Friday 28 October 2016

Twins happy to play their part in bringing healthy eating to masses


IT'S been eleven years since twin chefs Stephen and David Flynn brought clean-eating to Greystones - and the lads have no plans on stopping there.

Despite the brothers currently planning the expansion of their site on the quaint coastal town's Main Street, their profile has long eclipsed Greystones.

Over the summer, they will be bringing The Happy Pear across Britain with stints at a number of prestigious foodie events.

"We're going to be on the main stage of a food festival on Carnaby Street in London," David (36) says. "We;re also at Big Feastival, Jamie Oliver's gig, which is actually on Alex James' (Blur bassist) farm in the Cotswolds," Stephen adds.

In sync to the point of finishing each other sentences, it came as no surprise to the lads that despite travelling the world separately in their 20s, they both had epiphanies on either sides of the globe which saw them reassess their diets and interest in food.


"It's only when you start to go travelling that you have to think about what food you're buying. I happened to be living with a vegetarian and he was a cool guy and I just thought I want to be like that," Stephen says.

"I came home after inter-railing around Europe where I'd eaten bad food and partied and decided to eat healthier. I detoxed and that was the turning point for me. I realised I felt better and had more money by consciously changing my diet," his brother adds.

So The Happy Pear promotes a diet full of vegetables with anti-oxidants, B-vitamins and other buzzwords, but say they aren't zealots about it and want to gently educate the public.

"We're not trying to make it exclusively vegan or vegetarian. No one has to be anything; it's about eating more natural foods, fruit, veg, and wholegrains. That's where all the goodness is," Stephen says.

Linking mental alertness and physical energy to a wholesome diet is more than just a two-man task and the brothers employ 60 people. As such, they're happy to delegate creative control when it comes to their highly-sought after recipes.

"Our teams have very good palettes. If it all has to be run through us then it slows everything down," David says.

"Sometimes we could do it in an hour. Sometimes we could be shooting for our YouTube channel and it's not finished and we're just doing it there and then," laughs Stephen.


With its own farm, educational and weight loss courses, online shop, collaboration with Jamie Oliver and bestselling cookbook, The Happy Pear's popularity is reaching dizzy new heights. With a self-proclaimed love of the stage, would they ever consider a stint fronting their own TV show?

"Loads of production companies have come to us but nothing has been confirmed, but maybe at some stage," says Stephen.

"We love cameras, we're not afraid. We feel we have a strong message and we're happy to share it," David adds.

"What we're all about is trying to make it more attractive so people actually see the benefits."

While your Instagram feed might be clogged up with obscure foodie goodness, the Flynns were way ahead of this in 2004 but are delighted that coolness has now been bestowed upon kale, cabbage and quinoa. However, they say a lot still needs to be done.

"By 2030 Ireland is destined to be winning the obesity race. It's like there's a split in society, one part are embracing health and they other part are going the other way."

While they're doing their best to spread the word and make healthy eating more attractive they believe only the Government can change the difference in society.

"I don't think it will be solved overnight but it needs to get government involvement because healthcare costs are going up for them," Stephen says tucking into a flat peach.

"There's so many wild and wonderful things out there," David says, and admits the two are still learning about all the food that is on offer.

Of what they do know, Stephen recommends avocado while his brother opts for bee pollen.

"It's like a multi-vitamin, it is complete protein, with essential amino acids, anti-oxidants and B vitamins."

One to avoid? "I don't think coconut oil is a heath food, it's over 90pc saturated fat. The most super thing about it is the marketing," says Stephen.

The Happy Pear, which escaped being called Wild Scallions, is very much a Flynn family affair. Their parents help and the running of the farm has been left in the hands of their brother Darragh, while their other brother, superstar DJ, Mark, assists in the guy's pitch at Body and Soul each year.


"Family is so important and being twins makes life easier because we have each other and have the support, its more of a game," says Stephen, who is 15 minutes older.

With so much achieved so far it's hard to see where The Happy Pear can go next but their dedication knows no bounds. After their summer stints in the UK the boys will return home for health talks with corporate companies and to feed the masses at Electric Picnic.

Away from food the twins enjoy swimming, yoga, running and looking after their pets - 20,000 bees no less. "They swarmed in the back garden."

Their children also keep them busy. Stephen has two daughters, aged four and two, while David has one daughter (4) and a son (2).

"We were very succinct and then something went wrong in the system, it was meant to be the same," they laugh.

That lively spark never falters and is not just the by-product of healthy eating but a real raw love of what they do.

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