Health & Wellness

Pasta Sauce Gets Sensitive: All-natural, Best-selling Yo Mama’s Foods Launches Sensitive Marinara

All-natural, Best-selling Handcrafted pasta sauce: Yo Mama’s Foods Launches Sensitive Marinara

Yo Mama’s Foods, the all-natural, best-selling handcrafted pasta sauce company, is adding Sensitive Marinara to their collection of fresh tomato sauces.

This Mama-approved recipe is specially designed for those following low-FODMAP diets or sensitive to alliums and is low-sodium, preservative-free, Paleo-friendly, low-glycemic, and without added sugar.

Yo Mama's Foods Launches Sensitive Marinara

Yo Mama’s Foods Launches Sensitive Marinara

 

Pure Tomato Sauce Perfect for Sensitive Systems
Amazon’s Favorite Sauce Brand Delivers
a low-FODMAP Marinara packed with Fresh Flavor

 

Crafted without onions, garlic, and oil yet with all of the fresh flavor Yo Mama’s Marinara is known for, the Sensitive Marinara is a delicious and considerate choice for individuals with dietary sensitivities.

“So many of our customers have requested an onion and garlic-free marinara that we knew he had to develop a fantastic one…”

David Habib

Yo Mama’s Founder.

“…Crafted from fresh tomatoes, fresh carrots, white wine and fresh spices, this allium-free sauce is bright in flavor and a great swap in your favorite recipes,” said David Habib, Yo Mama’s Founder.

Yo Mama’s Foods crafts sauces that recreate the homemade, authentic tastes that would typically take hours over a stove to prepare, making it easy for home cooks to enjoy healthy, quick-to-prepare dishes for their loved ones every night of the week.

In 26-ounce jars with a suggested retail price of $9, Yo Mama’s Sensitive Marinara is available at H-E-B and Amazon, with additional retailers to be announced soon.

Yo Mama’s Foods is on a mission


Yo Mama’s Foods is on a mission to bring the world back to the table through healthy and delicious foods. Yo Mama’s Foods proudly crafts all pasta sauces, salad dressings, and condiments using only ingredients that Mom has in her kitchen. Since our launch on Mother’s Day 2017, Yo Mama’s distribution has grown to more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide.

You can find more information at www.yomamafoods.com and follow them on Instagram @yomamasfoods.

Philly Celebrating with Sparkling: French Bloom Delivers Flavor finally without Boozy Battles – Wine review

Philly Celebrating with Sparkling: French Bloom Delivers Flavor finally without Boozy Battles

You want to celebrate.  You want to “pop the cork”, enjoy the flavor, but you don’t want the after-effects.  The drunkenness.  Certainly not the hangover.  And women?  Of course there needs to be ways to elegantly celebrate even (and especially) during pregnancy.  Imagine a pregnant-friendly wine?

It’s a situation that should have been solved already.  But now it has and with style.  It’s a  subtle, elegant, flavorful answer.

French Bloom Re-Invents the Game 

Now everyone can share “moments of pleasure” as their website mentions.  French Bloom’s organic de-alcoholized chardonnay and pinot noir, alcohol-free French sparkling cuvées combine French tradition with innovation.

French Bloom Co-Founders Maggie Frerejean - Taittinger and Constance Jablonski

French Bloom Co-Founders Maggie Frerejean – Taittinger and Constance Jablonski

The Team Behind French Bloom

 

Maggie Frerejean – Taittinger and Constance Jablonski bring different and complementary skill sets.  Equally important, they bring the desire for the vision and the motivation for innovation. 

Through their innovative and female-founded brand, French Bloom gives an alternative and inviting drink to those wanting to celebrate elegantly and differently, making the most of the precious moments shared with friends and family.

If the names sound familiar, Constance is a globally-working fashion model you’ve seen representing Estée Lauder and countless luxury brands.  

Maggie is director of the Michelin Guide and married to Rodolphe Frerejean-Taittinger, chief executive of Champagne Frerejean Freres. 

Carl Héline, the former head of Champagne Krug, joined French Bloom. 

Let’s Taste French Bloom

Le Rosé 

Pale pink in the glass.  Rose petals, freshly picked red currant, raspberry aromas on the nose.  Indulgent white peach notes on the palate. Elegant. The organic French grapes give a nice acidity.  Well-balanced complexity of minerality and freshness.  Tartness and a rounded balance on the finish.

Certified Vegan- Organic- Halal
0.0% Alcohol
Pregnant-friendly
Low Calorie
Sulfite-Free
No preservatives
No sugar added, 4,2g/ 100ml

A blend of de-alcoholized organic French Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, organic grape juice, Gensac spring water and natural organic flavors such as lemon. 

 

French Bloom sparkling Discovery Kit

 

Le Blanc 

Organic French Bubbly, 0.0% Alcohol

Medium golden amber in the glass. Minerality and pear aromas on the nose, that just keep opening and opening.  Pear, banana, melon, white flowers.  An explosion of complexity on the palate.  As the flavors open, Granny Smith apple, spicy citrus.  A full-bodied mouth with a luxurious, zesty finish that keeps going.

De-alcoholized organic wine, organic grape juice, French sparkling Gensac spring water, organic lemon juice, organic natural flavors.

Certified Vegan- Organic- Halal

0.0% Alcohol

Pregnant-friendly

Low Calorie

Sulfite-Free

No preservatives

No sugar added, 5,9g/ 100ml

Learn more: FrenchBloom.com

https://www.facebook.com/frenchbloomsparkling

https://www.instagram.com/french.bloom

 

Philly Foodies: Chilli No 5 Brings BIG Flavor …and Superfoods to Your Next Meal

Philly Foodies: Chilli No 5 ‘Sauce of Life’ Brings BIG Flavor …and Superfoods to Your Next Meal with an unmistakable spicy hit, combined with superfoods & health supplements.

Providing the flavorful gourmet vegan chilli sauces & gift sets using the most natural & healthy ingredients.

Chilli No 5 Brings 'Superfood Sorcery' and Big Flavor

Chilli No 5 Brings ‘Superfood Sorcery’ and Big Flavor

Delivering the best range of your favorite international flavors of chilli, marinades and BBQ hot sauces.

Co-founder Rumble Romagnoli joined me for a conversation about food, family, making chilli healthier and bringing their award-winning chilli sauce to the masses.

Chilli No. 5 Co-founder Rumble Romagnoli

Chilli No. 5 Co-founder Rumble Romagnoli

The below conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  Find the full, un-edited conversation at our YouTube channel.

 

When you think about hot sauce, can you tell us about a celebration or a memory, something in life that inspired you to get so excited about hot sauce?

Rumble Romagnoli: Yeah when we’re smaller and we’re in the kitchen, it’s such a magical experience, isn’t it?

I had a real Italian Nonna so an Italian grandmother who always had bubbling pots and pastas and, Mules and fish and meat.  My mother and my sister; so great moments as a child cooking in the kitchen and then out on the dining table with all the family.

It was great and now I love cooking and it makes me really relaxed. Just zoning out, cooking for the family, growing my own vegetables, chilies and then gathering around tables with friends and family just to enjoy. And that’s really where this all started.

 

What does day to day life look like for you.  How did you decide to split up some of that time with a hot sauce endeavor?

Rumble Romagnoli: You remember COVID wasn’t really a nice time for anyone. We were there in a small apartment with lots of small children. It was chaos.

We couldn’t see our friends. We couldn’t see our family. They were all over the world and it was desperate times. So I suppose setting up Chili No. 5 was all about this kind of wanting to get back together with people enjoying moments and being together, sharing and getting fresh, healthy food and not lining up in the supermarket.

Chilli No 5 Brings 'Superfood Sorcery' and Big Flavor

Chilli No 5 Brings ‘Superfood Sorcery’ and Big Flavor

A lot of chefs who I was very friendly with all had lost their jobs. I was like, Hey, can you make sauce? They’re like, yeah, of course I can. So that’s how it all started. 

And we started trying out new flavors and we love world cooking. So that’s how Chilli No 5 started.

From your Chilli expert point of view, what should someone look for on a label that lets us know this is a quality chilli sauce?

Rumble Romagnoli: I think you guys are better at it than us to be fair. You’re fanatics; incredible.

I’m not a real expert. I just love creating great food for my family and friends. And we’ve tried to make… The best world hot sauces but they’re not going to blow your head off. It’s not really a hot sauce. They are chilli sauces. 

Chilli No 5 variety of flavors

Chilli No 5 variety of flavors

What I think you should be looking for on the bottle is: great ingredients, as many as you can get. No numbers, no coloring, no baddies.

I’m looking for just superfoods and anything that’s gonna make me glow.

In my world, when I think of chili sauce and hot sauces, I don’t always think of superfoods.

