Hi, friends! I’m so excited to kick off a new Q&A series here on the blog about women who have made (or are making) big changes in their lives to follow their dreams, passion, or purpose. Or maybe all 3! I know I am so inspired by each and every one of these women, so I hope you will be, too.

We’re kicking off the first Q&A in this new series with my friend & the Owner of Heart Beet Kitchen, Ashley Coyne! I love Ashley’s story because she took charge of her life’s journey after she got laid off from her marketing job. Like most successful entrepreneurs, she saw a hole in the market because of a personal experience (her gluten allergy) and decided to fill it herself. Hey Ash, I think it worked 😉

By the way, if you’re feeling stuck & looking for some motivation to make any change in your life — whether it’s career, health, fitness, relationships, etc. — I wrote an article just for you. Philadelphia Magazine was kind enough to let me write this article for them, and I really hope it resonates with you.

I hope you enjoy our interview!

Q: Hi, Ashley! Thank you so much for joining me & my hygge tribe today. For those that don’t know you already, please introduce yourself:

A: Hi everyone! I’m Ashley, a.k.a the owner of heart beet kitchen in Westmont, NJ. Heart Beet Kitchen is a plant-based, organic, and locally sourced restaurant serving up homemade treats, plant-based dishes, and kombucha without dairy, gluten, or egg.

q&a series hygge wellness health coach samantha vander wielen

Q: As you know, I absolutely love Heart Beet! The space is great & the food is fantastic. Tell us how you decided to start Heart Beet Kitchen:

A: I had recently gotten laid off from my full-time job doing marketing for the Philadelphia Wings when they decided to relocate to Connecticut. Living in the South Jersey area, I always wanted to go somewhere to eat that was safe for my gluten allergy and of course healthy. There wasn’t anywhere to go! So I decided to open something up myself.

Q: I am so glad you did! And you’re right – there aren’t a lot of options in the area quite yet, but I’m hoping that will change.  So even exciting things can be super stressful.  How did you handle the stress of starting a new restaurant from scratch?  Was there anything you did that got you through?

A: It was extremely stressful. We were actually just laughing about it the other night, since we can now, but I think I am at where I am with it now just from experience. I’ve worked in restaurants forever and my parents own two. But I had a lot more to learn than I ever thought. And we’re still learning, but I’m in a much better place with it all now.

q&a series hygge wellness health coach samantha vander wielen
Q: How do you fit in exercise or movement to your week? What are some of your go-to fitness classes, studios, or routines?

A: I can always be found at Royal Fitness Monday & Wednesday nights at 7:15 for kickboxing. I go to Anjali Power Yoga and Grace & Glory Fishtown for yoga. And I’m always running, too!

Q: Heart Beet makes it so easy to eat well on-the-go! Besides eating there of course, how else do you eat well with such a busy schedule?

A: So, I’m actually the queen of take-out, to be completely honest. I’ve been trying to cook more at home – I actually just got done making some food for the week. But I love avocado rolls from Sagami [Collingswood, NJ]. And I’ve been enjoying salads from Honey Grow lately, too.

Q: I love the salads from Honey Grow, too! So what’s your favorite meal & snack at Heart Beet:

A: Coconut BLT. Always. But we did just put the sriracha tempeh tacos back on the menu, and they’re a pretty close runner up.

q&a series hygge wellness health coach samantha vander wielen

Q: The coconut BLT is my favorite, too! It’s really delicious. You guys hit it out of the park with that one. So what are the biggest personal benefits or growth you’ve experienced since starting Heart Beet?

A: I’m far more confident business wise. I guess just knowing people ACTUALLY enjoy my food/concept. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

Q: I can totally understand that! People definitely love your food and your concept. Finally, can you give us some tips for someone out there who might want to make a big change in his or her life and doesn’t know where to start (like leaving their career or starting over once an old one ended – or even starting a new healthy, plant-based lifestyle):

A: Just go with your gut. If you hate your job, quit, and do something you love. Don’t worry about what people are going to think/say. I swear by this book by Danielle LaPorte called The Fire Starter Sessions. If you need any help/motivation seriously go read that book. In it she says “if it’s not a hell yes then it’s a no” — and I live by that quote.

q&a series hygge wellness health coach samantha vander wielen

Thank you SO much Ashley for being the first in my new Q&A Series! We have so many amazing women coming up in the next several weeks. I’m so excited for you to read each one! Next up: Simi Botic, holistic health coach & body image expert ☺️

If you guys live in the Philly / South Jersey area, you have to check out Heart Beet Kitchen (29 Haddon Ave., Westmont, NJ). Ashley and I host 1 free workshop a month on a different wellness topic. Make sure you’re on my email list to receive notifications about upcoming events!

Let’s connect! Schedule your free 50-minute consultation call by selecting an available time on my calendar here. It’s so easy! That’s your time to talk about what changes you’d like to make & what’s getting in your way. It’s a great time to see if health coaching is right for you & to see whether we’re a good match. 



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