At this point in the interview, Dave’s two lovely daughters joined us. The air was filled with giggles and laughter as they clambered onto their Dad’s lap. Dave offers some advice from when he and Steve were both fresh out of college. “You think you’re bulletproof and invincible and you can burn the wick everywhere, but I think during those periods when we were drinking like fish all night, we didn’t feel like ourselves. I felt more like myself when I went away. I needed to go by myself into new environments to see what I was interested in outside of the peer pressures.” When it comes to food, it can be difficult for students living out of home for the first time. It’s easy to succumb to the temptations of convenience food and using the dominos vouchers that are handed out during Freshers’ Week. Dave ponders, “I think there will still be the people who eat pizza and drink cheap beer, but then there are other people who will be more conscious about what they eat. For those people, it doesn’t have to be that expensive.” Dave and Steve have a series of YouTube videos that feature student-friendly meals. “We’ve shot videos where we’ve given ourselves 25 euro for the week and we cooked enough for 8 meals in an hour. I think the expensive foods are meat, fish, cheese or processed foods. It’s not vegetables and fruit, rice and pasta.”
“I think when you’re twenty, have fun, get stuck into life, be curious and really try learning as much about yourself that you can. You know maybe you’ll look back at your college experience and you wished you would have gone on that trip or not have taken things so seriously.”So, what according to the brothers, are the top five ingredients every student should have in their press? “Definitely porridge and tinned tomatoes are great. Coconut milk is good as you can quickly throw stuff together with it. I always love tamari, it’s like a wheat free soya sauce and brown rice is a great option too. Each of these ingredients can be fleshed out if you have some vegetables.’’‘Don’t take life too seriously’, is the two brothers’ mantra in life. They explain that there are many routes to happiness. “Food is just one aspect of it. I think when you’re twenty, have fun, get stuck into life, be curious and really try learning as much about yourself that you can. You know maybe you’ll look back at your college experience and you wished you would have gone on that trip or not have taken things so seriously. Your exam results, although important, do not define you. You just never know, you might be studying business and then at aged 24 you start a vegetable shop. Then ten years later it’s much more than a vegetable shop.”The pair have a few plans for the coming year, but Dave does not forget to reflect on how far they have come. “Well over the last 14 years, it’s gone from just me and Steve to about 170 other people working with us. We have products in the UK now, so we have been really focusing on that and we’ve loads of stuff going on online.” They also have plans to expand their farm. Dave discloses his favourite thing that has come from setting up The Happy Pear: “the people have been the best bit of the journey. The age-old saying, as cheesy as it is, figure out whatever you’re interested in and turn that into a job. Nowadays it’s even easier to make a living. But the most important part is about making a difference.” The Happy Pear’s food products can be found on our own very campus in Centra. Don’t forget to check out their Youtube Channel, for healthy and easy recipe ideas.