Claire Olshan is well-known for her Upper East Side townhouse turned fashion destination Fivestory and its thoughtful curation of clothing; but now, she wants to upgrade your pantry, too. Earlier this year, Olshan launched an “aesthetically-minded” four-piece line of healthy snacks called DADA Daily, aimed at “re-drawing the rigid rules of wellness.” Each of the line’s four snacks highlight a superfood ingredient, like moringa and spirulina-infused brussels sprouts and turmeric-dusted cabbage petals.
Informed by her background studying fine and contemporary art, Olshan named the line of snacks after the Dada and Surrealist movements, which becomes clear when you look at the DADA “Head Set”—a green acrylic-shaped head that’s meant to double as a case for your snacks and a serving tray. Of the design, Olshan says: “It should be something you’re proud to walk down the street with, serve to your friends, or sit on your couch and indulge in.”
Below, Olshan, who’s both a new mother and a multi-brand entrepreneur, opens up about DADA Daily, everyone’s current obsession with oat milk, and her own Thanksgiving traditions.
COOLS: You launched your healthy snacking brand DADA Daily earlier this year. Where did the name come from?
Claire Olshan: “For me, The DADAists broke all the rules of past art movements, paving the way for art to be free and liberated. The DADAists put a lot of focus on the natural state of the body and mind. DADA Daily is also breaking the rules. We want to break the rules of the health food industry. We want to create a world of liberty and freedom, where our customer doesn’t have to subscribe to a diet or be imprisoned by the word NO all the time. We aren’t about being KETO or about eating NO gluten, NO dairy, NO NO NO…we are about the ‘yes,’ but also about moderation. Our motto is: ‘We live in a world of ANDs not ORS.’ You don’t always have to choose one diet and be religious about it—the only guidelines we stand by is listening to your body, eating clean, non-processed foods, and creating joy and fun around it all.
COOLS: You have been working in fashion for awhile as the founder of Fivestory. Can you describe the transition from fashion to food from a business perspective? What’s new? What’s different? What’s the same? What’s been unexpected? Tell us about it.
CO: “The most apparent thing when I started diving into the health food/wellness world was how inviting the people were. Everyone was ready and eager to welcome me in, give me advice, and help me out. I’m not saying fashion is the opposite at all, but the health industry is definitely more my vibe these days: chill and easy-going. From a business perspective, it’s really nice to be able to focus on a few things and develop them to be better and better. Fashion is so fast-paced these days it’s almost inhuman to keep up with it all!”
Your brand is all about providing healthy snack options for people who lead busy lives. As a busy New Yorker and new mother, what are some of the go-to snacks you always have on-hand?
“Our Brussel Sprouts have 12g of protein, 10g of fiber, and all the superfoods you would want to put in your smoothie (spiralina, moringa) without having to make any mess or do any work. Our Cabbage Petals also have 8g of protein and apple cider vinegar, which helps with digestion. And last but not least, our Matcha Latte Truffles are the greatest 4 p.m. pick me up there ever was—they have matcha (for a tiny bit of caffeine), maca root (for energy, stamina, and focus), and 8g of pea protein to keep you satisfied.”
What do you make of the current oak milk obsession?
“I get it in the fact that oat milk is absolutely delicious, but what I don’t get anything else! It’s definitely more sustainable, but in my opinion, it’s a potentially pesticide-covered grain milk with very little nutrition. At least with coconut milk you have MCT for brain function and with almond you have more potassium. And the worst thing—and the reason I stopped drinking it—is that the second ingredient in most oat milks is rapeseed oil (a.k.a. canola oil) which is highly inflammatory.”
What’s next for DADA and Fivestory? Are you working on anything at the moment?
“Fivestory is going to continue to bring you new and exciting designers to discover and enjoy! DADA will be pushing boundaries in the health food space, partnering with restaurants, doing collaborations with artists and fashion designers, and obviously always helping you #elevateyoursnackingmoment.”
Thanksgiving is coming up. How do you plan to celebrate? Do you have any annual traditions that you’re excited about?
“We go out to East Hampton, which I love. It’s so nice to be outside the city in the country, being with family and overloading on cozy.”
Tea or coffee?
Honey or agave?
Sweet or savory?
“Don’t you remember my quote ‘we live in a world of ands not ors?’ So both!”