Tell me a little bit about where the idea came from to so strongly cross over superfoods with chili.

 

Rumble Romagnoli:  I love spice and tingling on my tongue and that kind of rush you get from that spice and hot.  The hot sauce or the flakes or the chili oil. My wife loves to be healthy. Happy wife, happy life they say, so I just combined.

I was doing something more spicy and she says, why don’t you put some good stuff in there? And I’d been reading a lot about Guana ginseng, maca; and all of these are in our sources. These are natural supplements that you buy in the shop.  You have some of that and it really picks you up, increases your concentration, which I need for long days. I need more energy. I’m getting older. So I was like, hey let’s just put them in the hot sauce and then you got the best of both worlds. So that’s the superfood sauce or superfood sorcery we like to say.

That was all my wife’s doing to be honest.

 

I feel like a lot of chilli sauces are just gunk. When I think superfoods, I think health. Is your Chilli No 5 a health food?

Rumble Romagnoli: Absolutely. I’ll pick out one of these bottles.I wouldn’t say a healthy hot sauce. I would say a hot sauce full of healthy ingredients because you never know there are some sugars in here and you never know what people will find healthy or not healthy.

But we’ve got in this Jamaican jerk, which is great on a barbecue chicken as a marinade as a condiment as a barbecue sauce. We’ve got fresh red onions, fresh spring onions. Chilli No 9 chili. Fresh chilies, which are all really healthy for you. There’s ginger. There’s garlic. There’s lemon. There’s lime. There’s agave syrup. 

We tried to tone down the sugar but keep it a little bit sweet, apple cider vinegar, we’ve got, extra virgin olive oil. It goes on black garlic, thyme, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper, guarana, maca, Ginseng, l arginine.  It doesn’t stop.  That is packed to the rims, full of healthy ingredients.

We’ve tried to put the healthiest ingredients we could find and make it as tasty as possible using these ingredients and authentic to Jamaica and their jerk sauce.

It’s a sauce packed full of healthy superfood antioxidant ingredients and that’s maybe why it’s winning all these awards for taste. 

Because bottom line is it has to taste nice before being healthy.

 

Nobody wants a science flavored chili. So I agree with that.   Let’s talk about some of your favorite flavors.

Rumble Romagnoli:  It’s hard because we have over 15 sources. But one of my favorites which you’d probably love as well is the Mexican Fury. My sister lives in Guadalajara in Mexico. She left the UK and went all around South America and ended up finding a lovely guy and settled down there. 

Mexican food is fantastic. It’s just really great.  Full of flavors and all sorts of different ingredients that we can’t grow in the UK or in Europe.  You guys have got such great weather down there in the South, Miami, Florida. Texas, Mexico between the South of the U. S. and the North of Mexico.

So you’ve got the jalapenos which are just incredible. We’ve got all of these beautiful chilies, the habanero come up with an automatically smoky flavor when mixed with the red peppers, the tomatoes, the red onions.  They fuse this on the palate to really pair very well with chicken, prawns, tacos, burritos or even egg for breakfast or pancakes.

The Mexican Fury is a really good one. We won 16 awards for different sauces. I love chipotle, anything smoky in our Louisiana barbecue. We’ve tried to tone down the sugar, add a bit of cognac whiskey, bourbon whiskey.  We’ve added the classic American ingredients in there to make a kind of healthy style Louisiana barbecue. 

Then the harissa is a great one. It’s really popular. it’s North African full of caraway seeds, cumin seeds, olive oil, lots of of incredible deep ingredients that really sit on the back of the tongue. There’s lots of ingredients there that kind of bring your food to life. 

We want to bring life and energy into a barbecue situation, dinner with granny, breakfast before work, sandwich on the bench in Manhattan.

 

Tell us a little bit about the competitions you’ve entered.

Rumble Romagnoli: We were only a year old and we’d come up with these sauces and we’d thought they were good.  The founder Chef Colin and then we had a team of chefs working in our London kitchen and our South of France kitchen and we entered the Great Taste Awards.

These are quite big awards in the UK but it’s international awards where all kind of fine foods, gourmet foods are tested by panels of hundreds of judges. It’s quite a strict competition. 

So first year we came in and we won seven stars for 11 products. We’re very happy. It was incredible. The Jamaican jerk really got a good one. The heavenly Harissa came in very well. Our chilli oil called Pizza Pizzazz.

Our chili flakes are all fresh and lovely coming from all sides of the world. Carolina Reaper, the Scorpion, the Habanero, the Ghost, the Number 5 chili from India. 

We watched and read all of the judges’ comments and we’re so thankful that they really detailed about acidity, balance, flavor structures.

Then we reworked it.  We played around with ingredient quality, we changed vinegars slightly, the cooking process.  We started baking the vegetables, the peppers, the onions, the red onions.  The tomatoes really started getting more flavor.  We put in a bit of olive oil at the start to get the flavors moving around.

Then we came in this year with 13 awards out of 16.  With our 7, that makes 16 of our total products have won awards by the Great Taste Awards.

We want to create the best chilli sauces on the planet. That’s my mission.

 

How is Chilli No 5 going to grow and evolve?

Rumble Romagnoli: It’s happening quite quickly and we have a B2C strategy and service strategy.

We want to have the most delicious sauces in every category.  We’re just working on each recipe and we think  if we make the best sauce, people are going to love the best sauce, and then they’re going to buy the best sauce.

A bit like Apple, just make the best products and people just keep buying them  We’re getting into big stores in the UK, placements in Monaco.

We are in lots of great high end butchers, delicatessens and it’s going really well. 

So we’ve got this B2B strategy. We need to impress the professionals.   We’ve impressed the people who love healthy lifestyle, love delicious sauce, gourmet. But now we have to impress the industry.

Obviously coming to America is the big move. 

Tell us all the ways we can learn more about Chilli No. 5 Tell us your website, social media. 

Rumble Romagnoli: The website is the big one, Chilli No.5. Shop us on Etsy.  Follow us on instagram, Facebook, YouTube. 

We’re also quite present for hot sauce gift sets. We do five or six incredible hot sauce gift sets which are collections of the sauces. And we’ve got mini little minis and you can make your own you can personalize because we’ve got 15 sauces.

We’re very big at Christmas. Very big at Father’s Day, Thanksgiving and we will send the sauces over to you guys in the states. No problem. If anything breaks, if anything’s damaged, we will refund you and resend you the sauce you ordered because that’s the least we can do.

 

With Flavor and Acclaim, Jøyus Non-Alcoholic Wines Proves it’s an All Year Drink

With Flavor and Acclaim, Jøyus Non-Alcoholic Wines Proves it’s an All Year Drink. Not just for #SoberOctober, but its award-winning tastes help you celebrate all year-long.

Jøyus non-alcoholic wines not only taste like wine, but great wine. With the industry awards to prove it. 

Recently I sat down with Jøyus leader Jessica Selander.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  You can find the full, un-edited conversation on our YouTube page.

 

 

Can you give us a personal story, maybe that includes the celebration of wine, if you have one?

Jessica Selander: The story is very personal and the funny thing is I get so nervous before talking about things because when I started Joyus, I did not originally [think about] doing things like this, being so face forward. 

I thought I would create a product that I was really excited about.  Eventually I came to realize, how do I do that without telling the “why did I do it?”

The whole reason that Joyus exists and it influences everything I do is because I’m sober.  I quit drinking alcohol 17 years ago now, which just feels like a fantastical amount of time.

For me, it’s been very rewarding. I’m very glad about it. But it was definitely something that was really hard and very personal. It wasn’t something I shared about publicly. So that’s also why this is a journey of getting comfortable talking about my sobriety, my recovery.

I like the taste of wine. I like beautiful glasses. I like the smell of wine.  I love the community and people; and hanging out and celebrating.  It literally says ’let’s celebrate’ on our bottles.  How great sparkling is for summer, but sparkling is such a happy thing.

You know what I mean? Something good happens in your life and people are like, let’s celebrate. Let’s pop some bottles. New Year’s Eve is such a beautiful idea of let’s start over. Whatever happened last year, whatever terrible things went down, there’s a brand new year.

It’s a new idea that we can celebrate either that past year that was good or celebrate the potential of a new year. That’s going to be better and that’s sparkling. 

And for me, I didn’t have any options. 

I started Joyus nine years ago. People ask me how long the company’s been around and we launched about two years ago. So it took me a very long time to figure it out, to save up the money to do it because as you can imagine, nine years ago, people thought it was crazy.

They’re like, ‘That’s a terrible idea. Nobody wants that’. And I’m like ’I want it’.

Having quit drinking, I had a lot of friends that also didn’t drink. I had a lot of people in my life too, who were just light drinkers – could give or take alcohol.  Then I have two kids and there’s a huge percent of the population that quits drinking for nine months [because they’re pregnant], sometimes even longer.

