There used to be a stigma attached to locally made products for various reasons. However in recent years, there is a rise of local designers and food artisans. The rare brave souls who are willing to step forth into the unknown to chase their dreams.

For those who are skeptical about locally manufactured products, here is a list of budding food artisans that will change your mind.

1. A.muse Projects

Sauvignon tea by A.muse Projects

Tea has always been in the shadows of its other caffeine counterpart, coffee. This coffee culture doesn’t seem to be dying out especially with cafes sprouting out all over the island. If you’re a tea drinker, here’s some good news for you. A.muse Projects is here to provide tea fans in Singapore high quality brews at reasonable prices.

Founded in 2013 by Angela Phua, A.muse Projects aims to re-educate Singaporeans on the subject of tea. It is unfortunate that tea is one of the most versatile ingredients but yet it is often thrown to the backseat.

A.muse Projects has a very fascinating range of teas that are inspired by the flavours of other beverages. Think tea that taste like wine, alcohols and even coffee. Angela formulates the inspired range of tea blends after rounds of taste testing and intense research. Recreating the taste of familiar beverages with just tea? That is just pure ingenuity right there.

*Personal favourite: Sauvignon tea – The tartness of the grapefruit peel elevates the sweet flavour of green tea in this in-house blend. I love it. *

2. Citizen Pop

Lemongrass and Cucumber by Citizen Pop
Sodas are always associated with empty calories, junk food, sugar, sugar, and more sugar. There isn’t anything good about those carbonated drinks right…? Or are there?

Citizen Pop excited us all at City Nomads with the concept of healthy sodas. The sodas are made with the glorious juice extracts of the various fruits, herbs and spices. Finally, we can have sodas with no artificial flavouring, preservatives and the evil fruit concentrates.

The amazing soda flavours are the brainchild of Imelda Mo, founder and concoctionist of Citizen Pop. She was inspired after a trip to Thailand, where she was exposed to a range of unusual soda flavours. Her secret to getting the intriguing combination of soda flavours is to free her mind of the stereotypical pairings of the various ingredients. And I’ll just say that worked remarkably well.

Personal favourite: Lemongrass and Cucumber – This combination of flavours sounded very weird initially but the refreshing taste of cucumber blended surprisingly well with the fragrant lemongrass.

3. Second Helpings

I have a terrible love-hate relationship with peanut butter. They are so delicious and peanuts are packed with nutrients. But yet, there are reports that say peanut butters are unhealthy. I am confused.

Tannie and Ezra, a very loving couple and the founders of Second Helpings, were happy to help me solve this mystery. Generally, peanut butters are good for us. However, companies dump tons of chemicals into our beloved peanut butter and turn them into poison. End of story, the end.

Second Helpings is a good food company that specializes in peanut butters. All of their peanut butters are aptly named ‘beenut butters’ as they replace white sugar with honey as a sweetener. There is another (love) story that lead to the creation of ‘beenut butters’ but I’ll leave it to the lovely couple to tell.

Ezra proudly proclaimed, ‘Everything that we use (in our beenut butters) is on our ingredients list. There’s no colouring, preservatives or flavouring. That’s the standards we set for any of our products that we may produce in the future.’

Does that mean that I can have peanut butter all day, every day?

Personal favourite: Cocobeenut butter – I’m not a fan of coconut but I must say that it adds value to the taste and aroma of the peanut butter. And the vanilla beans… oooh those specks of sweetness… let me go grab my spoon.

4. Hunters Kitchenette

The people behind the doors of Hunters Kitchenette strongly believe in the hunter-gatherer/paleo diet. According to this diet, the human body is not made to break down foods that are products of industrialization. As such, we need to consume more ‘healthy’ fat, just like our ancestors, than we actually are.

The nut butters by Hunters Kitchenette are undeniably not for calorie counting folks. The innocent looking macadamia has more than 70g of fat for 100g. It is however, still a great source for omega 3. For individuals, who are seeking to lead a sustainable healthy lifestyle, come on in.

Unconvinced? Pop by Hunters Kitchenette’s next flea market booth and let Herbert Salim, the owner of Hunters Kitchenette, tell you more.

Personal favourite: Hazelnut – It is amazing how hazelnut butter tastes almost like the hazelnut cream in chocolates.

5. Eastern Granola
Original granola by Eastern Granola
I honestly believe that no one can genuinely say that they love eating granola for its flavor. Granola is always associated with diet food (boiled chicken breast and steamed broccoli anyone?) and diet food is always associated with the words bland and boring.

Here comes Eastern Granola, with an interesting assortment of flavoured granola that actually taste delightful. Hui Wen, founder of Eastern Granola, believes that granola can be a healthier substitute to supermarket cereals. She uses only fresh ingredients for her granola with no preservatives or artificial flavouring. This ensures that the granola is both tasty and nutritious, exactly the way we like it here at City Nomads.

Fans of Eastern Granola definitely get the best of both worlds.

Personal favourite: Original granola – I love strong flavour of the nutmeg and the baked buttery rolled oats. The most amazing part: the dried fruits do not taste like plastic.

Written by Cherie Yeo