Meet the Goddess of Ghee: Q&A with Raquel Tavares, CEO + Founder of Fourth & Heart
Ghee is certainly trending, and for good reason. It’s likely you’ve seen it on the shelf and curiously wondered. With a new awareness of traditional foods and their benefits, as well more diets that call for dairy-free living, consumers are turning towards ghee as a healthy fat option for better living. Leading the industry is 4th and Heart, founded by Raquel Tavares, whose mission is to demystify ghee for the masses. Raquel shares her path of entrepreneurship with us, along with her early AM routine and favorite ghee-spiked morning drink.
What led you down the path of entrepreneurship, and more specifically: why ghee?Some say you’re born an entrepreneur and I’d have to say I agree with that statement. There is a common barometer we all share comprised of grit, willingness to take risks, and creative meets analytic mind, and when you put all those elements in a jar, a sort of explosion commences. The desire to do something different, to solve a problem, to inspire through action tends to be like a drug you want to wake up to day and day out, for better or for worse.
However, it was after staying home with my little ones, without that outlet of work, I knew I had to finally put pen to paper and write a business plan I could execute on, that would truly solve a problem and find something I was passionate about. Seeing as most consider me the worst date – meaning I’m extremely picky about food – I knew food would be the way to go. As a daughter of a nutritionist, Lactation and Ayurvedic Specialist, the love for food and nutrition was in my blood.
I began with a business plan for a vegan frozen food delivery company in 2013, however, quickly decided I didn’t want to deal with a list of over one hundred inventory items and thought I should find one single ingredient which I would be able to role model after some other successful brands like Justin’s. After a few months of deliberation, ghee came to mind after a series of fortuitous ‘signs’, and one day while standing in my kitchen I saw a jar of ghee on the counter and thought – shelf stable butter, who doesn’t want that? And the rest is her-story!
Ghee is certainly trending, and for good reason. Do you feel people are becoming more aware of traditional foods and their benefits? Yes, it is, and we are proud to be the trailblazers of the category! It’s incredible, but the awareness of ghee has been greatly aided by diets which call for dairy-free and therefore, since ghee is dairy-free, it gives users the ability to be on these strict diets without the use of just coconut oil, which can be cumbersome, at best!
These diets, along with efforts of companies like 4th & Heart and our educational efforts, people are starting to understand not only the health benefits, but how the flavor profile of ghee lends well to most cuisines, not just ethnic food, but simple everyday items like bread, soups, pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches!
Why are healthy fats so vital to our health, and what makes ghee such a powerful health-aide? Fats are vital to the overall well-being of our health for a multitude of reasons, and while I’m not a nutritionist, I do know that fat helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, the so-called fat-soluble vitamins. Fat also fills your fat cells and insulates your body to help keep you warm. The fats your body gets from your food give your body essential fatty acids called linoleic and linolenic acid. Ghee is special because it has butyrate, which is very difficult to find in other types of foods! It’s the golden ingredient.
Are there any beauty benefits to consuming ghee on a regular basis? Any topical applications for hair and face? Everyone knows a glow comes from eating a well-balanced diet, and ghee certainly can be part of that, additionally, because the butyrate contributes to overall gut health and well-being, you’ll certainly have the additional glow!
And, yes, ghee can be used on your face. It’s comes in a different form, like shea butter, but it’s great for hydration, collagen and again, glow!
Biggest lesson you’ve learned in establishing Fourth & Heart? Make sure those around you are there to support you and build not only a company infrastructure to do so, but also at home. But never forget to extend appreciation for the efforts of those there to help you. It’s easy to do when you run at 1000x speed than average, but we all need a hug. Oh, and get and give a ton of hugs!
As an entrepreneur, what’s your typical morning routine? I wake up and b-line for the kitchen to make coffee or my favorite drink, the Turmeric Latte. I feel like the turmeric limbers me up for my crazy yoga practice. I will sit for some time, answer emails coming in from the east coast, plan my day and then head back up to my room for the rest of my routine. I like to dry brush every day as it flushes out the lymph nodes which cause inflammation, but also helps the skin build more collagen and keep aging skin, youthful, soft and brilliant. After which I’ll shower, wash my hair before yoga, so I arrive squeaky clean, in the event I won’t have time to shower after, which is often the case. By 9-ish I’m at the office ready to rumble!
Do you have a favorite morning drink incorporating this golden elixir?Absolutely! I enjoy my Turmeric Golden Latte!
Your life motto: Make a move now. Don’t hesitate for a minute and know in doing so the world will conspire to help you and you’ll live inspiring others to do the same. Break your mold. Break the mold.