From a Fashion Boutique Owner, a New Line of Healthy (and Dada-Inspired) Snacks
Claire Olshan was a bona fide health nut by the time she hit the bar mitzvah circuit in New York City. As a preteen, she sprinkled protein powder on her Häagen-Dazs ice cream and she asked her mother to wrap her tuna fish sandwiches in seaweed instead of white bread. “My mom was like, ‘Okaaaay. Where did you come from?’ ” recalls Olshan. Now 31, her clean-living practices have stuck with her. As the founder of Fivestory — an uptown fashion boutique in a five-story townhouse known for its shoe “garden” and roster of rising designers — she installed a temporary wellness space on the fourth floor last year, filling it with offerings like vitamin-C skin boosters and raw-coconut-oil face highlighters. Her interest manifests not only in the merchandise. If a client should need an energy healer, breathing coach or Transcendental Meditation guru, Olshan has numbers for all three in her phone. Rather than gifting her V.I.P.s with baubles during the holidays, Olshan sends Sakara Life organic meal delivery plans. “I’m going to make you look gorgeous but feel good, too,” she says of her holistic intention.
While Olshan — who gave birth to her first child, Maxwell, in June — has remained committed to a diet high on whey and marine vegetation, she struggled with eating mindfully on the go. Healthy packaged snacks, she says, “fell short,” and came off as either too “granola-hippy, made for babies or super modern and minimalist” — none of which appealed to her. For those who care equally about high-quality design and daily vitamin levels, she felt there should be an elevated, playful brand similar to the fashion labels she carries in her boutique — one that “shows the same level of care and obsession over the way it looks and feels and the whole world around it.”
This month, Olshan will bring that idea to market, with Dada Daily, a line of vegan snacks made from her favorite superfoods. The name and concept, she says, take inspiration from Surrealism and the Dada art movement — and a rejection of so many of the dominant wellness “rules.” “There are all these parameters on eating healthy — no wheat, no dairy, no gluten,” Olshan explains. “It’s imprisoning and sets people up for failure.” Instead, she wanted to lighten up the conversation and embrace healthy living from a more liberated point of view. “As long as it’s a whole food and not processed, and you know where it’s coming from, you can eat anything you want.”
Olshan, who took food courses at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and knows her “way around a food dehydrator,” teamed up with Tricia Williams, the chef and founder of the personalized meal delivery service Food Matters NYC to develop the recipes. The four-piece line includes: Crispy Almond Butter Brussels Sprouts, high in fiber and boosted with pulverized moringa (a plant with “incredible anti-inflammatory powers,” she notes); Hot Turmeric Cabbage Petals, spiced with cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar, a tastier alternative to the ever-popular kale chip; and two varieties of truffles, one matcha-flavored and infused with pea protein powder and vegan white chocolate, the other a blend of chocolate and adaptogenic Schisandra berries. The truffles come in shapes that resemble an eye and oversized lips. “If you’re into Surrealism, you’re into body parts,” quips Olshan, who studied both fine art and contemporary art before starting her fashion career.
The treats come in packaging with Dada-esque illustrations by Luke Edward Hall, an interior designer and artist. Olshan also collaborated with Rafael Prieto, the founder of the creative firm Savvy Studio, on a storage container shaped like a human head in profile. The electric green acrylic and foam piece doubles as a serving platter — the lid pops off to function as a chic tray for the truffles, while the bottom can be used as a bowl for the brussels spouts and cabbage chips. “Eating should be ceremonial no matter how fast or where you are,” Olshan says.