This week Domenique Mastronardi, founder of The Happy Era- a company that turns sweet treats into satisfying and deliciously nourishing meals and snacks, takes over our blog! Domenique is currently a Food Engineering student at the University of Guelph, she loves peanut butter and hiking! Oh and also- she really, really can't dance (or so she says)...
What inspired you to start The Happy Era?
It started as a school project where my prof asked us to "either come up with some healthy and environmentally friendly product or write a 50-page literature review about one that exists." So naturally, I got baking. The first version of my waffles actually included leftover juice pulp from Booster Juice which would otherwise be composted. I hope to bring this product back in the future, but for now, I'm focusing on a different recipe.
About the Brand: The Happy Era
We envision a world of more ambitious, excited, and energized people. A world where people put themselves first so that they can be their best for others. A new era. At The Happy Era, we know that happiness comes from within. A nourished body creates space for a happy, creative and energized mind. We create foods with ingredients and nutrition facts that you can trust so that you have more time to focus on you.
About the Waffles!
They're fluffy. They're lightly sweet. The flavours are delicious, some nostalgic and cozy and others bold and fun. Toasting them makes your kitchen smell like you're baking muffins. They're also super filling. They come in quite a few flavours, with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk being my second favourite. My favourite is the Maple flavour because it actually tastes like an Eggo. The Amaretto Cappucino waffles, which my Nonna (grandma) helped me perfect, pack half of an espresso each. There's also Banana Chocolate Chunk and Blueberry for the fruit lovers.
As a health-food lover, and also someone with a weaker stomach, the complicated ingredients in some pre-packaged foods don't always sit well with me mentally or physically. I like to know what I'm putting into my body and also want to know it won't give me a stomachache. Because of this, the waffles are as simple as can be.
Let's talk about the main ingredients:
· Almond flour: high in protein, fats and fiber which all help you feel full and satisfied.
· Coconut flour: super high in fiber which helps regulate digestion and blood sugar.
· Eggs: high in protein to help you recover and healthy fats to give you prolonged energy.
· Coconut sugar: has a lower Glycemic Index than white sugar, meaning it'll prevent a spike in blood sugar and sugar crash.
· Olive oil: high in healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants which help reduce inflammation.
In an effort to make them accessible to more people, they're free of gluten and dairy. We don’t use any artificial ingredients or preservatives either.
What have you learned so far as a Female Entrepreneur?
A mentor of mine shared a quote with me that sums it up well: "I'm on this path until it no longer serves me." To me, this means to live in the moment, take opportunities as they come, and to stop stressing over my decisions because I'm not glued to anything. Who would have known that a course from an engineering degree would have unlocked my passion for me! I hope this inspires you to treat yourself a little more gently and to be open to new things.
I recently learned that I can't use my mom as my only sous-chef forever, even though we'd both love for that to be the case (right, mom? 😉) So I’ve paused sales while I work to expand my kitchen capacity to accommodate more orders and become available in stores! You can sign up for our mailing list on our website to be the first to find out when the waffles become available again. I also cannot wait to introduce more products. Any requests?!
Be sure to check out The Happy Era and follow along on their journey-
Facebook: The Happy Era