About the company
Angel Food was founded in 2006 by Alice Shopland, with the aim of helping to mainstream veganism. Early products were a varied bunch, including wholesale gluten-free baking (with Alice’s sister Sue), and DIY mixes for vegan marshmallows and meringues. Alice was also importing vegan cheese from the UK and supplying it to organic stores around New Zealand, and gradually this became Angel Food’s core business.
As a company committed to showing that vegan products are a viable alternative to Aotearoa’s reliance on animal agriculture, Angel Food decided to have a go at creating our own. In 2014 two years of development work bore fruit and Angel Food launched the first New Zealand-made dairy-free cheese.
Five years on, we are still focusing on dairy alternatives – as well as mozzarella, we now have cheddar, grated cheese, parmesan, a cheesy sauce mix and cream cheese, for retail and for food service.
We supply supermarkets and independent retailers and cafes around New Zealand, as well as Hell Pizza, Domino’s, Lord of the Fries, and Mad Mex.
From a one-person import enterprise, Angel Food has grown to a staff of nine in our central Auckland office, as well as creating additional employment at our contract manufacturing partner.
The short version
Alice Shopland has been vegan since 2004, and founded Angel Food in 2006 with the aim of helping to mainstream veganism (this was a bold call at the time, when vegan was usually pronounced ‘vay-gun’ and it was assumed that it was a phase you should grow out of). She previously studied journalism and worked as a freelance writer for 14 years.
The longer version
Alice Shopland has been vegan since 2004, prompted by meeting a vegan at a time in her life when she was looking to align her actions with her values. She was then, and still is, completely enamoured of the vegan lifestyle – because of the huge positive impact created by this relatively simple change.
Back then, there were no decent dairy-free cheese alternatives available in New Zealand. So how did Alice cope with the vegan transition, having been used to eating dairy cheese every day? “I distracted myself from cheese cravings by eating a lot of dark chocolate!”
She wanted to help more people go vegan, and knew that cheese would be key to this. “So many people think they can’t live without cheese,” she says, “and my pre-vegan self probably thought the same!” (As a teenager, her favourite after-school snack was a cheese and Marmite sandwich – no bread, just two thick slices of cheese with Marmite in the middle…)
She previously studied journalism and worked as a freelancer for magazines for 14 years, writing about everything from panel-beating to antiques.
Alice was born in London but grew up in south Auckland. She has two adult sons and three adult stepchildren, and she and her husband Colin have four grandchildren between them.