“Things change, you think you know what almond milk tastes like because you tried it a year ago, try the new kid on the block!”
Meet Cameron Earl the creative mind behind Almond Milk Co. When we met with Camron it wasn’t just his passion for creating a delicious alternative to soy/dairy that excited us, it was his dedication and enthusiasm for creating an environmentally sustainable product, educating people about making healthy choices and his support of our growing local industry that really fascinated us.
Cameron, can you tell us a little about Almond Milk Co?
Almond Milk Co. was started about 8 months ago as a personal replacement for soy/dairy. I was running a café at the time (The little Ox) and decided to trial the milk. The response from customers was overwhelmingly positive. Fast forward a few months and Almond Milk co. was making around 70 litres a week, and in turn caught the eye of my now business partners Ben Avramides and Tommy McIntosh of Tommy Collins Events. The inclusion of Tommy Collins Events got Almond milk co a space at the Melbourne coffee expo, and has grown the company from 70 litres a week to over 800!
Why did you start Almond Milk Co?
Almond milk co. came about out of a combination of curiosity and necessity. I haven’t been able to drink dairy for a while now, and have been forced to drink soy for years if I ever wanted a latte. The inclusion of almond milk in my fridge at home in the last year left me wondering if this was the best almond milk I could get, and it turns out the best hadn’t been made yet. The most commonly available almond milks were long life tetra pack milks that didn’t taste anything like almonds, so I decided to research the possibility of making my own milk. The first few batches weren’t the best, but as my understanding increased, the milk improved. I think it tastes better than normal milk now.
If Almond Milk Co was a person, how would you describe them?
Kind, healthy, alive, sweet, real, confident, innovative, interesting, exciting, a conversationalist, and adventurous.
What was it that attracted you to the health food industry?
I’ve been a part of the hospitality industry since I was 13 it’s always made me happy. In recent years I’ve just been watching the industry change focus to a healthier eating environment, I want to be a part of that movement towards intelligent eating. I love food, people and educating. I’ve created a product I’m proud of and want as many people to have access to as possible.
Have health and wellness always been important to you?
I think the older you get the more health becomes a dominant part of your day. I’ve always been conscious of what I eat and balancing that with an active lifestyle. Growing up in New Zealand there was always a huge focus on outdoor exercise and living, and utilizing the amazing fresh seasonal produce available to us. So health was just a part of day-to-day life, I think what we are seeing now is how many people don’t/haven’t had that same experience, and need educating.
When do you feel most balanced?
After a cold swim on a hot day, there’s something about submerging yourself under water and just listening to the bubbles that’s incredibly calming.
Do you think Australians are finally starting to take notice of their health? What changes have you seen?
It’s hard to tell whether the shift is social or environmental. We’ve seen a commitment from Australian government (e.g. school health) as well as increased media attention to promote healthy living in the past few years, but it’s the people/individuals that take that concept and make it community based and local that are seeing the changes.I also think with the change in legislation requiring nutrition and health related claims must be substantiated within more specific guidelines has given the public more information than ever before, and more opportunity to research what they’re eating.
Social media play’s such a huge role in our everyday lives, do you believe it’s the key to getting a healthy message out there?
(Laughs) Absolutely but it must be in parallel with people that are willing to implement that message. It can’t be just pretty pictures; it has to create involvement also.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop caring so much about what other people think of you in the long run it won’t matter, to stop eating so much white bread, ask for more help in Chemistry, dream bigger! Start salt therapy NOW, Go get your shoulder checked by a physician, Don’t buy the stink bombs, Listen more to your grandfather; he’s not around forever and Start cooking more.
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do you prescribe to any particular eating style?
It’s funny, I avoid gluten, I agree with some of the principals of Paleo, but I don’t like missing out. So it’s more about listening to my body, if I’m abnormally tired, why am I tired? What have I eaten this week that was a treat, and how do I counter that with good cleansing food. I call it a zeroing way of living, trying to keep the balance between good and bad foods.
Now to your delicious product! What are some of the best and unique ways to enjoy your product?
On cereal, honestly I’m obsessed with having it over GF cereal with cacao nibs. I’ve been using it in laksa a lot; it’s got a lower fat content than coconut milk/cream and tastes amazing with south East Asian spices and herbs Great for raw desserts, I‘ve had a friend of mine, “Detox Canteen” using it in her raw desserts and they’re amazing
What does a day at the Almond Milk Co office look like?
It starts the day before, soaking the almonds for production that night/morning. 14 hours later they’re ready to be processed, blended, strained and pressed then bottled by hand and awaiting delivery at 6am. From 6am onwards its deliveries throughout Melbourne upwards of 250 litres on any given day. Sample drops, and meetings throughout the week, with preparation for another night of production starting at 4pm.
What are your plans for the future of Almond Milk Co? Would you like to expand into other products?
At this stage my focus is on getting raw, preservative free, unpasteurized almond milk to as many people as possible. If that is successful we can look at flavor ranges and collaboration’s. I want everyone in Australia to be able to buy Almond Milk Co.
As a growing business, what are some of the simple ways people can get behind businesses like Almond Milk Co?
Just try the product, just once, and if you don’t like it, at least you have an educated opinion. Things change, you think you know what almond milk tastes like because you tried it a year ago, try the new kid on the block, the local, Australian made and just see if you like it. And if you do like it… TALK ABOUT IT! With your friends, family and colleagues.
Where can we get our hands on some delicious Almond Milk Co?
Our website is only small and developing, but we do have a map with all our locations, even the café’s sell our milk retail (if you ask nicely!)
Want to know more about this local talent? Find his witty answers to 26 things – about Cameron – Twosix Friends
Where can you get your hands on some delicious Almond Milk Co…These inner-city cafes are just some of the places to ask for your Almond Milk Co Latte!
Station Street Trading Co
Feast and Merit
Brother Buda Budan
Have you recently switched to almond milk? What was your experience or opinion of this tasty new milk option?
Leave your comments below.