Have you ever mindlessly ate a whole packet of biscuits alongside your afternoon cuppa without even realising? It's moments like these that have given snacking a negative rep, as for many, a post-meal treat will result in any form of self-control being shattered and inevitable feelings of binge eating guilt. 

Good Canteen wants to change this association. Founded by Salima Saxton and Bre Graham last year, this snacking subscription ensures some of the UK's best small bites are delivered to your door, within a curated box that's been designed for a particular point of the day. No processed sugars or food chemicals will be found within, only nutritious delights – think: plantain crisps and raw chocolate brownies – herbal teas and scented candles to invigorate your senses and set the mood.

We spoke with Bre to learn more about what to expect in a Good Canteen box and how the venture started.

What made you so interested in peoples snack habits and how did that influence what you put in each box?
Good Canteen was an idea born out of the first lockdown, when I was so frustrated working from home with not enough good snacks on hand to help me through the day, and nowhere I could go to get them. Last year, when everyone’s homes also became their offices overnight, it was so important to find moments of pleasure, and for me good food is where I find it. Something as small as finding your favourite flavour of seltzer or bar of chocolate became important moments that made me step away from my laptop and focus on something other than work or the news. This influenced how my co-creator Salima and I curated each of the four key snack boxes in Good Canteen. We want to bring our customers the most exciting products being created in the UK today from kombucha to the best plantain crisps. 

You have four boxes for different times of the day, why did you think it was important to cater to this rather than just have one snack box for each week/month?
No one snacks the same, every individual will instinctively lean towards something that's salty or sweet, or crunchy or soft when selecting snacks, and their choice is also influenced by the time of that moment. Our boxes aren't just things to eat, we also have half the box dedicated to drinks. We wanted to make our boxes moments in someone's day when they could really stop and pause and do something centred on themselves. Morning Haze fills that gap between breakfast and lunch, Afternoon Bliss picks you back up after your post-lunch slump and gets you to the end of your day,  our Golden Hour box is like an everyday cocktail hour before Evening Bliss brings you to bed with CBD, dark chocolate and herbal tea. 

Why have you picked the brands that are within your snack boxes?
Good Canteen was created in partnership with London’s leading sustainable wholesaler Wholegood, which gave us the most incredible access to different brands. We selected each of the brands and products based not just on their taste, but their story and sustainable credentials too. There were many months of snack testing which was such fun, and we truly love every single product. The contents of the boxes change each month so we’re always updating them with what’s new. Each of our boxes also come with hidden little extras like tea for the week and pouches of organic turmeric and ginger to infuse water with.

We love the candles! What gave you the idea to include them? 
Snacking and scented candles might seem like a strange combination, but we really wanted to make snacking a bit of a ritual in your day to really stop and do something for yourself amongst all the madness of the world right now. We worked with an incredible candle maker in Margate to develop our own blends of essential oils that match the moment of each box and time of day it's paired with. The hand poured soy wax candles come inside every one of our boxes, and their burn time mirrors the hours of a working week. We don’t want people to be precious with them, they’re for burning not just looking at, so knowing that you’ll get a new one inside each box of snacks is key. Scent is so transformative and the blends of pure organic essential oils in each of them are all designed to soothe you. 

You've completely turned the traditional idea of snacking – that it's unhealthy and shouldn't be done – on its head. What else have you got planned for Good Canteen? 
Snacking is one of the most pleasurable parts to my day and through Good Canteen, Salima and I wanted to bring this level of joy from snacking to as many people as possible. We’ve got huge plans for Good Canteen and are developing new ideas which we’re excited to launch soon. We’ve just released our latest box, Mini Moment, which is a smaller size perfect for sending to a pal who needs a pick-me-up. It includes a cocktail, the most extraordinary tamari almonds, chocolate and of course, one of our candles.

Sign up to the Good Canteen snack subscription here.

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