The Sweet Meadow


The Drawings

living the sweet life, inspiration, brandAishe Besim

Three of the seven drawings created to complement The Sweet Meadow brand logo. 

The first area of the business I worked on for The Sweet Meadow was the branding. That's right, even before I'd written the business plan or looked at the financials!

I teamed up with my good friend Sarina Coppola to create the logo, but also wanted to create a series of unique plant drawings that could be used across the website, packaging, signage, stationary and merchandise. I had been admiring the work of illustrator Ash Bewicke for a long time and knew she would be the best artist to bring my ideas to life. 

I contacted Ash soon after and asked her to draw seven plants. Choosing seven to feature was no coincidence – the number seven has a deep relevance for me personally. Seven symbolises spiritual perfection, we have seven chakras, there are Seven Wonders of the World, seven colours of the rainbow, and in many cultures it is regarded as a lucky number. In numerology, it also resonates with the concepts of independence, inner strength, peace, natural healing and spiritual awareness - all of which were very relevant for me at the time. 

The seven plants I wanted to feature were: 

Cherry Blossom - Cherry blossoms are in bloom for two weeks at most. It is a reminder that life is fleeting and time is precious. Its message is to enjoy the moment, celebrate its coming, and acknowledge its passing without sorrow. Fruit tree blossoms also reference my upbringing growing up on a stone fruit orchard. 

Dahlia - The dahlia signifies elegance and dignity. It is also a symbol of inner strength, creativity and standing strong in your sacred values. It is also my favourite flower!

Fig - In certain countries, fig trees are generally viewed as a symbol of prosperity. It also symbolises the health of the nation both spiritually and physically. It's also my favourite fruit. It is one of the key fruits that were abundant when I first began eating a plant-based diet, so they have always held a special significance for me. 

Green Zebra Tomato - One of the most beautiful, modern heirlooms now considered a classic, the green zebra tomato is unusual with a sweet flavour. The health benefits of tomatoes have been known since ancient times. Tomatoes are rich sources of antioxidants that have been proven to be effective against many forms of cancer. 

Peony - The peony is known as the king of flowers and symbolises love, beauty and affection. For the ancient Chinese culture, the peony is the ‘King of the Flower Kingdom’ and ‘Flower of Riches and Honour.’ It is often regarded as an omen of good fortune and also signifies healing, shyness and beauty.

Raspberry - these sweet berries are an excellent cleanser for toxins in the body, and are a superior female tonic. This pink fruit signifies gentleness and compassion. Thanks to freezers I get to enjoy these sweet babies all year round. 

Rose - The rose has been the emblem of love since the earliest times. The beautiful, shapely flower represents love and passion, whilst the thorns show that love is not always rose-tinted.

Keep an eye out for how these illustrations will feature in our merchandise. 

What's in a name?

living the sweet life, brandAishe Besim
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
— William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

It wasn't easy deciding on a name for the business idea that had been swirling around in my mind for the longest time. I wanted something unique, I wanted something that referenced nature, and I wanted something that would "roll off the tongue."

I didn't want to think about it too much though. Like the quote by Shakespeare suggests, a name is simply a label for something, it doesn't solely define anything.  As The Bard puts it, a rose, if called something entirely different, would still smell as sweetly as it does with the name 'rose'.

So how did I come up with The Sweet Meadow? First, I separated the two core aspects of the product offering - healthy vegan food and plants and flowers. I then started listing descriptive words for each - 'sweet' was one that stood out early for the food reference because of my love for fruit. Fruit is the most natural food for humans to consume, and we instinctively chose ripe fruit, which is not only the sweetest but also contains the most vitamins and nutrients. Eating more whole, ripe fruit satisfies our desire for sweets in the most nourishing way. I will never quit (natural) sugar!

I've always loved the word 'meadow' - it alludes to the earth, nature and lots of flowers! In every culture and throughout time, flowers have been central to the human experience. When we hope or pray, love or mourn, we do it with flowers in our hands. While I have no intention for The Sweet Meadow to become a floral studio, I do want to encourage the sweet nature (there's that word again) of flower giving. The idea is to sell flowers arranged in bunches of one type, encouraging customers to buy their favourites and create their own arrangements. Displaying the flowers like this is also connected to the way that flowers naturally grow in fields, meadows, on farms, even on the side of the road. Big masses of blooms in great quantities.

Once I'd paired these two words together I knew I had found my name. Of course, The Sweet Meadow doesn't automatically inform you that the business is a plant-based food cafe, hence the tagline. 

My hope is that the business will highlight the benefits of including more plant-based, vegan foods into your diet, and the positive outcomes that have been proven to occur after limiting the consumption of animal-based products. Few people would argue that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is not a good thing. See for yourself!

Hydrangeas growing in Trentham, Victoria. 

Hydrangeas growing in Trentham, Victoria.