As a busy mom of three, avid traveler, and sports competitor, Pay It Forward Mom on the Street Rebecca Brady knows how healthy eating influences how we live and feel in our bodies and wants to help other families feel and be their best! Read on to learn about her life and thriving business.
Top Seedz are the creation of Rebecca Brady, a native New Zealander who always baked the crackers to have on hand for her tennis tournaments. When she and her husband moved to New York, she started bringing them as hostess gifts and then started selling at Farmers Markets. As luck would have it, a buyer from Wegman's grocery chain tasted one and wanted Top Seedz in stores. Today, you can find Top Seedz in Wegman's, Whole Foods (certain regions), and independent markets throughout the United States.
Rebecca knows that luck and success have been on her side, so she believes in paying it forward. Each of her employees is a female refugee. Hailing from diverse countries as Burundi, Somalia, Eritrea, Cabinda, and Afghanistan, each of the women she employs has stories to tell. They have traveled through many countries to live a better life. Rebecca uses her good fortune to use her company to help others reach their goals too.
As an avid traveler and sport competitor, Rebecca knows that healthy eating helps everyone feel good naturally. True to her pay-it-forward approach to life, she wanted to share her better-for-you snack with the world. Knowing how and why Rebecca founded Top Seedz makes them taste that much better!
Which three words best describe your style (fashion or cooking)?
Actually, now that I think about it, I'm the same for both - Simple. I'm quite frugal when it comes to clothes; I hate having too many choices, so buy a few good pairs of jeans and shorts, a few shirts, and I'm done! For food, again, I love to keep it Simple. Lots of fresh veggies and different herbs and spices, and I'm good to go!
What are your favorite places to shop?
I lived in Asia for 20 years and love to travel. Whenever I'm in a new city, I love going to any markets I can find. In Singapore, you get fresh fruit and veg every day at the markets. The antique markets in Japan were very cool; I loved bringing home treasures from there and am so happy when I look at them now. Friends hosted us in Israel and took us to a fabulous spice market. A bit closer to where we are now, I love Chelsea Market in NYC, can't wait to get back.
Who’s your favorite culinary icon?
Hmm, probably Jamie Oliver. He moves as fast as me and loves food as much as me. He also keeps things pretty simple—lots of fresh ingredients.
What’s your best cooking advice?
I'm going to sound repetitive but Keep it Simple :)). Let the ingredients shine. I also try not to buy anything that's already made. For example, if I'm making quiche, I'll make the pastry myself. It's fast and easy. It's really the only way you know that the ingredients you're using are what you want.
What's your most essential cooking appliance or utensil?
I love my handheld blender. I'll use it when making my favorite roast beet dip or chopping any vegetables for soups or sauces, which saves a lot of time. I also love my big silver spoon for mixing. I have great memories of my grandma's big spoon she used to bake; I'm trying to emulate her.
What food trend should NEVER make a comeback?
TV dinners!!! Luckily they never made it to NZ (not to our house anyway). I am fascinated and shocked to hear stories about families sitting down to eat a dinner that's been microwaved. Ironically I admire the mother (as it would have been at that time) for making that decision. Maybe she'd gone into the workforce and had no support from family members, so the TV dinner made her life easier. Our family cooks dinner together, and the responsibility no longer falls solely on me (the Mum)
What fashion/style did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos?
I loved my terry toweling matching shorts and top that also matched with my sisters. It's possibly made a comeback at some point, but I don't think you'll get me in that again. (see black and white photo, attached)
Stilettos or flats?
I love to be comfortable. Heck, that's a sign of old age!! If I'm comfortable, I'm confident and happy.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?
We love traveling. Sadly that's been curtailed recently. However, I have a reminder that pops up on my phone every day, Berlin, Auschwitz, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Venice, Florence, Rome. We had plans to go with our teenage kids and backpack/train around all of those cities. My son is heading to university this year, so it was going to be his "graduation party." The US has so much to see, so it's a great opportunity to visit some more places here.
What’s been your best family vacation?
I'm a New Zealander, and my husband is Irish, and we've been lucky enough to get home each Xmas and July. I have to say nothing beats going home to see family and spend time together at the beach. With NZ being in the Southern Hemisphere at Xmas, it's summertime, so we get two summers.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?
We've been in the USA for 5 years and still haven't seen a lot, now that international travel is off the cards for a while we need to explore our new home!! So much to see!
Best parenting advice:
Our children's first 10 years of education were in Japan. The school they went to let the children take charge. It seemed to work for us, so I tried to maintain that when we moved to the US. If I don't nag them about their homework and they don't do it, then they will be in trouble with their teachers. They seem to want to push themselves harder without me nagging them. If anything, when I tell them to do something, they rebel. Besides, what does their Mum know? Teenagers know everything, right?
Parenting true confession:
I had to once tell my daughter off for eating 10 bars of Japanese chocolate that I had bought to bring to cousins in Ireland. Secretly I was laughing at the whole situation. She was crying and told me she couldn't stop. I wanted to laugh and tell her that I know the feeling but had to keep a straight face and tell her that wasn't a good move!
What’s your go-to family dinner?
A big bowl of roasted or stir-fried veggies on rice with lots of garlic and ginger.
What are your best tips for dealing with picky eaters?
Don't let them get picky. I fed my kids everything from a very early age, and nothing seemed strange for them. I've seen some parents screw up their face at food, and they wonder why their kids won't eat it.
What’s your favorite family restaurant?
We miss Japan a lot. So it's got to be a ramen bar that we found in NYC. Not sure I could find it again, but it was incredible.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?
I can't get enough of Shark Tank, sorry probably not what you were looking for, but that's it! I love hearing the struggles and successes of other people in business.
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be?
That's a tough one. I have a bit of a wild laugh, so I'll go for Julia Roberts. Wonder how the NZ accent would work out.
What’s your favorite cookbook?
I love an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook that my Mum gave me when I left home. It's called Simple and has the basics of how to make things. It has a great pesto recipe, quiche, French Toast, Crepes, etc. It's a good start for anyone.
What song would you dance to when nobody’s watching?
The Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling - Love it!! I basically just jump up and down. Not the best dancer :).
If you could eat a meal with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?
My Grandma. She was a wonderful woman, and I miss her a lot. I'm growing my own blackcurrants in Buffalo. I have such lovely memories of having blackcurrants on my cornflakes when we visited her in the South Island of New Zealand.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?
Eat dinner with my family. It's the best time of the day.
We love Rebecca's sense of adventure! Rebecca inspires us with her commitment to paying to forward and her commitment to helping women in need. Be sure to grab a box of Top Seedz the next time you need the perfect hostess gift, and follow them on social to learn more about them!
For more interesting and stylish moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street!