If you're looking for a smoothie & raw dessert heaven and can make the trek to Byron Bay - go to Naked Treaties. I found this place because they also sell their desserts in conscious cafes across Australia. I just had to go to the source....when you enter, this place is an absolute mecca of vibrant, delicious treats filled with ingredients picked with full love and intention. Also keep your eye out for founder and head angel Jemma, who built Naked Treaties in a small kitchen in Melbourne and today leads her team in Byron with full love and support.
What started your own personal journey into raw desserts and smoothies?
It began with me having a serious health scare with cervical cancer in my early 20’s. I knew something had to change and I wanted and needed to create a new lifestyle for myself. It lead me to studying, researching and practicing a wholefoods diet for about 10 years and after years of experimenting with how different foods and diets felt in my body I never felt totally and completely as vibrant and ‘clean’ as I knew I could.
And so, about 7 years ago I went to Thailand and booked myself into a ‘fasting’ retreat and embarked on a 7 day vegetable juice fast with colonics twice a day and herbal supplements to help shift old waste and clear out those cells once and for all!So much shifted for me, not just physically but emotionally and I realised how much toxic waste (and toxic emotion) is really stored in our cells and our colon and how releasing this brought about a whole new way of being.
When I finished the fast they told me at the centre that while I continued to stay ‘raw’ I would continue the cleansing process . Well, I felt so good I didn’t want it to stop! And so for the next 8 months I ate an exclusively Raw Vegan diet. I was positively beaming with life force energy! My moods swings and PMT vanished, my thinking was clear, I had boundless energy and my body felt light vibrant and lean.
I have always enjoyed making healthy raw treats for my friends and family. When my local organic juice bar tried some of my sweets they began to ask if I could make them for the store.
From the beginning, it was simply a beautiful opportunity to share a vibration of love and joy through food.
I think my intentions were surely felt and received because very quickly one shop turned to two, then to three and four and so on! Now I think we have close to 250 shops and it is continuing to expand day by day!
When we outgrew our first little kitchen space and took up residence in a shop at the far end of town, I began to make smoothies for local customers that came by and told me they couldn’t find anywhere decent in town to get a green smoothie! Just like the distribution of the treaties, the smoothies gained in popularity and momentum and when a space became vacant in the heart of town, the Raw Bar was born- a beautiful space for the creation of the sweets and treats that we distribute as well as a social place for smoothies, juices, savory raw lunches and our gorgeous desserts!
Tell us about your journey with Naked Treaties - how it begun with just you in the kitchen and the first "karma" helper who started helping you out to where it is today.
When Naked Treaties first began to take off, I was taken a little by surprise! I quickly had to find myself a commercial kitchen to be able to sell In stores and maitain the council compliances. I found a little kitchen out the back of an organic store in Melbourne that I was able to use but I had to wait for the chef to leave for the day before I could begin which was usually around 3 or 4 pm. And so, I’d get to work mixing, making, rolling all of the balls and cakes. I was so inspired it barely even registered that I would be there some mornings til 5 am! Then I’d skip off to yoga at 6 am, a few hours rest and off id go again. It was intense but it was definitely joyful effort.
Even though I’d be tired I didn’t feel stressed or burned out for a second because I was so lovignly and joufully creating the expansion of these beautiful treats for everyone to share in. one night, one of the girls that worked in the café, Joce, came to me and said ‘ you’re working very hard and late out here, do you need some help?’ as I’d started Naked Treaties with virtually nothing (about $600.00!) and was building it up at the rate I was able to financially I explained to her that I wasn’t quite at the point where I could hire someone but as soon as I was I would love her to come and create with me! Her response was, ‘ Well, I love what your doing and I’d like to give you 3 hours of my time at the end of my shifts to help you. Consider it Karma Yoga!’ (Karma Yoga is when you selflessly give your time to help another without expecting anything in return. It creates good karma for you :-) )
I was floored at the absolute kindness and generosity of this beautiful woman. I accepted and that random act of kindness opened the way for more stores and more orders and it only took a week or two before I could pay her properly! Joce really paved the way for the constant influx of angels that have streamed into this beautiful little business. So any lightworkers being guided toward us wanting to help and be a part of what we are creating. Joce left not long after to go to Nepal and 4 years later returned to Byron Bay with a Nepalese husband and 2 children! Within a couple of weeks of Joce landing in the bay we had her AND her husband back in the family! I’ll never forget the way she held out her hand to me when I needed help. I’m not great at receiving and this was one of my greatest lessons and opportunities to practice allowing others to help and to witness the magic that unfolds when you do.
