- May 07, 2012
If one knows Hail Merry owner Susan O’Brien, then one knows her glowing façade and silky locks are possible testaments to the benefits of her snacks voted “Best New Vegan Product of 2011.” Her health-mad hobby of making raw foods at home has flourished into a company producing 15 raw, vegan and gluten-free products blanketing the shelves of more than 1,000-plus retail doors across the nation — from Whole Foods Market in Hollywood to Drip Coffee in Dallas to The Health Nuts in Manhattan.
The defining moment that drove you to start Hail Merry: I did a deeper dive into the real benefits of virgin coconut oil and raw nuts because at that time — it was 2006 — Dallas had zero raw-food companies, and what I could buy in Los Angeles was, let’s just say, off. I knew it could be done with better branding and better taste. Hail Merry became a way for me to utilize my design skills and create something that would change the way we think about our food.
Favorite Hail Merry product: Chocolate Raw Almond Butter Miracle Tart.
What in the Hail Merry is new: Coconut Vanilla Crème Miracle Tart. Think coconut crème pie with health benefits!
You’re on the proverbial desert island and you can take one organic snack: Avocado with lime and smoked sea salt.
Signature pick-me-up: My home-brew chai tea. First, I brew herbal tea (usually Traditional Medicinals EveryDay Detox), then I add the warm tea to my Vitamix and add an inch of fresh ginger and lots of organic spices like cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric. To make it creamy, I throw in some raw cashews.
You can’t cook without: Kyocera ceramic knives.
To cleanse or not to cleanse: The Gem has a great three-day cleanse. The recipes and blends of the pressed juices are perfection.
You stock the larder from: Central Market, Lucky Layla Farms in Plano for raw grass-fed milk for my kids, Tom Spicer’s Spiceman FM 1410, Urban Acres and Whole Foods Market.
Top five items always on your grocery list: Vital Farms eggs, Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee for my husband, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed Butter, Driscoll’s organic raspberries and Wrights of Texas Fresh Green Salsa (it’s so good you can eat it like soup).
Three favorite restaurants in Dallas: Parigi, The Gem for lunch, Shinsei Restaurant for sashimi and drinks with friends.
Where you stop in for an organic snack and what you order: Whole Foods Market salad bar — I love the Health Starts Here soups and salads. I also love my friends Reza and TJ at Southpaw’s Organic Grill — I order the Power Salad or a smoothie.
What do you order at Mi Cocina: I head straight upstairs to the Monkey Bar for a margarita and skip the food.
Sinful food craving: New York–style crispy thin cheese pizza.
What’s in your beauty bag: Facial cleanser: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. Moisturizer: Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer. Serums or oils: Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum … I am truly obsessed with this brand. She uses ingredients and oils sourced from her organic farm in Vermont — my dream is to visit her farm one day. Mascara: Drugstore Great Lash by Maybelline. I like the color and shape of the pink and green tube — that’s all. I hate to think about what’s inside. Lip gloss: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, as I prefer balms for moisture. Shampoo and conditioner: John Masters Organics shampoos and conditioners. I also love Moroccanoil Treatment. Body wash: Jason body wash in Purifying Tea Tree.
You stock up on cosmetics from: In Dallas, I buy from Barneys New York. Elsewhere, One Green Street in Houston and Fred Segal in Los Angeles — both stores stock new up-and-coming brands who focus on organic ingredients.
Hairstylist: Sam Figueroa at Patrick O’Hara Salon.
Aesthetician and treatments you book: The Peter Thomas Roth Lactic Acid Peel from Devon at Facelogic Spa — you don’t flake afterwards. But my most important beauty regime is regular full-body massage by Stephen Boyd of Boyd Massage.
Exercise regimen: Yoga, spinning and classes at The Bar Method.
Three top fashion spots: Cabana in Dallas, Undrest by the Sea in Venice Beach, and Fred Segal in Los Angeles.
Fashion designers you prefer: Koch, Tish Cox and IRO … really, it’s whatever Merry Vose sends my way.
Your perfect heels: Nicholas Kirkwood black heels.
Bands/musicians you love: My son’s band Plowboy, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Stephen Tyler, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Florence and the Machine, The Black Keys and Arcade Fire.
Style muse: Florence Welch.
Susan O'Brien. Photo by Stephen Karlisch.
Undrest in Venice Beach
Kyocera ceramic knives
Barneys New York Dallas
The Black Keys
Lucky Layla Farms
Hail Merry poster by artist David Hummel