Times might seem pretty bleak at the moment, but this feel-good, letterbox food service is sure to put a smile on your face.
Like many others over the past year, 22 year-old, Molly Nathan had to put her travel plans on hold when the pandemic hit. Determined to put all the time she suddenly had on her hands to good use , she set up The Social Distancing Kitchen - and rest, as they say, is history. We caught up with her to find out more about the good work she is doing - and Molly has even shared a vegan recipe with us, too!
Tell us about The Social Distancing Kitchen and what inspired you to set it up?
In March 2020, I was set to go travelling through South America and then COVID hit and that plan was very much grounded! In response, I decided to set up The Social Distancing Kitchen (SDK). It began as a free soup delivery service for vulnerable and elderly people in the local area. When this proved popular, we started offering paid meal subscriptions for families around London. At our peak we were delivering over 150 meals a week and driving for about four hours a day. Fast forward and we've gone through lots of different products and finally arrived at letterbox cookie bars!
My feeling is that good food might not solve all the world's problems, but it's definitely a start. My mum is a chef so I've always been surrounded by delicious food. The initial idea behind SDK was to do a little bit of good around the local area but I underestimated how much seeing friendly faces on my deliveries actually helped me get through lockdown life.
What are some of your ethos?
We are a small business with a big social conscience. In 2020, we have embodied this by supporting social causes and various UK and international charities, raising over £3,500. In April 2020, we were lucky enough to partner with The PLOD Foundation - an incredible charity raising awareness for and supporting homelessness, refugees and child bereavement. They have been absolute HEROES through the pandemic and they have big things to come in 2021 - keep your eyes peeled! Over the next two weeks, all of our profits will also be going to FareShare, the UK's largest charity fighting hunger.
Going forward, we are focused on supporting social causes and also becoming more eco-friendly. All of our packaging is 100 percent recyclable and there is no food waste because everything tastes so good. Our hope for 2021 is to form partnerships with small, local businesses to source our ingredients.
What is a Letterbox Cookie? And what flavours/variants do you offer?
If you've never tried a Cookie Bar you seriously need to get on it. It's essentially a cookie, but bigger, more delicious, more gooey and in the shape of a bar. All our boxes have six cookie bars beautifully packed and sent straight through your letterbox. We are always updating and changing our boxes - we had a whole Christmas range, a New Year’s box and Halloween specials.
The Cookie Bars are either Triple Chocolate, White Chocolate or Milk Chocolate. We also offer Honeycomb Rocky Road and Salted Caramel Flapjacks. Keep your eyes open for our Valentine's launch - we will be sending out White Chocolate and Raspberry Stuffed Cookie Bars!
The most recent box is A Little Box of Goodness and it is entirely vegan. We cannot recommend it enough (if we do say so ourselves) it is absolutely delicious and filled with nutrients.
What have been some of the best customer reactions/responses?
The best responses are when someone is sent a box as a gift and they then go on to order boxes for themselves and their friends, because then we know they've gone down a treat. Had a lot of people DM us to say the cookies are potentially the best thing they've ever eaten - so that's encouraging to know.
Why do you think sending post – and in food in particular – gets such a heart-warming/good reaction from people?
I think at a time when everyone feels so disconnected and isolated from each other, there is something so special about receiving a package in the post, especially when you don't know it's coming. Everything is very groundhog day right now, so anything to break the routine is a big plus.
Our branding and cookies have a lot of personality about them, so when you open the box it is sure to put a smile on your face and make your taste buds tingle. Sending little things in the post is a way to feel close with people and let them know they're on your mind!
Why was it important you had a vegan range?
Being environmentally-friendly and aware is so important for all businesses, especially now when the world's problems are so widespread. We were so excited to create an eco-friendly box that tastes f****** delicious and is actually packed full of nutrients.
Any tips for Veganuary?
The only tip I could give is that the A Little Box of Goodness Box will make it a whole lot easier to stick to your vegan resolutions!
What are your hopes for the future?
We are hoping to keep doing what we're doing and always looking to expand. Looking for partnerships in 2021 with ethical brands - anyone reading feel free to reach out! 2021 is for good food, good vibes and freedom at long last (hopefully).
Recipe: Vegan Frozen Yoghurt Slab
The best thing about this snack recipe is that it can be as much or as little of the ingredients as you like, so it's a really easy (and waste-free!) way to make use of whatever you happen to have in your fruit bowl and fridge. Molly has included a rough guide for measurements however, below.
- 1 pot of dairy-free yoghurt (my favourite is Alpro plain or you can jazz it up with any flavour you feel like!)
- Handful of grapes
- Handful of pomegranate seeds
- Handful of chia seeds
- 1 kiwi
- 40g vegan dark chocolate
- All you need to do is a get a big sheet of baking paper and lay it out on a tray (make sure this tray is small enough to fit in your freezer).
- Pour the yoghurt onto the baking paper and spread around, keeping the layer of yoghurt relatively thick (about 1cm).
- Chop all your fruit, seeds, whatever you fancy and stick all of the pieces in the yoghurt.
- Melt your vegan dark chocolate and drizzle over the yoghurt and fruit
- Put your tray in the freezer until the yoghurt has dried and you are able to snap pieces of it off (this should take around two to four hours).
- Et Voila! The perfect vegan snack.
We love what The Social Distancing Kitchen stand for so much that they have offered all Beards & Daisies customers a 10% off promo code: BeardsAndDaisies21