You cultivate a really amazing community within your staff, tell us about that?
Yes! The Raw Bar is a hive of activity, passion, dedication and fun! It is really important to us to create a space where people feel positive, vibrant and uplifted. The staff are all incredible people and wonderful friends inside and outside of work. Our customers become our family, and as our staff and clientele expands, our family or tribe expands also and the amount of love, joy and support grows day by day!
Whenever I feel a little down, or things become too much, or I wonder how the next piece of the puzzle is going to fall into place, all it takes is for me to step inside the Raw Bar- to see the smiling faces of our staff and the enthusiasm of our customers, and immediately I am reminded and reassured of how perfect everything is in each moment. We take on staff members that want to make Naked Treaties a real part of their lives, for many of us, its not a job, but a lifestyle, the Raw Bar is our own living room and kitchen and no matter what is going on in our personal lives, there is always space and support to work through each obstacle with someone by your side.
Being in the shop requires a lot of energy, motivation and initiative, while we do have supervisors on the floor at all times, the staff are also encouraged to work independently and take responsibility for their own work. It is amazing to see how beautifully people step into their roles and really undergo incredible personal change as they find their feet (or wings!) in the shop. I am constantly inspired by what plays out day to day in the Raw bar and I feel blessed beyond imagination for the staff that have come to call Naked Treaties home and that are helping to spread this dream out into the real world.
Can you share the other businesses you feature within the store ?
Sure thing, we have beautiful things from other gorgeous creative and passionate people that we sell in store:
Ahoy Trader ( Jai’s gorgeous cushions and homewares) - www.ahoytrader.com (has a shop next door to us at Naked Treaties)
Terezka Beck (Tereska painted our magnificent turtle hanging on the wall!) - terezkabeck.com.au
Tribal Feathers (exquisite ethical and cruelty free feathers handmade by gorgeous Valerie) - http://www.tribalfeathers.com.au
Sea shepherd (whale tails with all proceeds going to save the whales! They also donated gorgeous ‘whale aprons’ to us! - www.seashepherd.org.au Ruth Hofer ( all the amazing organic art scattered ove rthe Raw Bar walls!) - www.artistruthcreative.com
How do you come up with all the different ideas and recipes?
Do you know, I have absolutely no idea!!! I just get an inspiration for something and then start mish mashing things together until they look and taste awesome! Its as if something just channels through me, I look like a nutty professor when I’m in one of those states, with food all over myself (my face in particular..) and the entire kitchen. I’m not the cleanest of chefs.. More the creative type! Some things are inspired by basic recipes to build on but most have come completely out of the ether! It can be an issue when you see the size of the menu.. And it keeps growing!! I cant bear to take something off so I just keep adding to it! So.. I apologise in advance for any confusion caused... ;-)
What is your favourite raw dessert and your favourite smoothie? and the biggest instore sellers?
hmmmm, that’s a tough one!!! My favourite smoothie changes every day but at the moment its an ‘I am Manna’ . It’s a zingy blend of Beetroot Kombucha (we brew ourselves in house) Strawberries, Lime, pro biotics, greens,and a super food blend called ‘Manna’ which consists of camu camu (natural vitmain c) goji berries, lucuma, maca, spirulina and chlorella. It’s super awesome! Raw dessert? Well.. That also changes day to day but I think at the moment it’s definitely our new product which is our raw chocolate activated almond brittle with a hint of salt! Yuuummmmm... It’ll be in stores soon!
Tell us about the cacao ceremonies you have been holding?
