In conversation

Alex and Stace Soul Boul Max Journal Blog

In conversation

Hitting the road to Mount Maunganui for our latest summer campaign, we wanted to highlight some of the incredible local businesses and women that we met along the way. Taking some time to stop and fuel up on wholefood goodness, we met with Alex and Stace from Soul Boul eatery, a mobile food truck and one of the many gems that this local area has to offer. During our time at the Mount, we had the privilege of chatting with Alex and Stace to find out more about their dreams for Soul Boul and how they came to own such a special business.

Alex and Stace Soul Boul Max Blog

Can you share a bit about your backgrounds? How did you both meet?

Alex: Stacey and I have been best friends for the past 5 years and met whilst studying in Dunedin and Otago way back in 2014. We met through many mutual friends and fun nights out on the town quickly discovering that we shared many of the same interests such as being active, healthy, happy humans with a love for good food, coffee and knowledgeable backgrounds in hospitality. We became best friends after graduation where we both fostered the idea of opening a superfood food truck together!

At Soul Boul Max Blog

What made you want to start Soul Boul?

Alex: Shortly after I graduated my family and I went on a holiday Bali where I quickly fell in love with the abundance of healthy food, fresh produce and beautifully presented meals I was eating, specifically Smoothie and poke bowls! I remember overnight deciding that this kind of kai was what I wanted to bring back to New Zealand, healthy delicious food.

After returning to New Zealand, I went back home to Kerikeri and honestly am still unsure how we got so lucky. I bumped into a good family friend who asked me what my plans were post-University and I told him I was hoping to open a food truck! His response was “I’ve actually got a food truck that’s been sitting on my property for the last 5 years, come check it out with your dad after work if you want!” Dad and I checked the truck out and it was perfect.

After brainstorming some business names with my aunty and mama, we finally ended up with Soul Boul. I messaged Stacey asking if she was keen to open New Zealand’s first mobile smoothie bowl food truck together and the answer was obviously yes. After a month, Stace handed in her resignation and we began our journey of co-owning a food truck together - a perfect little alignment of the universe coming together for us I reckon!

You’re about to open your first official shop in Papamoa, congratulations! I can imagine, like anything, that this process has had its ups and downs, how do you both deal with the curveballs that come with owning your own business?

Alex: It’s so exciting for us also and has been such a wild ride so far. This time has had its ups and downs but as I mentioned before, it’s so much easier always having someone you trust to rely on. The curveballs do come on a weekly basis, whether it be our blenders blowing up at a busy festival during breakfast time, having to reverse the food truck down one way streets or into tiny spaces, dealing with councils to meet food safety requirements, or cancelled events due to COVID but we always ensure we are sharing the workload.

Over the past 5 years we’ve only operated Soul Boul over the busy summer period from January - April and then closed down for the winter. We both travelled to Europe for 6 months, lived in Bali conducting some ‘research’, did further study and then geared up for the summer again. This was such a dreamy lifestyle but this will be our first year looking to do Soul Boul full time so keep the curveballs coming!

Alex and Stace Soul Boul Max Journal Blog

It’s always exciting to look ahead and dream about the future, what are your goals for Soul Boul over the next few years?

Alex: We’ve had big chats about where we envisage Soul Boul over the next five years and it’s so exciting! We plan to open our first permanent container café in Papamoa with it being a trial run for what a Soul Boul franchise could look like. Our dream is to pop up permanent Soul Boul container cafes throughout New Zealand’s hotspots offering healthy poke bowls, organic coffee, superfood smoothie bowls and many more wholesome breakfast options. We’ve just had an amazing rebrand from our good friend at ‘afternoonstudios’ and are continuing to push ahead. Our dream for each future Soul Boul location is for it to be a destination - a friendly and inviting place with a nourishing experience for all those who eat with us! Further down the track, we would also love to get our smoothie bowls into the supermarkets where customers can purchase them and make them easily at home.

What are your wardrobe go-to’s when it comes to summer outfitting?

Alex: Recently I’ve been trying to buy high-quality pieces that will last me years! When it comes to summer outfitting I’m all about casual comfort. I love big cosy knits and oversized jumpers for when the weather is still a little chilly, and when the sun is shining, I reach for my favourite pairs of denim shorts with a nice top. My Chelsea Doc Martens and Birkenstocks are on high rotation throughout summer, paired with either midi dresses or high waisted shorts, and linen shirts. I also can’t forget our linen Soul Boul dungarees which Stacey & I practically live in whilst working over the warmer months, they are super comfy and so beautiful to wear.

Stacey: My wardrobe go to’s when it comes to summer revolve around casual comfort, same as Alex! Some good ol’ comfy Blundstones and a pair of denim dungarees or thrifted Levi boyfriend jeans - paired with a cute top underneath or an oversized knit depending on what the weather brings that day! When the heat hits I’ll chuck on one of my favourite pairs of white denim high waisted short with a comfy tee and a pair local cherry sunnies! Recently I’ve found myself consciously trying to support local or shop sustainably through op shopping and being motivated to continue after seeing how many good finds you can get for such little bucks whilst positively contributing to the environment!

Photography by

Brijana Cato

Words by

Courtenay Lewis

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