Friends of Begg and Co - The Happy Pear
We started the happy pear as a veg shop in 2004 age 24 to try to create a happier, healthier world and build community
It’s gone from Steve and Dave to now we have a team of 120 people and the business turned over €10 million last year. We have 33 vegan food products in nearly 1000 stores in Ireland, 4 cafes, our most recent on in Dublin airport and the first plant-based and fully compostable cafe in an airport globally. We have sold 1/4 million cookbooks (we have 3 x no 1 best selling cookbooks and have 5 online courses that we have partnered with plant-based doctors and experts - that we’ve had 35,000 people through from 73 different countries.
We have over 1 million followers across all our social channels including nearly 30 million views on our youtube channel. We have a farm, coffee roastery, studio for filming and love what we do!
How is life in Greystones at the moment?
It has been quiet, but people are starting to come out and about again which is nice, and people are more present, and less elsewhere and distracted.
What are you doing to stay positive?
Spending time in the sea, time with my family and a lot of time outside. That really helps me, I also exercise every day.
We know that you are an early riser, can you tell us a bit about your routine?
I tend to go to bed pretty early, around half 9/10 after I’ve put my kids to bed. I tend to get up around 5, even 4.50 am because I like to swim in the sea at sunrise.
So normally I’ll start the day with a swim at sunrise, come back home, in recent times I’ve started meditating and training, then I have breaky with the family and go and do a bit of work.
Do you have any tips that would help us get up in the morning?
The number one thing in terms of consistent sleep is regularity, we all have this thing known as the circadian rhythm, and the more you can go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, it’s easier. So if you do want to start getting up earlier, I think the key is going to bed a little earlier. Matthew Walker is a great specialist to learn more about sleep, you should check him out.
We are about to launch our collection called The Lido, which is one of our favourite outdoor pools in Scotland. We know that you are a keen open water swimmer, could you tell us a little about your journey here? Why you decided to start this, and what benefits you get from it?
We’ve grown up in greystones by the sea our whole life so swimming in the water is always something we’ve enjoyed. In recent years, we’ve started swimming at sunrise and that just happened spontaneously, and it’s grown from me and my friend Neil and Dave to some days where there can be 50 to 100 people there. We’ve even had events where there’s 1000 of us on the beach for a swim at sunrise. It’s an amazing thing.
I get a wonderful feeling of being alive, I get a wonderful connection with nature, wonderful sense of presence, and a sense of cleansing of distraction, I guess nowadays in the digital world there can be a lot of information and stuff coming in all the time, but when you go back to the sea you’re like ‘everything is well in the world’ so yes for me it’s extremely beneficial.
Have you learned anything new about yourself during this time?
I’m enjoying meditating more and trying to find more ease in my life, I think modern-day culture often encourages people to pursue materialism as a means of contentment and I guess I’m focusing more on finding more ease, more joy and more calm in my life.
We love your books but if you could pick a recipe or two to share with us, what would it be?
In terms of dessert, there’s a lovely Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe that’s beautiful and easy to make and so tasty. In terms of mains, I think on Monday we posted grilled veg and pine nut linguine, and it’s beautiful, well worth trying.
Can you describe your perfect day at home?
Home for me is Greystones, I live across the road from one of our cafes, and about 500 metres from the beach. My perfect day would be me going for a swim at sunrise and meeting some friends down there, have some tea and a chat afterwards. I'd then come back home, do a bit of training, have breaky with the family and enjoy some time in the café working away, and then back with the family again, and for me, that would be perfect.