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Grabbing Life by the Bowls

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we talk to Leisha Rae and Hannah Reid, female founders of health café brand Bowl and Arrow

In 2015 Leisha Rae and Hannah Reid came back from their OE, having realised on their travels there was a gap in the New Zealand market for smoothie bowls. 

An Instagram account was made, and the pair trialled their smoothie bowl products at their local summer market. The brand Bowl and Arrow was born.  

Bowl and Arrow’s first market day was a success with over 100 smoothie bowls sold; Leisha and Hannah realised they were onto something. To keep up with demand, Bowl and Arrow transitioned to a brick-and-mortar store in Orakei Bay Village. 

Leisha and Hannah’s story is all the more impressive when it emerges that they were 23 years old when Bowl and Arrow began. At the time, they were negotiating lease documents, dealing with suppliers and clients, managing staff, and handling their accounts. They may have been young on paper, but they’re proof that age is just a number if you adopt the right mindset. 

Bowl and Arrow is now known for breaking the stigma attached to superfoods; that they’re only for the extremely health conscious and vegans. Leisha explains “we want people to feel comfortable with smoothie bowls and make the idea of healthy food fun, nutritious and tasty, not complicated or scary.”

We ask Leisha and Hannah for their advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, and they boldly say “do it when you are 80% ready – you are never going to be 100% prepared or ready to begin any pursuit and if you are then you probably don’t want it or care enough.”

Best friends as well as business partners, Leisha and Hannah say they are lucky to have each other through the ups and downs of running a business. They’re level-headed when making a decision or encountering a risky situation and remind us that “usually when it comes down to it, the worst-case scenario is not that bad. It helps to put things into perspective.”

It’s clear that Leisha and Hannah are passionate about wellbeing, and this translates to their continued business success. Hannah says, “our goal is to always use the best quality ingredients, and this extends to everything we do, including packaging, organic fair-trade coffee as well as giving back to the community.”

Leisha and Hannah are grabbing life by the bowls, and are an inspiration to both young and old with their positive and resilient approach to conscious business. 

Bowl and Arrow recently opened its second store in Westfield Newmarket, and its third store is opening soon in Commercial Bay. 

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