You can get into medications, you’re not supposed to drink on it. Anxiety medication, not supposed to drink on it. Heart medication, cancer treatments. There’s a lot of medical stuff too, that you could go down the list.

So I get a lot of people now who are like, ‘Oh, it’s not alcoholic. It’s trending.’ And that’s a thing now. 

Early on in my sobriety, I actually used to drink a lot of soda pop out of glass bottles, and then eventually discovered non alcoholic beer.

Non alcoholic beer is definitely having a really cool movement right now. There’s so many different options for non alcoholic beer, but the beer has always been around. 

I was like, this exists and it tastes like beer. What’s up with non-alcoholic wine?

There was one sparkling [non-alcoholic wine] in the entire country and that’s all you could find. There was one white and there was one red and that was it.

For me these options were really sweet. They were very affordable, which is nice, but they didn’t have the complete experience that I was going for. I wanted non alcoholic wine that tastes like wine. 

I wanted something that I could bring to a gathering and bring to a get together and have it feel appropriate and look appropriate and just look like everybody else’s [alcoholic] bottles.  Smell like everyone else’s bottles that you just wouldn’t even know that it was non alcoholic until you saw it on the label. And that’s what I did.

So after trying to find it for forever, eventually I was like, I’m going to do it myself. And I had no idea that this whole sober curious, non alcoholic world would take off like it has at exactly the right time.

So part of me is very frustrated that it took so long. But part of that too, it was like saving up the money to start the company.

This is a bootstrap company.  I like making my own decisions. A side effect after getting to this point is I’m 100% in control of all the decisions, which also means that I can control the quality because [it] is incredibly expensive to make.

 

Let’s talk about your sober story.  What it means to you, how you got there, what your mission is, how that helps others.

 

Jessica Selander: So for me, I can’t drink alcohol. What happens when I put alcohol in my body is that I make decisions I don’t want to be making.  

I tried a lot of things. I tried cutting back and it didn’t work. I tried replacing [the drinks and that didn’t work].

My life became pretty chaotic. 

I stopped drinking and once I get my life in order, then everything will be fine. I can drink again. 

Then after not drinking for a period of time, I was like, Oh, you know what?  There’s actually something to this and it’s something deeper and it’s probably the best thing I ever did, honestly, in my life. 

I would not be the person I am today on the inside if I had kept drinking.

I have a wonderful spouse and I’ve got amazing kids and I’m able to be a parent and be a person and do that clear eyed and there’s a lot of my upbringing was not the most positive. 

Sober curious, it’s a hashtag now. 

I’m not saying alcohol shouldn’t exist. I’m not that kind of person whatsoever. 

On a personal level it is so exciting to see other brands pop up. The first time I tried non-alcoholic tequila, it blew my mind. It was amazing. The spirits are interesting because some people build it up from science and some people are de-alkalizing; taking the alcohol out.

So that’s the really interesting thing about this. Normally spirits are completely separate from wine, which are very separate from beer, but in non-alcoholic, we’re all in the same swimming pool and everybody’s doing it differently and everybody’s got their own take and you can try one non-alcoholic whiskey and it’s incredibly different from another one.

Community not competition is one of our core values.  Normalizing non drinking is a big one. It’s not necessarily replacing alcohol either. I’ve talked to people in the wine industry who are very offended by the idea of non alcoholic wine.  I’m like no, it’s backwards. You’ve got it backwards. Non-alcoholic wine is a love letter to wine. You love wine so much that you still want to have it. You just can’t have this one piece that’s in it [the alcohol], but I want everything else. 

I want to cheers that glass with other people. I want to drink that red with a really strong stinky cheese. I want to pop that celebratory cork. I want to Rose all day. I just can’t.

I think that wine is very important culturally. It’s so interesting historically. The process is this fascinating mix of art and science.  I love everything about it. Getting deeper and deeper into it too, because I want Joyus to be around for forever and I want to make the best possible non-alcoholic wine.

There’s so much stuff to perfect that I could spend the next 50 years just working on non-alcoholic red – period.

 

You mentioned you’re seeing other competitors in the marketplace. How many different ways are there to make non-alcoholic wine?  Are some ways higher quality than others?

 

Jessica Selander: I can give tips. Our wine is a dealcoholized or alcohol removed wine, which means it’s gone through the whole winemaking process.

It’s aged, it’s fermented, and then we have removed the alcohol from it. Our bottles also say it’s non alcoholic. Sometimes you’ll see a bottle in the store and it just says non alcoholic on it. It doesn’t say dealcoholized or alcohol removed. They’re interchangeable. That means it wasn’t fermented.

So if you’re looking for a wine that is really going to taste like wine or have that fermented taste, look for dealcoholized or alcohol removed.

[Look at the label on the bottle] look for dealcoholized or alcohol removed, because it could say that it’s a non alcoholic red or a non-alcoholic grape [varietal] and it might just be a juice, that hasn’t been fermented or ages but comes in a wine bottle.

 

What are your goals in the present moment and in the near future to help your company continue to be a leader in the industry?

 

Jessica Selander: I think goals are accessibility. Normalizing sober drinking.  Making [non-alcoholic bottles] easy to find.  We do ship off our website, which is great. We’re shipping from Seattle. We ship everything ourselves.  If you’re out East, it’s going to take four or five days to get to you. 

Also starting to talk to restaurants, getting into more restaurants is a big one.  I’ve had anniversary dinners with my spouse and I’m drinking an Arnold Palmer.

I’m calling restaurants and I’m calling grocery stores and they’re still really skeptical that it can be good and that people want it.

 

Do you think it’s just audience reaching out? Is there a tipping point?

 

Jessica Selander: Yes, that really helps having people being in a restaurant and saying, “Hey, what do you have that’s an alcoholic?” Because restaurants are saying nobody’s asking for it. 

Here I am double digit sober and I had never gone into a restaurant and asked for it.

I would look at the [menu’s] non alcoholic section, which is always juice, soda pop, iced tea and stuff. If it’s not on the menu, I would never ask them for anything. Here I am for over a decade, not telling them that I want this thing. So we started doing more education on social media and online.

If you walk into a restaurant, ask them “What do you have that’s not alcoholic?”

Just pregnant people alone. There’s a large percentage of the population.

Is there science that says a pregnant woman can drink this and have zero concerns?

 

Jessica Selander: Yes. So this is super interesting. In the United States we’re the most strict in terms of alcohol. If you go to the UK, they have different, actually higher limits for how much alcohol can be in something. The US’s rules come from prohibition when you can’t sell, make, transport alcohol.

The government said once it gets under 0.5%, it’s not alcohol anymore. So that’s where that number comes from and sometimes people see it and say, “Oh, there’s a little bit of alcohol in this.” 

There was a study done in Germany where they tested a lot of grocery store items.  What they found was there’s a lot of stuff in our grocery stores that had a little bit of alcohol in it. Very ripe bananas, which we feed to toddlers have some alcohol in them. Orange juice is another one.

American hamburger buns. But it also makes sense, bread, yeast and we have more sugar in our products, right? Bread actually has more alcohol than people realize. 

Let’s talk about your wine’s flavors and aromas and the winemaking process to get there.

Jessica Selander: I knew what I wanted and I was incredibly picky about it. 

We launched with the sparkling white and the sparkling Rose’ and people were asking for a Rose’ with no bubbles.

I thought it would be easy.  It was not easy. 

Stills are very different from sparkling. I’m a balance of “I know what I want. I’m going for this thing and very focused”, but then I’m also balanced with listening. So we do a lot of focus groups. I do want feedback.  I do want opinions. 

We were working on it.  Everyone’s saying it’s good, it’s great.  But I didn’t think it was good enough. We were supposed to launch it in summer and I pushed everything back.  Back to the drawing board. 

What if we did this? What if that?  Talking to people, reading science and chemistry books

Was it like working for the right blend?

Jessica Selander: It’s tweaking so many different things and pieces in the blend. But it doesn’t always work out.  If you tweak a blend, sometimes other notes will come forward that you’re not expecting, or sometimes you’ve diminished things that you didn’t intend to diminish.

The still Rose is a great example, it didn’t have that click and so I just kept working on it. And that’s the one that won Double Gold and Best in Class in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, which is one of the biggest and oldest blind tastings in the world and the biggest and oldest blind tasting in the U.S.

 

Can you share any details and lessons you learned taking on the world of winemaking?

 

Jessica Selander: There’s so many things.  We’re not just making wine.  We’re wholesale, we’re distributing, we’re direct to consumer. We have so many different facets. 

I could talk for hours about how our wines are very low in sugar and they don’t have the alcohol in them. So our [bottles] probably freeze easier than anything else on the market. So shipping during the winter.

