gluten & dairy free, and suitable for vegans (certified by the Organic Food Federation and registered by the Vegan Society).
I’ve always been an early bird and usually get up at 5.30. The first thing I do is stretch. I find it easier to exercise in the morning so often I will go to yoga or a barre class or occasionally spin. I try to meditate daily. I always have a cup of warm water with lemon and cider vinegar before breakfast. It is a great way to cleanse the system and leaves me feeling refreshed. I’m a big walker and tend to walk into work every day. When things are very busy I leave at 6.00 and eat breakfast at work but usually I leave home about 8.00.
I always knew I wanted to work in food. I’ve been fascinated with kitchens ever since I can remember they always seem to be the warm heart of a home. I was brought up on real, wholesome, delicious food and as an art student living in London I became very aware of the lack of this for those on the go. I used to carry little bags of seeds in my bag to nibble on throughout the day but was always breaking the bag and finding seeds in the bottom of my coat pockets. So I worked on recipes and packaging that could deliver substantial, tasty and nutritious snacks on the go, the Superseeds. The best advice I received was to believe in myself. I naturally have quite low self-confidence and often compare myself to others but it is amazing what a little self-belief does. My role models are many! My father is one. He worked very hard and has always supported me. I’ve also met some amazing women who set up their own businesses as well as having babies and they’ve been so kind to me!
I studied fine art at university and was quite tuned into the growing wellness movement. I see cooking and food generally as very creative. I’m one of those weirdos who can stare at a romanesco cauliflower for hours and go on and on about how beautiful it is. I love both food and art. Many people say you can’t do both and in truth I have had no time to paint in the last year but my mind is constantly ticking. My dream is to be able to have a lovely home with a large kitchen and a studio above so I can flit between cooking and painting. Oh and a floor for Punch Foods! I think it’s important to add that I don’t see Punch Foods simply as a snack brand. I am adamant that I will make it so much more than that. It was always meant to be more of a lifestyle brand than just a snack company. I would love to make even the smallest difference to the way people look after and choose to nourish themselves. My favourite part of the job is probably the people I meet. Running Punch Foodshas introduced me to some wonderful people, talented, kind and incredibly inspiring. I think the best part of doing what I do is those wonderful conversations had with like-minded creatives or entrepreneurs out there with a dream. Least favourite would have been numbers but recently I have been rather enjoying that element of it. Maths doesn’t come naturally to me so it often takes me quite a while to work out what I am even trying to work out but the feeling once I do is immensely satisfying. There are minor catastrophes every day with a start-up and at the time it really does feel that the world is going to cave in but by the time you are out the other side it all feels tiny. It’s a little like a really fun roller coaster, there are just bits that are a little scary.
I don’t really have a lunchtime ritual as such but I always eat lunch. Most of the time I bring something in from home. It saves money but it also means I get exactly what I want and know exactly what I am eating. I am big on colour so most of the time it is a big colourful salad along with some organic and clean protein such as eggs or mackerel. My weekly treat is a trip to the Detox Kitchen which is my favourite place to get lunch in London. They do the most wonderfully vibrant salads that are always changing, as well as good protein options. Planet Organic is a great one too. I try to finish work by 6.00, although often it ends up being later. If I am not doing an event or sampling the Superseeds my favourite thing to do is simply to cook dinner at home. My boyfriend and I will spend time talking over our day or making plans for the weekend whilst I make us both supper. Dinner is where I get to be creative so it’s a special time for me. I find cooking incredibly relaxing so it’s the ideal way to wind down after a stressful day. Cooking is my favourite thing to do so I will always make time. I have been making myself packed lunches since I was eighteen so am pretty much used to it now. I like to do a bit of prep on Sunday nights if I can.
As a child I wanted to be an actress. I still love the stage and love to sing. There is a huge part of me that would be incredibly tempted if some lanky cowboy asked me to go and be a backing singer on the road driving through America. It’s a little romantic fantasy of mine but I love the feeling of being on the road. It seems to ground me. I like to travel as much as I can and it is always when travelling that I get those wonderful moments of amazement and bewilderment at just how beautiful life is. It is easy to forget in a busy, fast-paced career and city but whenever I travel I always feel incredibly connected.