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D MAGAZINE: "CHECKING IN WITH HAIL MERRY'S RAW-FOOD MAVEN, SUSAN O'BRIEN"

By Eve Hill-Angus // March 26, 2018 (Photo: Allison V. Smith)

A perspective on the decadent, Dallas-based food line that's celebrating 10 years.

I remember the first Hail Merry treat I ate. This was not long after the raw-food company launched in 2008, and the object of my devouring was a Persian lime tart whose crust was made of almond and coconut flour, and whose filling was silky with cashews and virgin coconut oil. I marveled at the indulgence, how lush and luxuriously rich and decadent it was.

I was following blogs like Emily Von Euw’s blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life, and trying my hand at raw vegan bites involving cacao and peppermint oil. They were good. But this was bliss.

Susan O’Brien, the Dallas-based raw-food maven behind the now wildly successful line of Hail Merry treats began with her own first bite of sorts—a trip to Hawaii that prompted a deeper appreciation for what she began to see as the raw-food link to well-being and nourishment.

Her hippie, dyed-in-the-wool raw-food inspiration was Renee Loux, a raw-food chef whose restaurant on Maui was a place where you could catch visits by Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, and other health-conscious celebrities who owned homes on the island. Loux’s version of raw food involved salads and ingredients like goji berries, maca, spirulina, and soaked raw buckwheat groats.

“This notion of a superfood. I’d never heard about it,” says O’Brien. As a birthday gift to herself, at the age of 40, she went raw.

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