I’ve had conversations with other non alcoholic people too.  Everybody’s doing it differently and that’s the hard part too, where I feel like there’s a solution for every problem.

We’ve gotten better and better at winter shipping, but it’s not quite there yet.  Figuring out what can we ship in that’s going to have thermal protection, but isn’t going to contribute a ton of garbage. We’ve got the most eco-friendly, innovative winter shippers.  They’re made of corn. 

They’re expensive as hell, but it’s better than styrofoam. We have to keep everything under 50 pounds for UPS and 12 bottles of sparkling is 51 pounds in these corn shippers.

That thermal protection is still not enough, so we added heat packs. 

Let’s talk about your wines.

 

Jessica Selander: We have four varietals.  We’ve got our sparkling white, a sparkling Rosé. Still Rosé, a Cabernet Sauvignon. I love our red a lot. The reds are hard. They’re the most complicated; red wine has the highest alcohol content to begin with.

What flavor notes should we be looking for?

 

Jessica Selander: It’s definitely an American Cab. More fruit forward. It’s not grape juice. It’s fermented, it’s aged in American oak so you’ll get some green-ness to, like forest floor.  The longer it’s been open the more tasting notes you’ll get. I like it more and more throughout the week because the fruit notes settle down. Black currant, cherry, some leather 

The still rosé, watermelon, a nice floral to it. 

Sparkling rosé. Slightly floral.  Some orange blossom to it.  Blackberry, but some people say raspberry. Some people say strawberry.  They’re very summery

I think sometimes tasting notes feel in excess because we all taste things very differently. 

Our audience is foodies. Let’s talk a little bit about some of your favorite meals that you think would pair that your favorite pairings with your wines

 

Jessica Selander: I bake. I come from a big family, so I can pretty much cook anything. 

I heard someone say one time that baking was more science. And cooking was more art and I do agree with that. 

Let’s talk about the wine competitions. How you see them, what the experience has been like, and of course, what their results have been.

Jessica Selander: I did not know that competition was as big of a deal as it is [which was a blessing].  So what happened was I was beating my head against the wall being like, “They taste like wine!”  And my brother said, nobody believes you. You have to enter them into wine competitions. You need to prove to them in their own landscape that you belong there. 

So, here’s this competition. The first one, the sparkling rosé won gold and sparkling white won bronze.

Then I looked deeper into what the competition was [and realized it was the acclaimed San Francisco International Wine Competition & World Spirits Competition ]. It was a blessing because I think I would have been scared to do it. Then [next year] I do it with the Still Rose and the Cab.  Then hearing back, you’ve got the highest a non-alcoholic has ever gotten and you’re Still Rose is the best non-alcoholic wine of any varietal entered from all over the world. 

I was only wondering if it was even going to place, and here it ends up winning the best.

I was at a grocery store [today] I’ve been trying to get into for two years where the head buyer won’t even try it. So it’s [frustrating] but the more of these awards that we stack up, at some point in time they have to not ignore it. They’ll be like, Oh, this is a real thing.

We haven’t [hit that goal], it’s not normalized yet. We’re in over 300 stores and in almost in every state.

 

If you want more non-alcoholic near you at a restaurant and grocery store, what are the step-by-step, simple direction

Jessica Selander: This is super easy for people.

So if there’s a grocery store or a local market that you shop at already, you just go into the wine department and say, “Hey, what non-alcoholic wine do you have?”  And let them know you want it.  Verbally say it

It’s the same thing in restaurants. I do it myself now too, where I get the menu and I’m not seeing what the stuff on it. And I just ask and say, Hey, what non alcoholic stuff do you have?” 

 

Tell us how we can learn more about Joyus.  Shopping and following on social media.

 

Jessica Selander: So all of our social media stuff, our website is DrinkJoyus.com. Our Facebook, our Instagram, our TikTok are all DrinkJoyus

And on the website, there is this Find Joyus store finder map. So you can look on there and find us closest to you and working hard to add new stores pretty much weekly and email, email us. There’s a contact form on the website. Email. If you’re like, Hey, there’s a store by me. I want them to carry you. Email us. And we will call them and we will try, we’ll do our best and we’ll call them again three months later and we’ll call them again.

 

Upgrading Your Philly House? Start by Choosing Your Best Mattress in 2023

Upgrading Your Home? – Your Best Mattress in 2023

Reviewed and revealed.  Time for you to find your mattress in 2023.  Most of us spend a third of our lives asleep. Science says it’s how we repair, recharge and dream. With hybrid work or work from home, we sometimes rest more.  Some of us work from our bed.

You’re moving?  You upgraded your house?  Either way, it’s time for a new mattress.  And a lot of changed since the old days of mattress shopping.  Even if “the old days” was just 5 years ago.

Big changes.  Real science upgrades depending on sleep position, body type, health conditions,  body temperature, temperature of the room and flexibility, adaptability of all of these variables.

It’s a lot of decisions that you probably don’t want to research.  You just want an awesome night’s sleep.

So we did the mattress research for you

Brooklyn Bedding's Signature

Brooklyn Bedding’s Signature

What’s the best mattress overall?

Brooklyn Bedding’s Signature is pretty amazing.  The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is the brand’s flagship bed. 

The mattress offers three firmness options, a strong steel coil foundation layer, a comfy “give” that rests your aching bones, strong and durable hybrid construction.  

Their hybrid mattress (a bed made with coils and foam) offers a neutral-foam feel that’s more light and airy than traditional memory foam. It also offers improved edge support, thanks to a thick layer of pocketed coils with reinforced coils around the edges of its support bed.

Accommodating for all body types and even suits any sleeping position. 

If you time it right (they have sales), it’s surprisingly affordable. 

Price is usually closer to $1200, but with the right timing (discounts), you can sleep well for under $1000.

Layla Hybrid mattress

Layla Hybrid mattress

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Layla Hybrid mattress is special!  Generations ago, flippable mattresses were popular and the Layla brand is bringing back the trend.  So yes,  it’s flippable and both sides offer different firmness levels – so yes, you have two choices to pick from to match your personal preference.  One side is soft and pressure relieving while the other is firmer and more supportive. 

Also, Layla’s primary comfort layers are made with copper-gel memory foam which helps regulate temperature, while the material feels ultra light and airy. This is more responsive than the foam’s traditional slow-bouncing nature.

The Layla Hybrid is ultra plush and soft.  Indulgently comfortable. A. great choice for side sleepers of all body shapes and sizes.

The Layla Hybrid comes in a range of sizes: twin to California king sizes and prices range from $1,299 to $1,899.

Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic

Best Firm Mattress

The Saatva Classic offers both plush comfort with premium support. Its thick and supportive construction provides contouring that fits each of your body’s curves.  Unique from most hybrid beds, it offers two coil layers (one innerspring layer and one pocketed coil layer), memory foam, Lumbar Zone Active Spinal Wire and a quilted, zoned pillow-top add to a luxury experience. Designed to promote comfort and spinal alignment.

The innerspring mattress hybrid construction is the magic behind why this bed is so supportive and firm. 

The Saatva Classic’s special lumbar technology is designed to keep your spine aligned while comforting your shoulders and hips.Also allows you to choose how firm you want your firm bed to be. 

The Saatva Classic comes in sizes twin XL to split California king and prices range from $887 up to $2,296.

How to Design a Zero-Waste Kitchen

How to Design a Zero-Waste Kitchen

By Caleb Leonard

As we witness the impacts of plastics and other waste on our planet, more and more people are looking to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Creating a zero-waste kitchen involves adopting a mindful and sustainable approach to reduce waste at every stage of your buying, cooking, and eating routines, and it is an impactful way to minimize your carbon footprint.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Plan Ahead to Leave Less Behind

Look through your pantry and kitchen to see what you have on hand. Assess areas where waste is generated and rethink your shopping list.

Food waste can be prevented by effectively using your ingredients. Make creative use of leftovers. Freeze excess food for future meals. Don’t over-purchase perishable items. Make a shopping list and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases.

Buy in Bulk and Refill

Stock up on staples like grains, pasta, nuts, and spices in bulk. If you are heading to a store with bulk bins, bring your containers to avoid excess packaging.

Another way to reduce plastic packaging waste is by shopping at stores where you can refill cleaning and personal care products.

Choose products with minimal or sustainable packaging. Opt for glass, metal, or cardboard packaging over plastic whenever possible. These items can be repurposed or recycled.

Avoid individually packaged items and single-use packaging.

Shop Your Local Farmers Market

Shop Your Local Farmers Market

Shop Your Local Farmers Market

Farmers markets facilitate zero-waste kitchens.

Here’s how:

Reduced food packaging: Farmers markets offer fewer packaged and processed foods than grocery stores. Buying fewer single-use plastics keeps packaging waste out of landfills.

