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Brandon Hiemstra

Meet the Successful Founder: Brandon Hiemstra

House of Macadamias is an ambitious food & drink operation committed to the long, overdue championing all things macadamia, in the first instance establishing a snacking heartland but in time permeating all food & drink aisles receptive to this most gastronomic of all nuts.

There’s no escaping the current truth that the revered ‘tree nut’ is one of the rarest of nuts accounting for only 1% of total nut consumption (Vs almonds 30%, pistachios 20%….). 

Historically pricing was the biggest barrier to global admiration and whilst this Rolls Royce of a nut still commands a good price on account of its rich, buttery taste, satisfying crunch and nutritional depth, more everyday affordable price points have been secured with South Africa firmly establishing itself as the spiritual home of best-in-class macadamias with many farmers converting their citrus and avocado plantations into more sustainable macadamia orchards.

House of Macadamia

It’s fair to say that farming and the Lowveld are in Brandon’s blood.  Having grown up in rural South Africa (Nelspruit) in a community where his grandfather had been a macadamia farmer and his father the entrepreneur behind sustainable irrigation technology company, it was perhaps inevitable that Brandon would ultimately find his way back to this most luxurious of seeds (macadamias aren’t actually nuts at all!).

Brandon for his own part had headed out to the USA post university, convinced that the USA was the only country in the world able to handle and nurture his restless energy which evolved into a number of business development/strategic partnership roles.  Yet for the upsides Brandon took a little time to bed down with the people and culture of LA being so very different from anything he’d known.  These were the moment that Brandon sought out a few home comforts, with macadamias was very much at the top of the list.  ‘Tracking down was far from easy and when I managed to find them, they were at uncomfortably premium price points.   At about the same time my good friend Brendon was embarking on a keto diet and facing his own ‘macadamia drought’ conundrum.’

House of Macadamia

Brandon made contact with his farming friends in South Africa and it soon became very clear that they collectively wanted to succeed in getting their macadamias to N.America but as of yet didn’t have the contacts.  The seeds of a great idea were taking shape and Brendon, myself, Jared who’d been facing the same macadamia issues in the UK and David a fine snacking guru from South Africa joined forces and House of Macadamias was born.

Looking back it’s clear to see that we were an unlikely beneficiary of COVID with consumers the world over, but especially Europe where dependence on unduly processed foods is rife, using been stuck at home to reassess their diets and healthier eating priorities. 

House of Macadamia

As one might sense from the name of our business, this is a brand built around this incredible nut’s untapped potential.  Macadamias will always be the 1st ingredient on any HOM back-of-back nutritionals grid and within our current range macadamia %s reside between 45-98%.

From a nutritional wealth perspective macadamias over-index in so many ways.   For one thing macadamias are extremely low in carbs, 33% less than almonds per 100g portion.  Secondly macadamias are packed with healthy fats (the monounsaturated variety) vs the less than welcome polyunsaturated fats that dominate so many Western diets.   Compared to most other nuts, macadamias are also very low in lectins which aid better digestion YET very high in natural collagens.  Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that macadamias are high in beneficial omega oils, containing more 3 & 6 than the highly acclaimed avocado PLUS the incredibly rare omega 7 that revs up one’s metabolism to burn up unwanted calories faster than your body can store them.

House of Macadamias

In the blink of an eye House of Macadamias is already available in four continents and in the UK there have already been memorable ‘early doors’ listing successes with Planet Organic, Revital, Partridges and WH Smiths.

The fact that we recently announced that we’ve vertically integrated with the world’s pre-eminent macadamia processing plant (we’re aligned with a 96 strong farming collective) already producing 30,000 tonnes a year but with the short-term potential to produce a further 20,000 tonnes a years, speaks volumes regarding our ambition levels.

Thankfully traditional food thinking is being challenged like never before and today more foodies than ever recognise that excessive carbohydrates not healthy fats is the real elephant in the room with regards rampant obesity growth.  Thankfully brands like House of Macadamias are on hand to help turn the tide, one tree at a time


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