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Welcome to a new series where we sit down and chat with cool, influential and interesting people who have great taste, to hear about the products they love the most.
The founder of the popular EVOO company Brightland (you’ve likely come across their pristine ceramic white bottles on Instagram) tells InsideHook, she not only wanted to make tasty olive oil, but consciously-crafted olive oil made from heirloom olives and local ingredients sourced from farms in the sunshine state.
“Our olive oils are made at small family farms in California. Everything is milled right on site. We work with the master miller and everything’s made super, super fresh within 90 minutes of the olives being pressed. So you can really taste the freshness, the grassiness and the flavor,” she explains.
Since Brightland’s launch in 2018, the company has expanded its EVOO offerings, as well as overall pantry offerings: now you can shop thoughtfully made vinegars and honey. Six years later, and Iyer is still heavily involved in the company. “I’m so happy that I get to spend my days speaking with my team and dreaming up what’s to come for Brightland.”
We chatted with the founder about some of her favorite everyday items, including South Indian spices, her daily vitamins and some very good pecans.
This is the perfect capsule of four essentials to round out a kitchen. It includes two of our hero signature extra virgin olive oils then our raw balsamic vinegar that’s double fermented with ripe triple crown blackberries and then our raw champagne vinegar that is double fermented with our very juicy and delicious Navel and Valencia oranges.
I always have these around in my kitchen to throw into salads, into grain bowls, into anything that I’m cooking. They’re the perfect thing to have on hand and make for a fantastic gift as well.
I like to use this tincture at the end of a long day. I’ll add a couple drops to usually a LaCroix or sometimes apple juice, and it’s this really nice, very soothing drink to have at the end of the day. I don’t want to make claims of what it does, but I think for me, it feels like it boosts my mood and I feel very calm and soothed after I use it.
Now I know this looks a little scary. It’s absolutely a little scary. I have to say, it’s something to ease into for sure. Like I started by wearing socks if I would stand on it, and I definitely still wear like a shirt and maybe even a sweatshirt when I lay down, because you can feel it, but it is incredibly relaxing, especially if I’m using my standing desk, so I’m standing a lot of the day. If I want to just ease my sort of feet and for any tension relief, this mat is really phenomenal.
These are my daily vitamins. I love them because they taste delicious. They have dates in them. So even if I wake up a little hungry, it’s a great thing to pop in first thing in the morning. They have prebiotics, probiotics and a little bit of ginger, as well as a ton of biotin and folate for the hair. I just think it’s a fantastic product. I love that it’s not a pill that I’m ingesting first thing. I really, really love them.
The most delicious snack I’ve ever had in my life are these roasted pecans that have been coated in Seed + Mill’s iconic sesame halva. So Seed + Mill is this brand that does Tahini and Halva. They have a brick-and-mortar in New York and obviously an e-commerce site, but they’re also sold at Whole Foods and a bunch of other stores.
They have these hollow coated pecans that I think are only available online or maybe very few stores, and you just gobble them all up. They’re an absolutely wonderful afternoon snack or even dessert. They’re fantastic.
Mango People is a Canadian brand started by a South Asian woman. I adore these multi sticks, I have three or four of them and I use them as blush, for my eyelids as like a brightening tool for my eyes and I use them on my lips.
I think they’re marvelous and they blend so well on your face. They also have adaptogens in them like ashwagandha and brahmin, which apparently helps your skin and doesn’t stress it out. So I love that too.
I absolutely adore our garlic olive oil. We work with a small farm that blends garlic and frantillo olives. I love this olive oil on roasted potatoes and in my salads and pasta. So I’ll just make like spaghetti and toss some of this olive oil, chop up some parsley, maybe add some like olives and capers that I saute for a few minutes and like throw that in there. And it’s like the perfect weeknight meal. This garlic oil makes me really, really happy.
We partner with artists for the labels for all of our infused oils. There is an artist named Lilian Martinez, who’s based in California, and she’s a multimedia artist, and she created this piece of art for the label specially for us.
This is probably the most, I would, say luxurious cleanser I’ve ever tried in my entire life. I wear a lot of eyeliner and the Mango People multi-stick nearly every day. So, at the end of the day, I’ll wash my face using the Vintner’s Daughter cleanser, and it removes my makeup and sunblock as if I never had it on. It smells so good, and I also have really dry skin, so it’s been very soothing and healing.
I’m South Indian and something I grew up with are poodies, which are basically I would call them savory powders.
Basically they’re like ground lentils and spices that they turn into powders that you then mix in with rice or other food.
So there’s this small woman-owned brand that’s making poodies, and I add them to rice and I eat them with yogurt and they remind me of my parents and my childhood and it’s really neat that she’s created this company where more people can try authentic homemade-tasting poodies.
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