Healthy juices for Fortnum & Mason from Skinny Malinkys

Skinny Malinkys, Northern Ireland’s leading cold-pressed juice company, has won business for four products from Fortnum and Mason in London, the upmarket department store.

Based in Belfast, Skinny Malinkys is supplying four of its healthy cold-pressed fruit and veggie juices that are naturally low in sugar to the store in London’s Piccadilly.
The cold-pressed juices contain up to 70 per cent raw vegetables, such as kale, ginger, parsley, carrots, beetroot, cucumbers, courgettes and fruit, including apples, pears, pineapples and limes.

The listing from Fortnum and Mason is the company’s first significant retail business in London.

Formed in November 2013 by experienced marketer Paula Heaney, the small business has developed a range of healthy cold-pressed drinks that are delicious, nourishing and cleansing.

Each juice recipe has been cleverly designed to provide a range of benefits and nutrients such as:

Carrot kick-start – a fresh and zingy blend of carrot, apple, ginger and lime to kick start energy levels, the immune system and circulation.

Full Body Boost – a body boosting blend of apple, pear, courgette, cucumbShaunaer, pineapple, beetroot and kale that helps boost stamina and hydrates, its a natural sports drink.

Lean Green Detoxifying Machine – an alkalising blend of apples, cucumber, courgette, pear, kale, iceberg, parsley and lime that helps strengthen the immune system, eliminates toxins and promotes bone health.

DiJUICEtive Aid – a soothing blend of cucumber, apple, courgette, fennel, pear, lime that calms the digestive system, helps protect the skin and reduces inflammation.

Commenting of the business with Fortnum and Mason, Paula says: “I am delighted to have this amazing opportunity to showcase my products in such a prestigious store and in a market that I’ve been targeting for growth. It’s a fabulous platform for the business and should help me to develop a strong foothold there.”

The company has developed a strong base in Northern Ireland for its product portfolio.

Skinny Malinkys – the name is of Scottish origin and first appeared in print in the early 19th century and simply means a slim person – is the outcome of Paula’s longstanding interest in healthy products including those that can be used to assist people recovering from illness or medical treatments.
“The juices are cold-pressed as this retains 50 per cent more nutrients than any other type of juicing and uses high pressure process (HPP) to give us shelf life by putting the juice under massive pressure to kill any microbes that could cause spoilage. This gives us a 40 day refrigerated shelf life. This retains the nutrients as it is never heat treated or pasteurised.

“Drinking fruit and veggie juice is a really easy and tasty way to get your five-a-day, and at Skinny Malinkys we made sure from the outset that our juice is actually healthy.” she adds.

She brings to Skinny Malinkys experience working with major organisations in New York and Dublin and carried out extensive market research in the US.

The company employs a food nutritionist to ensure it is providing juice with the highest possible nutritional value and keeping it naturally low in sugar.

A research trip to health conscious California encouraged Paula Heaney to take a giant step into setting up her own small business specialising in super-healthy, enzyme-packed juices, smoothies, dips, salads and soups.
Paula always had an interest in healthy foods and had run a successful organic shop in her Londonderry home-town.
Running her own small business was always something she wanted to do. At school, she’d been managing director of a ‘footprints to business’ company. Her parents have owned their own business too in the maiden city.
A marketing graduate with hands-on experience including a short spell working in New York for a major corporation, Paula set up Skinny Malinky’s Juices and Smoothies earlier in the year to specialise in cold pressing fresh fruits and vegetables. Cold pressing has been shown to be the best way to preserve essential enzymes and vitamins required for a healthy body.
“I knew it was time after extensive research into the viability of the market in Belfast, a research trip to California and with the global trend towards living a healthier lifestyle,” she says. The name Skinny Malinky is taken from an old Derry childrens’ rhyme – Skinny Malink Melodeon legs, big banana feet, went to the doctors but couldn’t get a seat.
Initial funding for the small business came from a redundancy package. “Redundancies were offered at work and I jumped at it. While others were afraid of losing their jobs, I was skipping round the office as I was delighted that I would finally be free, yet apprehensive that from this moment on I would have no regular income – it was time to sink or swim! And swimming strongly she certainly is.
“Initially I bought the best ‘juice bar’ juicer on the market, but I soon realised that delivering to people every day as I planned was costly and time consuming. I needed to invest in a juicer that kept the enzymes alive in the juice as these are what makes a fresh juice so good for you.
“This was very expensive. I had a business credit card but only £500 limit which had to be cleared within 38 days. We had no overdraft and limited cash flow. I decided to call our Ulster Bank business advisor who arranged for us to have our limit raised to £2,000 – unheard of for a recently opened business. Doing this allowed us the time to make the money for the juicer, pay it off in time and refresh our cash flow.”
The small company’s aim is to provide the highest quality product at the best possible price.
A “huge amount of repeat business” encouraged her to invest in further growth. Customers also included the BBC’s Stephen Nolan , who called in to request a ‘cleanse’ drink for his on going weight battle.
Juices change daily and seasonally depending on what produce is available. She sources the ingredients freshly every day from a local supplier.

“Our bodies can do amazing things, all they need are the right ingredients, that’s why here at Skinny Malinky’s our aim is to make healthy, nourishing food accessible to as many people as possible hence our great prices.”

She says the juices are completely raw, unpasteurized and unadulterated, packed with live enzymes, vitamins, trace minerals and other vital elements for health. They can help with weight loss, detoxand cleanse your system, increase energy, improve complexion, help with healthy hair and strong nails, relieve constipation, counter arthritis, ME and chronic fatigue, help treat eczema, psoriasis, urticaria and rosacea.

“The juices, smoothies and soups that I’ve developed from my own recipes are made from fresh ingredients on a daily basis and are cold pressed to preserve enzymes and vitamins.”

The juice cleansers, she says, rid the body of unwanted toxins, give the digestive system a much needed rest and infuse the body with nutrients. “Juicing fruit and vegetables separates the live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and naturally energizing sugars from the fibre. With the fibre separated the body does not need to ‘stop’ to digest the juice saving energy and giving the digestive system a rest.

“Instead all the nutrients are infused directly into the bloodstream and this gives vital organs essential nourishment. In turn this flood of nutrients replaces the toxins in the body and helps to excrete them, resulting in the body having more energy, feeling healthier, improved skin, nails, hair, eyes and even ailment repair,” she adds.

Paula also turned to Invest NI for help in developing the products by means of an Innovation Voucher. The voucher is enabling the company to increase the commercial appeal by extending the shelf-life of its nine fresh fruit and vegetable juices and four smoothies. Her aim is to develop business outside Northern Ireland by means of her website.

Paula also needed advice on the essential nutritional information required for her labels. She has been able to use the voucher to access this from Loughry campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise at Cookstown.
Smaller companies selling fresh foods often find it difficult to balance the costs of just having the right amount of products available for sale to avoid waste.