My beloved and partner in life, Chris Mapstone and I, hold beautiful circles which we call Sacred Sonics. We are working together in love to share the love we have for each other with all by bringing in transformative power via cacao ceremony and music. The path to Sacred Sonics has been a spiritual journey for us both. My personal love affair with cacao began in 2005, via London, Australia and South America - discovering the extraordinary benefits of this raw superfood and quitting sugar and refined food all together. At the same time, my personal practices developed and my connection to the Shamanic path deepened (and continues to deepen). Through various ceremonies and working with the Spirit of the Cacao and may ancient superfoods through Naked Treaties, as well as my deep love for Ancient wisdom, Tradition and the Shamanic path it began to become evident that holding ceremony with the Cacao plant medicine was the natural next step.
Chris is an amazing Singer /Songwriter, he plays the guitar, didgeridoo, percussion, harmonica, wooden flutes and singing. His lyrics reflect his passion and understanding for equality, freedom of speech, self-reflection, relationships, and the environment. Chris believes that music is a very potent and strong spiritual practice, and if done with awareness and intention can have a profound effect on the performer and listeners included.
And so, The Sacred Sonic experience brings together ancient traditions, utilizing the powerful medicine of the Cacao which we drink in ceremonial doses (ie very strong!) with modern music in a symbiotic merging of sound and ceremony, honouring all who have been, all who are and all who are yet to come. We begin with a smudging ritual, then a ceremony derived mostly from Native American and Peruvian traditions, then we dive deep into oursleves listening to Chris’s magical music, then we break for treaties and chai and come back to an open Jam where anyone can join in, share a story, a song, anything that they feel. Or simply lie back, dance or immerse yourself in any delicious way you feel..The combination is a powerful and transformative experience.
We pay deepest respects to ancient ritual while incorporating a modern approach, empowering the celebration of music and ceremony forward on a new path. We both truly believe in the power of co-creation and Sacred Sonics embodies this fully. Its all about inspiration, co creation, transformation and fun! People that have shared it with us report to having some truly life changing experiences. It’s simply another way for me to share my love of inspiring transformation for others in a way that feels wonderful. Just like Naked Treaties, only different!
How does spirituality and food have synergy in your lifestyle?
I have always enjoyed making healthy raw treats for my friends and family. When my local organic juice bar tried some of my sweets they began to ask if I could make them for the store. It made me begin to think about the creation process of food. When I made food at home I would always collect my favorite deities, mostly Ganesh the Hindu elephant God of removing obstacles from our path, and I would say a blessing and ask that the food be infused with love, joy, abundance and clarity. Food holds the vibration of the person creating it, so I always feel it is so important for there to be a positive, conscious intention when making food for others.
From the beginning, making treaties was was simply a beautiful opportunity to share a vibration of love and joy through food, I had no idea it was going to turn into such an expansive business! But as soon as I began, one shop quickly turned into two, then to three and four and so on! Now I think we have close to 250 shops and it is continuing to expand day by day! Nevertheless we still create every single treatie lovingly by hand in a kitchen full of joyful, conscious, radiant angels! And we continue to make the treaties the same for 1000 people as if we were making for one.
What are the future plans for Naked Treaties?
The world of Naked Treaties is continuing to expand and grow at such a rate it is incredible and I feel so blessed and humbled by the amount of support that simply keeps rolling in! Late last year we relocated our Production to a brand new kitchen space so that we can continue to expand our distribution and keep up with the growing demand across the country!
In the Raw Bar, we hope to continue to offer more workshops and now we also have more space and room to expand our savory offerings too which is really exciting. Our Liquid Feast Cleansing Programs are proving to become more and more popular also and the call for an online version of our cleanse is inspiring us to create a way to lead people through our cleanse from anywhere in the world! I am also looking into releasing my first E books and print books with recipes and a guide to the Naked Treaties way of living! Maybe another Raw Bar or two may spring up across the country- Who knows! The possibilities are endless! What I have leant along this beautiful journey is to simply remain open and to trust. Everything happens in perfect time and the right people appear in the right moment.