All quotes by Rhythm108 Founder Siddhi Mehta
It’s so good to finally meet you. Talk us through…
- The origins of the brand
Rhythm108 started when I moved to Switzerland and discovered the local patisseries at the centre of every Alpine village. The craftsmanship and care I saw inspired me to think of food as so much more than just fuel. In Switzerland, it was a way of expressing creativity and a means to forming close, real relationships through sharing. I took this passion and local artisan tradition and brought it up to date to make treats with modern values: delicious but also always plant-based, organic and better-for-you.
- What’s behind the name?
Before starting Rhythm108, I was an engineer and so it’s no coincidence the ‘108’ comes from an ancient mathematical number. ‘1’ stands for ‘one exceptional thing we do – which is our Swiss approach to craftsmanship’; ‘0’ is about no artificial anything; and the ‘8’ or infinity stands for unlimited creativity and passion, which is how we make things so delicious.
I chose the word Rhythm because craftsmanship is always about creating at your own pace. We found our ‘rhythm’ right here at a little Swiss bakery nestled in the foothills of the Alps, a landscape defined by an unhurried pace that inspires our approach to baking. From our Swiss chocolate bars to be oh-so-slowly-savoured, to tea-break biscuits, perfect for just a “petite pause” our products are here to accompany you whatever your lifestyle.
- Your mission statement?
Our mission is to offer a genuine no compromise choice for yourself, society, and the planet by making the tastiest premium treats crafted by Swiss Patissier’s using organic plant based ingredients for less environmental impact.
- A day in the life of Rhythm108
A day at Rhythm108 centres around our bakery. The bakery starts at 4.30AM, measuring hundreds of kilo’s of oat flour, chopped almonds, cocoa and other ingredients. The first thing we do is we check the humidity and temperature for the day, and adapt the recipe according to the parameters we see – for example, we may change the order of the ingredients we mix, or we may put the dough to rest for a little longer. A fully industrial producer would depend on an emulsifier or a fat like palm oil to standardize the recipe completely – but because we choose not to use these, we depend on the intuition and dexterity of our master pâtissiers. We then bake, pack, take stock, and prepare for the next day, closing the last shift at 7p.m.
As the founder, I’ve now stepped out of daily production – but I still sit at the bakery with the rest of the team. I’ve stayed very close to the production, because innovation in product has always been a core part of our promise: exceptional taste, without compromise on well-being, environment, and values. My day can vary from negotiating ingredient prices, to managing the finances, to developing new product recipes in our test kitchen, or talking to buyers.
- Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by the artisans around me – from chocolatiers, to watchmakers, to winemakers that have spent years mastering their craft. They wake up every morning to create with so much precision, creativity, and passion – and every time I walking into their workshops I always see new shapes, colours, and unique flavours or design combinations that push the boundaries. Artisans impact those around them so profoundly by bringing so much happiness through their craft.
- Why are you so passionate about nutritious treats?
I’m passionate about making a change through my choices: anything I purchase should bring me happiness but also should contribute positively to my wellbeing, the planet, and society. On the market, I only found great tasting treats with compromises. They were either made with eggs or palm oil, which are well-known contributors to climate change, or they would be made with tons of sugar and low-quality ingredients. And I found those that were values-friendly lacked taste. I simply believe this shouldn’t be the case and so I set out to create treats without compromise.
- A key driver for you, is to recreate the best treats with minimal impact on the environment do you feel that other food brands are perhaps less driven by this?
I believe other food brands are driven by this too, but it is really hard to achieve, in practice- execution is everything. You need a strong combination of passion, experience, expertise, and engineering (in the manufacturing side) to really achieve this – and I believe we’re one of the few companies who are able to bring all this together seamlessly.
- For other female led businesses, what advice would you give?
As female founders and executives, we do sometimes face challenges on being taken seriously or having our voice heard. When it does happen, approach someone else and try again. Thomas A. Edison said “The most certain way to succeed is to try one more time” and I live by that. A ‘no’ doesn’t always mean ‘never’, and all you can do is try again to turn them into a ‘yes’.
- What is your favourite product? And your bestseller?
We’ve just released a brand new addition to our range ‘M’lk & Hazelnut Truffle Bar’. It is my new favourite product and it has been hugely popular with our fans. It’s filled with a delicious, creamy hazelnut praline and coated in a velvety Swiss Mylk Chocolate. And of course, it’s vegan, gluten-free, organic and contains all natural ingredients – and available on rhythm108.com or at Sainsbury’s.