Local and seasonal produce: Farmers markets prioritize regionally grown and seasonal produce. By buying from local farmers, you support sustainable agriculture practices while minimizing the environmental impact of long-distance food transportation.

Bulk purchases: Many farmers markets offer the option to buy produce in bulk, allowing you to choose the quantity you need without redundant packaging.

BYOB (bring your own bag)

BYOB (bring your own bag)

BYOB (bring your own bag)

Those flimsy plastic bags from the grocery store are no match for a reusable tote. Reusable bags made from canvas or recycled plastics are larger and more durable than single-use bags. Plus, more states are implementing fees to curb the use of plastic bags.

Go Green with Reusable Kitchenware

Most people know about reusable water bottles, but there are tons more reusable items on the market (many are dishwasher-safe too). From reusable K-cups for your morning cup of joe to stainless steel straws, there are lots of eco-friendly ways to eliminate kitchen waste.

Here are a few examples:

  • Reusable food wraps (plastic wrap alternative)
  • Washable cloths (paper towel/napkin substitute)
  • Fiberglass chopsticks
  • Compostable sponges
  • Silicone storage/freezer bags (Ziplock alternative)
  • Silicone muffin liners

Reusable products not only cut down on the production and consumption of new products, but they also save you money.

Consider Eco-Friendly Upgrades

With all the money you’ll save by going green, consider upgrading your appliances. New technologies use less water and electricity. The money you spend on energy-efficient appliances will be recuperated over time.    

Freeze as You Please

A high-performance freezer is a powerful tool for keeping your food fresh. Food waste often comes from leftovers. Rather than throwing away leftovers, you can freeze them. These frozen meals can be quick and convenient options on busy days, especially when stored as pre-packaged meals.

Freezing foods can significantly extend their shelf life; this way, you can buy in bulk and take advantage of sales without worrying about ingredients spoiling.

If you have produce nearing its expiration date, freeze it before it turns. Freeze fruits, vegetables, and other perishables. Sauces can be frozen too.

Your freezer can also store dry goods. Freeze bulk items like nuts, grains, and flour for later use.

Reimagine Your Food Scraps

Reimagine Your Food Scraps

Reimagine Your Food Scraps

Almost all organic material has multiple uses. For example, banana peels make great hair and skin masks, banana tea is a powerful sleep aid, and plants love the potassium-enriched water of peels soaked overnight.

Orange peels can be boiled as a room deodorizer or baked and ground into a vitamin-packed powder.

Bones can be made into bone broth, and new plants can be grown from viable produce seeds, while herbs can be propagated for an endless supply of seasonings.

Before you toss it in the compost bin, perform a quick search and scope out any additional uses.

Compost is King

Composting is the backbone of the zero-waste kitchen. Once you have re-used your food in every imaginable way, it’s time to give it back to the earth. Create a compost pile in your yard; use a tumbling bin or a countertop composter.

Benefits of composting:

Reduced landfill waste: Food scraps account for a large chunk of landfill waste. When these materials decompose in landfills; they release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting diverts these materials away from landfills, reducing their environmental impact.

Enriched soil: Compost improves soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability. By composting, you’ll foster healthy plant growth, reducing the need for excessive watering and fertilizers.

Minimized odor and pests: Properly composting food scraps and yard waste reduces the likelihood of attracting pests and generating foul odors in trash bins.

A zero-waste kitchen is one way to live a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle. Once you hit your stride in the kitchen, you’ll likely find other areas to cut waste. Small changes add up, and you’ll make a big difference.

Caleb Leonard is a freelance writer and marketing professional. A graduate of the University of North Texas, his interests include gardening, podcasts, and studying Spanish.

Is Philly ready for new Milk? These Noodles? We asked Chris Langwallner from WhatIf Foods

Is Philly ready for new Milk? These Noodles? We asked Chris Langwallner from WhatIf Foods

WhatIF Foods believes in a better better.

Tasty, delicious foods that are better for our bodies, better for our taste buds and farmer buds alike. Better for degraded lands, our eco-systems and naturally… better for cows.

Today I had the chance to have a conversation (via zoom) with WhatIF Food’s Chris Langwallner to talk about inspiration, their foods, their flavors and the science and technology making it all happen.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full conversation visit our YouTube channel.

Today we are here with Chris Langwallner from What If Foods. Thanks for joining us today.

Absolute pleasure. I cannot thank you enough. It’s fantastic to be here and letting our story get out a little bit. So thank you very much. I’m excited because it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

 

 

We’re talking about plant-based foods, we’re talking about planet based foods and for a “better-better” world. I’m hoping you’ll clarify that for us.

 

I look forward to it. Yes, it’s all about a planet based food company. It’s all about regenerating. It’s all about reconnecting to communities, restoring the greater land, and making sure that we are replenishing the nutrients we need on a day-to-day basis.

 

What inspired you to get into plant-based food?

 

To be honest with you, as a planet based company I think what really inspired me to get into a better way of doing things is actually a call out of my grandfather.

He has been always saying, leave this planet a better world than how you found it. When I was a young boy, I couldn’t understand. It was too abstract. I couldn’t really get my head around. But as I was then working in the industry for 20, 25 years you look behind the scenes, and you see how food is being manufactured on large scale and how profitability over shadows a lot of decision making.

And on the other flip side of the coin, there is a community out there, about 2.6 billion people. This planet makes a direct income or an indirect income from farming activities. And the vast majority, more than two thirds of these people are the poorest of the poor. And we are leaving them behind. And that’s not fair to them because what we have on the plates has been harvested by them.

They take care of their land. And if we leave them behind in the current state of affairs We’ll see many tears in their eyes. And it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be totally different. And hence my strife was really to look at the planetary health and its affairs as well as humanity overall.

And thinking about that must be a better way of doing things and how can we improve it, not incrementally, but really make a system change. And here we are basically inspired by my grandfather. 

On your website, you take some very science-based heavy content and you make it fun and easy.  Talk about that process.

 

It’s a team effort. Honestly, there’s a huge team behind the scenes that works tirelessly on improving our communication and our style and our tone. But the essence of it all is that we understand that Gen Zs and today’s youth are essentially those consumer groups that are on this planet.

Probably the first sort of generation that is fully educated in sustainability. And they have their ability today by one click of a button to really look behind the scenes and understand whether or not there is BS or whether or not there’s transparency, there’s honesty, and there is a different approach to things.

So that is one aspect of things. So we wanted to really make sure we are speaking to the youth on this planet. The second aspect of it all is that, You open your social media feeds today, or you open a media channel, you switch on your television and you are bombarded with bad news, after bad news.

And quite frankly, I have worked in universities and with students and I have been shocked by the fact that people, young guys, talk to me, ‘Hey, I don’t care about sustainability. I don’t care about our planet because it’s so crappy. Everything is so bad. I might as well just enjoy the time span I have on this planet.’

 

And I was shocked in contrast to what my grandfather told me. Today’s youth, some of them, not all, a fraction of them think like that. Or in other words I met this young girl and she says, I don’t know if I want to have children. Because I don’t know whether or not I would like to give birth to people that then inherit a planet that is so hot.

And all of that together was just making me restless and I wanted to really change things and and take this finite time span that I have on this planet to try as hard as I possibly can to leave it better than I found it. And that’s what I strive for. Hence we’re speaking with a fun and engaging voice.

We are speaking with colors and we are speaking with cartoons so that we basically get this heavy message across in an uplifting way and saying, Hey, you can be part of something. That actually does the opposite. It’s not grim. Yes. If we change, we can make this. We’re a better place and here we are.

Thanks for the call out. The credit goes to my team.

 

As we segue into the products themselves, what I wanna highlight is this BamNut Is that the nickname for the Bambara Groundnut?

 

Yeah, so we came up with Bamnut as a short version, as an acronym for the Bambara Ground Nut, which in reality is a legume, a legume that helps us fix nitrogen organically in soils that are essentially degraded and left behind by intensive agriculture.

The Bamnut word came about in Singapore. We actually did not quite know when we started using it. We didn’t quite know how the Americans would pronounce it. And then we found out, alright, it’s the Bamnut. So it all turned out to be so witty and entertaining and just perfect fit for a “better, better” to be honest.

 

Because that’s a main ingredient in all of your food. Let’s talk about what is a BamNut. Why is it magical and unique?

 

I was walking through the world of agro food over the past 20 years, and I’ve always been hugely concerned about the massive speed of land degradation, particularly on arid land.

And that’s getting accelerated because of climate change; and the weather is changing; and the rains and the monsoons are not hitting regularly anymore. So it becomes increasingly more difficult to plant, the planting season to make sure that you are having the seeds in the ground before the rains hit them and so on and so forth.

