Stephanie Wills considers herself ‘a full-time wife and mother, part-time smoothie maker’. However, it’s the homely, hearty touch that has the Propa Food Bar making waves on social media.
Wills, a mother of two, believes you eat with your eyes.
She studied Fine Art at university but found herself intensely interested in health and wellness, “So instead, I chose to pursue a career in this industry. I studied clinical nutrition while managing my mother’s health shop, Lifestyle Health, in Ballito for over 10 years,” she said.
With her passion for cooking and knack for making healthy food look and taste amazing for her family, Wills’s business became a reality.
“After my first son was born I concentrated on being a mom. After my second son, I started experimenting with smoothies, smoothie bowls and how to ‘stack’ layers of different flavoured smoothies on top of one another in a glass. Propa was born!”
All Propa’s smoothies are vegan with no refined sugar, dairy or gluten. They also often use superfoods and add a clean vegan protein powder to balance the nutritional profile.
“We like to keep things simple. We specialise in smoothies and aim to make them look, taste and be great for your health. You eat with your eyes first, then what goes into your mouth should taste delicious and nourish you. The whole experience should be wonderful,” said Wills.
Propa Food Bar’s Facebook and Instagram is dotted with pictures of bowls filled with a creamy smoothie base and decorated with fresh fruit, flowers, nuts and seeds.
The smoothie bowl trend was born on Instagram when health food bloggers flooded their feeds with bowl after bowl of vibrant, photogenic smoothies of fruit and vegetable purée topped with an arrangement of colourful chopped fresh fruit, along with nuts, oats and seeds.
“A bit like ice cream or frozen yoghurt, smoothie bowls are partly focused on the actual smoothie, and partly on the toppings. Flavours need to work well together,” said Wills.
Wills makes every smoothie herself and decides on the flavours, ingredients and recipes. “I am a creative so I love to come up with new combination each week. We also post a weekly smoothie recipe for our wider audience to try at home.”
The response from the public has been overwhelming for Wills.
“We get daily feedback messages from customers which we love, because its helps us understand what works best.”
With no set menu, she makes 1 Propa smoothie a week which can be pre-ordered either via WhatsApp or on their social media platforms and delivered to either Lifestyle Health in Ballito or two locations in uMhlanga.