Businesswoman turned blogger, Tammy Fry, cooks up a treat in our PlantBased Kitchen as we speak to her about all things plant based
As we wander through the beautiful and scenic woodland area surrounding PlantBased HQ, the sun is shining and we joke about the difference in the weather between this — a typically pleasant Autumnal day — and the scorching hot of the Aussie sun Tammy has arrived from.
Just as we’re about to start the interview, we spot a blackberry bush and each grab a few to eat now, before filling a bag with a few for later on.
We start discussing Tammy’s upbringing and how she went vegetarian from such a young age — aged just two.
“I had a really staunch, meat-eating father,” she says, “but luckily my mother was vegetarian. Meat was never forced on me, whereas I think many people are forced into eating meat because of the ‘you’ll eat what is on your plate’ attitude. I had the choice as a child and I think that if most people had that choice and they knew the truth, they would make the same choice as me.”
Tammy Fry is probably best known for her surname — due to the highly successful meat-free and entirely plant based global brand Fry’s started by her parents. The brand is now a second generation family business and is still enjoyed around the world by those wanting a delicious alternative to meat.
I think what strikes me the most about Tammy is her drive and passion for plant based food and the vegan movement. It would have been easy for somebody in her position to live off of the success of her parents. That drive and passion shines through in everything she does.
Successful businesswoman is just one of the achievements that Tammy has to her name. Childhood karate champion is another. The sport which she started with her siblings from the age of five, due to it being the most affordable sport around, went on to become a hugely important part of her life. Representing her country of South Africa, initially in the junior team, and later in the senior national team, Tammy only stopped competing at a global level after deciding to have children. After a break to have babies, and a move to Australia, last year Tammy decided to start karate again.
She explains: “This year I competed at the Australia Open and the Queensland Karate Championships and won both of them, so that was exciting. For me, my motivation right now is not to go and win medals or to compete on the international stage. I think it’s shifted to give back and to showcase that a plant based diet will enable you to reach high athletic potential. It’s a way of advocating for a plant based diet.
“I also organise projects for women that have been subject to violence, domestic violence or rape, teaching them self-defence. That for me is more meaningful now.”