So it becomes really challenging for folks. So land turpitation has always been a huge concern of mine because another, on the flip side of that, we are losing about 25 soccer fields worth of arid land every minute, while at the very same minute, the same amount of primary forests have been cut down.

So if you compare and contrast these two figures, what it tells me is that in order to make way for the old food industry, we actually cut primary forest and we leave land behind. And that is the wrong thing to do. That is one aspect of things. 

The other aspect of things is I had once the fantastic opportunity to have an interview with Dr. Roy Steiner of the Rockefeller Foundation. And he gave a casual shoutout and he said, nowhere in the world do we produce and consume enough legumes. And I was thinking, why does he say that? But then it’s quite obvious if you think it through, because we are depending so much on crops that the land that basically holds the crops is deprived from organic nitrogen fixing crops like the legumes, and in the absence of nitrogen being fixed through the legumes, we throw endless amounts of synthetic fertilizers on the ground in order to make up for it.

That’s an aspect of things that also worried me.  But today the input costs have gone through the roof is it unravels all over the world and it has gotten more and more expensive to do so the degrading of land in one pocket, I was basically going through my work with that sort of lens.

Then there’s this whole water issue. We are big time irrigating crops, but what does that do? It just slows down the loss of water tables because the moment we take water out of the ground, the water tables are collapsing. I have numbers for that. I had a business in India a long time ago, and it used to be 30 meters, and today it’s probably 90 to 120 meters.

So water is basically a huge issue. There was another lens through which I looked at, and then I was at a conference in Jakarta, and I happened to run into a scientist. He said to me that he works on the Bambara groundnut. It’s a complete crop.  I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting. So what does that mean?”

And I started to really explore that much more deeper. And a complete crop turns out to be essentially a crop that has all micronutrients in the sort of right balance that we need. On top of it, it has all nine essential amino acids that we need. It has rich fatty acids, quality fatty acids, as well as car complex carbohydrates.  So fiber. 

You remember the forgotten macronutrient fibers for our microbiomes? So I got really inspired. So I looked up the amino acid profile and I saw it is rich in plutonic acid or spartic acid. So these are very cool amino acids in terms of generating nice flavors. And off I was; I organized the first couple of five kilos and the trial started, and that’s years and years ago.

In the meantime, the Bambara groundnut actually taught us a few lessons because it’s a very hearty nut and it really takes an effort to make cool products outta it.

 

It’s called a complete product, is that correct?

 

A complete food.  A complete crop or complete food crop.

 

Right now all of the products on your website are based from BamNut. I see Bam Nut milk. I see noodles with seasonings, and then there’s bundles and swag and all kinds of delicious things.

In the future, are we expanding that beyond or what’s the scope?

 

We would love to explore new categories as we build our business. There are so many occasions throughout the day where we can actually incorporate the bambara ground in exciting products, and we look forward to doing that.

Our focus right now is definitely our milk portfolio. It’s a wonderful product. I encourage everybody to have a little taste and Judge for yourself. We have a client in Los Angeles, a coffee roaster, who said ‘This is the closest thing to cow milk that I’ve ever seen in plant-based milk.’ 

We call it planet based milk. I have to say again, shout out to my team in the R&D side of things because they have established a wonderful product essentially with just three ingredients: that’s water, the bambara groundnut, not coconut oil. The rest is essentially technology behind the scenes that actually makes it foam nicely, very stable foam, small bubbles. So you can do latte art. 

Our Airy [flavor] is essentially the one that I would use for a nice drink, like a shake.

In between there is the Every Day [flavor] that goes essentially into my cereal in the morning. 

What are the flavors?

 

Today we are in the market with three different products.

The first one in a slightly black sort of packaging is the Barista. It has the richest mouthfeel. It is the creamiest. We have designed it to perform fantastic or be able to perform fantastic latte art. So it really goes into the cappuccino sort of an experience rather nicely.

I personally take it also for Boba tea. I might as well use the bambara groundnut and foam it up. 

I have my little trick with the barista. I actually froth it in the frother and I put my espresso shot into the frother with the barista together. So I froth it together. But that is just me. I just like it that way. 

Then we have the purple package, which is our Everyday. My wife uses it in baking. We do make cakes, like traditional Austria style, and we totally use only the Everyday [flavor] for that.

Friends of mine [pour] it into their cereals in the morning. It’s a little bit richer, earthy, nutty in character because we do tend to roast the nuts a little bit stronger in the process of making it.

Last but not least, we have our Airy [flavor], which is the lightest one of it all. It is the mint colored package. It is the one that people take into milkshakes and protein shakes. 

 

Let’s move on to Noodles

 

We wanted to create technologies that help us regenerate what’s broken. And today a large portion of all ramen that is being consumed on a day-to-day basis globally is deep fried in palm oil. Palm oil leaves huge banks of land degraded behind, particularly after the third cycle of palm plantations being grown.

We see the aftermath of the palm plantation industry essentially now in Southeast Asia. Therefore we were alerted when we started this project to basically say no to frying and no to deep frying and no, to essentially dehydrating instant noodles or ramen using that sort of process.

So we invented a technology that actually took that sort of challenge away. We invented an industrial scale air frying technology. Once you actually don’t fry anymore, you save about 20% of the space because 20% of palm oil is [based] in the noodle product of classic ramen.  That’s what it absorbs in the frying process. 

So if you don’t deep fry, you save 20%. Now nutrients will survive. Now colors may survive.  Then we replaced all the palm oil with the Bambara. 

We started to actually say, how can we bring color and different flavors and textures on the plates of consumers? And we created these four different products with the four different colors, which is essentially the black one, which is charcoal driven, moringa is green, pumpkin is orange and the original is yellow.

So four different options, all the same philosophy. 

The backbone of making it is the same, but then we add different nutrients to it to have fun, and then we add fancy seasonings to it, which makes just a nice flavor experience as well.

 

 

Our audience is passionate, hungry, curious, foodies. What does it actually taste like?

 

I’m extremely proud of our Noodles because even without the seasonings, you can cook them up and eat them and you will have a wonderful experience.

Try and contrast that with other ramen that you find in the market, and you will come back to our offering immediately because they’re just tasting nice. 

So our starting point of then adding the seasonings to it, like hot and spicy, or the mushrooms is an easy undertaking. It is actually an easy sort of concept to work with because if you have a neutral and nice taste to start with from the noodle base, you can build interesting flavor profiles on top.

Rather than having to use heavy flavors to mask off-flavor from a product base, or not so nice processes or even crappy raw materials. We don’t have that challenge. 

We also decided very early on to keep the salt at a minimum to stay away from any flavor enhancers. No MSG,  we’ve tried to keep it as clean as we possibly can.

We’ve tried to use as much spice as we can access.  No flavoring and stuff like that. I’ve been in that industry for over 20 years.  We thought let’s stay honest, to the product as well, to the noodles as well. And that has been a fantastic journey.

Our “Original, is a hot and sweet, hot and spicy pairing.  In Southeast Asia, it’s based on wok cooking. That’s my personal favorite. I eat it on salads with a little bit of a balsamico dressing

We have with Sesame Garlic, many kids who go for a green one. 

Pumpkin with the traditional Indian curry offer a great pairing. Watch out, it comes hot and spicy.  Typical Indian flavors. 

Last but not least is our charcoal with mushrooms. It’s fantastic for, if you go out to have a beer and come home and wanna have a bite, go for it. It’s a good one. 

How did you decide which flavors to choose? Was it a lot of trial and error?

 

There’s a lot of trial and error. There’s a lot of pairing up with our noodles.

What we have tried to do is really look into what are the best pairings for these sort of flavors.

From that point of view, we also wanted to stay with our seasonings. We wanted to stay essentially planet based.  None of our ingredients have any animal derived products in it.

You look at the charcoal, you cook it up, you eat it, you give it to a chef, let him experiment around. 

We had a Spanish chef take our charcoal and put it into a paella. All of a sudden there was a totally different sort of recipe.

The way we actually derived the final products has also a lot to do with people that actually use it day-to-day in the kitchen and learn from them.

 

What’s the future of WhatIf foods?

 

We are going to enter new categories of food and we are gonna expand our existing categories with new products. 

But I probably would love to use the opportunity to take you along on a more philosophical sort of journey for WhatIf foods and what comes hopefully in the next couple of years to come, because I think we have a better opportunity that needs doubling down now.

What I’m talking about is really the cost of the way we are making everything right from originating bambara groundnut, with partnering farming communities in all parts of Ghana. Encouraging them, making the ingredients ourselves, and then making the food applications, making the food, and then basically taking it to retail all the way through to Manhattan and other parts of the US.

So it’s that entire regenerative value chain that we have created and what that actually represents to us is an opportunity to really explore the intersection between soil health and restoring the soil that has been once degraded from intensive agriculture. 

It is that intersection of renewable energy because the Bambara groundnut now grows in a shell and hence the shell has energy in there and can be used in order to fire up essentially for power.

If you do that smartly, you generate biochar. With biochar, you then actually sequester carbon from the atmosphere into the soils permanently for hundreds, if not a thousand years to come.

 And last but not least, another intersection is wellbeing for consumers. We call them “Better Believers” as well as farming communities because we work with them directly.

We are proud of the fact that we have increased profit, not income; profit of farmers who work with us by 300%. 

At 2.5 acres, these farmers are permanently uplifted above the poverty line. That’s the intersection we really wanna double down to. Again, soil health, renewable energy, carbon sequestration.

Well-being for both the better believers as consumers, as well as the farming communities. Its possible and we’re looking forward to doing that on a large scale. If we wanna fulfill the demand that we hopefully can create, then we will probably need about 20,000 farmers to do that in the next five to ten years to come.

And then generate all the energy that we need internally to be there for carbon zero.  Even further carbon or maybe even participate in the carbon market through certificates. That’s our next challenge. That’s where we wanna go.

 

Find more about What If Foods on their website

Follow WhatIf Foods on Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Adventure and Family: Perfect Father’s Day Gift ‘Near Death Lessons’ from Chris Jankulovski

Fathers Day is coming up and every family is searching for Dad’s perfect gift.  Chris Jankulovski’s book Near Death Lessons offers story of family, adventure, motivation, and life lessons.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Jankulovski (via zoom) to talk about his Father’s Day wishes, business success, family, health concerns, empowerment and more.

The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  Watch the full conversation on our Youtube channel.

 

Congratulations on your new book, Near Death Lessons. 

 

Thank you. Been a journey to get it out there, but I am so honored and privileged to do this work. 

It is an inspiring and a motivating book, and I would say equally important is not only is it inspiring and it’s motivating, but for somebody who wants to break-through, you actually give us the lessons that you use to accomplish it so we can follow those lessons as well.

 

 

What was the hardest part of writing the book for you?

 

Friends tell me, Chris, you gotta write a book, man. Seriously, you’ve got some wild stories. It almost killed me when the tumor bursted in my head. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. I was in bed for three months.

I knew that the moment I could stand upright, I wanna write a book for my sons. I want them to know who their father was.  Because yet again, I just confronted a serious adversity where 60% of people normally die on the operating table. I somehow survived it. I’m the lucky 40%, and I just had my operation one month before the birth of my second son, Billy.  And I wanted my six year old and my new son to know who their father was.

I’ll give you a timeline.  We’ll plot it all, and then we’re gonna give it to a ghost writer who’s gonna somehow be able to direct our story. Then we’ll put the muscles in it, and then we’ll build it all up.

And that’s the journey I went on until I gave it to an editor who completely shut it down and it took me about a a year to correct everything. No kidding. 

 

Okay. So how long from the moment you started with your writer through the editing process, what was the timeline from inception to on the shelf?

 

Oh wow. So the first year after my brain operation, I’m still writing this book. A year later, I’m in the pool, rehabilitating [with the book notes] still in front of me.

I’ve got this diagnosis of doctors telling me, Chris, you gotta have these cancers removed asap. They’ve taken off. I don’t know if your kidney is gonna survive removing six cancers. You might be on dialysis. Doom and gloom.

I’ve just gone on a journey of learning how to walk and talk for eight months. I’ve got so many defects going on. 

My tongue didn’t half work. I couldn’t even talk. It was affecting my speech. So I’m there in this scenario and at the height of my worst moment in life, I’ve got this outlook. That’s a disaster. 

'Near Death Lessons' by Chris Jankulovski

I’m trying to run in the pool because I’m learning how to walk properly and I’m about to confront this adversity again.

I’m thinking: Why am I buying a future that no one knows? This is all just estimates, predictions, guesswork. I don’t have to accept this. What if I dare hope that the best is yet to come? Why don’t I look forward to the life ahead of me? That it’s the best? 

And that was the most pivotal moment in my life because, I went from a $4 million house to a $16 million house.

Eight months later, I go off to double my business from 8 million to 16 million. I go off to do all these things, and now I’m in America taking it to another level. 

I was in the hospital room, that’s year one by the way.  I bargained for my life because things were not looking good, that’s when I decided to take my story public.

And since the moment I’ve taken the story public. I wrote the book initially because I didn’t want to give any advice to my sons because I didn’t want them to hate me from the grave. I didn’t wanna just share my story. I wanted to share the lessons.

I wanted to share the things that have transformed my life. So I hired a resilience consultant, and I said to her, can you please read my book? Put a spotlight on how I respond to adversities compared to a more common response because I just keep bouncing back stronger.

She read my book five times. We ended up having 26 zoom sessions, and then from that we unearthed 11 distinctions. We gave those to instructional designers which then they came back to me with the five life lessons that I shared in the book.

That’s a heck of a journey. Tell us about some of the diagnoses you’ve had all the way back from your teenage years.

 

So at the age of 19, we went to a specialist clinic to understand what was causing tumors in my eyes. The doctor was puzzled.  There was this new genetic testing going on. So I had the genetic test done.   I [was diagnosed] with Von hippel-lindau syndrome. A hereditary condition, means maybe your mom and dad have got it. I go, no one’s got it, okay?

The average life expectancy is 30 years, so you’re probably gonna have a short life and you’ve probably got cancers now. 

I was like, what? I’m gonna be dead by 30. What do you mean? That was my brutal wake up call and I went to my car and I cried.

I couldn’t relate to anyone with this problem. I told my parents, I told my friends, I couldn’t connect with anyone about this. I just decided to ignore it. I thought if I pretended deep down I never got this, perhaps it would disappear.

So that’s what I did. I ignored it from the ages of 19 to 32 when my first brain tumor finally caught up. And when it did, it almost killed me. It was so big –  five centimeters. I had to contour my body to go to the toilet and had these weird electric shocks running down my spine.

When I got the operation, I transformed. I looked at the sky and I said, God, kill me. I’ve had enough of living this victim life. I’ve had enough of being disempowered, always reacting to my circumstances.

I choose to focus on life. I choose whatever happens. I’m gonna choose to make the most of whatever life I have, but I’m not living like that anymore.  So that was a pivotal moment. 

I’m now 50, so I’ve had a good run for the last six years. At age seven, my appendix burst, almost killing me. Two weeks in hospital. At the age of 21, I almost drowned. 

But one of the first times I crossed over, out of body kind of experience and a different time dimension was a few years later, 25, when I woke up [during] an eye surgery, I felt the needles sliding on my eye, like on an egg, and they’re poking in.

I woke up and flatlined. I was looking down at myself.  I could see the machine flat-lining until everything went white. And then I felt like I was in a different time dimension. I just felt ‘Whoa. Where am I? Let’s go. Hey, I’m not going anywhere. It’s my sister’s wedding soon. And then I snapped back into life again with the nurses all about to zap me.

So that was at 25 and then at 32 is the brain tumor. And then two months later was the removal of my right kidney because it was occupied by cancers. Some as large as four and a half, five centimeters. Which is way too dangerous. They’re all very aggressive..

The reason why I called that a near death experience as well is because I survived my cancer battle and it didn’t spread. It killed my dad, it didn’t kill me. And then two years later, I had to remove four large cancers from a remaining left kidney. 

A decade later, another six cancerous kidneys.  Before that one was the second brain operation to remove two tumors in my head, and that was the most serious. 

 

Let’s talk about a deliberate life. You mentioned it in your book, what does a deliberate life mean to you and what are the main steps? How do we get there?

 

I have nearly died, came back to life, and every time that happens, it’s like a reset button in my heart.

Everything’s up for grab: my values, my behaviors, my patterns. Because I’m back again. You go through many of these experiences.

Everything you’ve been holding true gets re-evaluated, and therefore, all of it – fears, insecurities, all gets washed away. And what remains is what’s most important and true. For me, every time I go through these experiences, I get an onion layer experience. I get more to the core of who I am and who we are.

All of us, including me, are remarkably powerful. I can’t believe the more I get to me and the core of my authentic me, the more energy, the more light, the more vibrancy, the more drive, the more of everything is there. 

I’ve always been spending money looking for advice and solutions outside myself.  Deep down, the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life was when I meditated in silence for three weeks in India.  Silence. Every time I nearly died, I’d go into this black void. Vibrancy, energy, and I don’t understand why I’m still consciously pressing, but then when I return, now I know I’m gonna say something really taboo, but life and death coexist in my mind because when I close my eyes and I’m in this black void, if I can meditate to a point where I’m outside of my sense of skin, brain patterns, feelings, and just be presently alert of my awareness.

Man, that’s the same space I go to when I’m in a different time dimension. Hence why I believe that life and death coexist and that fuels me. That just fuels me even more because our mortality is what should fuel all of us. Why? Who are we to take our time for granted here? 

This drop of time that we have here, how selfish of us to be caught up in our own doubts and fears and insecurities. We are so much more than that. 

There is just this magic and energy in us that wants to drive. Follow that drive, follow that energy. Don’t restrict it.  It communicates in feelings and glimpses of vision.

I live a deliberate life because of these adversities, and I keep coming back to life.  I wanna optimize. If I’ve got anxiety. If I was to listen to Steve Jobs, live as if it’s your last day of life. I get anxiety. I can’t be strategic, I can’t plan. I’m always challenged every year with my scans.

So the way I play this game is every year when I get a MRI scan for my brain and spine and kidneys and all this stuff. When I get the results of those scans towards the end of the year, I see them as a certificate to go live life to the fullest. So I get this scan results. I go, yes, I’ve got a free run.  Then that following year, I’m bolting. I’m a hundred percent, I’ve got one more year to live. I see every year as if it’s another year to live. 

What I’ve realized over 30 years of doing this is,  I can’t live deliberately, so I can’t live my life to the fullest every year unless I’m living deliberately and I can’t live deliberately unless I have clarity with what I wanna do, because otherwise I’m spending time on all these things that aren’t important.

I linked my goal to an image and I put it on a board because visually I know that the only way my subconscious relates to this is by image and feeling. Now, I know people call it vision boards, but they’ve got it all wrong. You gotta really link an image to a goal.  That image needs to excite you.   That simple solution allowed me to focus my energy throughout the whole year towards these things. 

 

You offer a ‘free gift’ in your book.  Can you give us a sneak peek of what it is?

 

Since I’m talking about life so much and living life to the fullest I wanted to show people the 10 things that were often affecting me and stopping me from living a life to the fullest.

What does success mean to you? It’s different for everyone and so is living life to the fullest.  But, for people who are driven, success-oriented, ambitious people,  they would relate mostly to this because that’s who I am.

I wanna spend more time with my family. I wanna smell the roses. I wanna see how far I can go and I wanna see the kind of impact I can make because I don’t wanna just pass and it never even be known that I even existed.

So living life to the fullest means you are embracing your true power. You are embracing and optimizing your most important resource,  your time. You are embracing the fact that you’ve got an ability to create. 

So if we can do these simple things, we can achieve our dreams. That’s as simple as that. If we’ve got the right mindset, if we stop responding to life as if we have got no control, if we are always victims of it, I’ve been thrown these incredible blows from the universe.

So many battles outside of my control. I refuse to not take responsibility. I actually take responsibility. Look, the tumors happen genetically, but I take responsibility. It’s a game. Okay? It’s just a game. It’s a game of self-empowerment.

 

Chris Jankulovski’s book, Near Death Lessons on sale at Amazon now.

If we want more from you, where do we find you? What’s your website? Where do we find you on social media?

 

I’m building ChrisJankulovski.com and then you’ll be able to access other things. 

 

What does the future look like for you?  What are you gonna be up to next?

 

I’m developing my personal brand and what that represents to the world.  What that represents to the American people.  What I strive to do in terms of impacting.. 

I’ll be working very heavily on my business, but I’ll also be putting myself out there to meet people, to talk to people and more media of course.

When I said I’m gonna inspire millions, this is the deal. And that deal isn’t just writing a book. That deal is to connect with people. One-on-one or in groups or to speak, and not because I’m looking to become a speaker, but because I’m looking to deliver this incredible energy, this incredible passion, this incredible lessons and distinctions with no bullshit on what gets results and how what you gotta do to optimize your most important time here on Earth.

Chris, I wish you huge success with the book Near Death Lessons. I think there’s so many lessons about either launching a new life or breaking through.  It’s a great New Year’s. Gift and a great Father’s Day gift. 

Thank you mate. 

You’ve Got Your Coffee All Wrong, shares Maurice Contreras at Volcanica Coffee

You’ve Got Your Coffee All Wrong, shares Maurice Contreras at Volcanica Coffee

Just about everyone has their coffee preferences.  But the truth is, most of us aren’t enjoying coffee the best it can be and we don’t even know it.  The beans, the grinding, the flavor (or lack thereof).

 

And before you ask, nope, good coffee doesn’t need to be expensive.  Actually most great coffee is more affordable than the bad stuff you’re currently drinking.  True story.

 

But I wanted to get answers and advice from a coffee expert, so I had a conversation with Maurice Contreras from Volcanica Coffee.

Maurice Contreras Volcanica Coffee

Maurice Contreras, Volcanica Coffee

Native Costa Rican Maurice Contreras started Volcanica Coffee to import excellent-tasting coffee from volcanic regions, such as his homeland, to consumers. He started the company in his garage and now operates a coffee plant near Atlanta with 20 employees, including his wife and two adult children.

 

What is your favorite thing about coffee?

 

My favorite thing I like about coffee is really the flavor. That actually was how I got started. I’m from Costa Rica and for a long time I would do annual trips with the family. It was a family vacation. One of our trips we did a coffee farm tour. And just got to learn about coffee. And this is back in 2004. One of the things that dawned on me is how coffee in Costa Rica was so much better than coffee in the United States. I just didn’t understand why a 3rd world country had better coffee. The quality of coffee in the United States has really come down over several decades. So that’s when I thought that there was an opportunity to bring better tasting coffee or specialty coffee as it’s known today to the United States. That was really how it got started. It really was more about the flavor and just enjoying the richness of a Costa Rican coffee.

 

Is there a simple reason why first world coffee just isn’t as good?

 

Yeah, the general sense was because it became more of a highly produced, big production, big coffee house; and I’ll tell you a quick story. A lot of people don’t know this, the word Maxwell House, it actually is a chain of hotels. Some of them are still in existence. And so Maxwell House started from the Maxwell House Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. They served breakfast and they had really good coffee and it became really popular. It became very famous, and then eventually it became its own brand Maxwell House, and then it ended up getting acquired by corporate conglomerates. And that really good tasting coffee just turned into [not-great] coffee.

 

So that’s really what happened to coffee in the United States. At one time, back in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, people would really appreciate good coffee and then just kind of lost sight of what good coffee was.

 

 

From a coffee lover’s point of view, what would you say to convince them to give your coffee a try?

 

That coffee really is an enjoyable drink to be appreciated and enjoyed for the flavor of what it is. It’s not just something to wake you up. But really coffee and all the different varieties, there’s a lot of flavor notes, a lot of different flavors to be enjoyed. A lot of it depends upon the different regions. My recommendation is try it out and get some good coffee with some flavor notes that you enjoy. Like, for example, Ethiopian coffees, they have a lot of berry notes, a lot of fruit tones, even red wine notes. Some of those things can really open up people’s perspective on coffee.

 

 

Before we jump more into coffee, I wanted to ask you about your background as far as the work you did before Volcanica Coffee

 

My career was in marketing specifically I was in the wireless telephone industry. It really was just about creating a brand. I was part of the startup team at TracFone Wireless which is now a part of Verizon. I was the National Director, I created the brand. In fact, there’s still a lot of things in the brand that I created. I had a passion for marketing.

 

It was kinda like, “Hey, gee whiz, what if I created my own brand and just created a business?”

 

And so I actually was on a hunt for a couple of years thinking what would be a good business? And then I just kind of stumbled on coffee because it was staring me in the face.

 

There’s such a message in there. The success you’re currently riding is because you took industry knowledge of marketing, a personal passion for coffee, and took the risk of putting them together in a business start-up.

 

Yep, that’s true. It was a risk because I was making a good living, I had a young family, I didn’t wanna affect any of that. It was something part-time, working nights and weekends, that’s how it all started out. I

 

How did your family feel about that?  Was there anxiety?

 

It was definitely a struggle and I loved spending time with them and being with them. But part of how I resolved that was I would just wake up early in the morning and spend 1-2 hours before I had to go to work doing this. I didn’t want to neglect my family and I didn’t.

 

There’s so many people out there who aspire to take those steps and they always find reasons not to, but you found a way.  When people are drinking your coffee, they’re not just drinking delicious coffee, they’re supporting someone who took a huge chance, who followed his passions.

 

So segueing to the actual coffee part now.

Your website mentions coffee regions and how the region’s soil contributes to the taste.  A lot of our audience who’s into food and wine will realize the terroir aspect is very familiar to that.

 

 

Can you pick two or three regions and explain their soil and how it contributes to the taste?

 

I’ll start with African coffees. Their soil is very unique. Coffees from Africa tend to have a lot of berry notes, a lot more flavor of fruit which is very unique and very different compared to coffees from Indonesia.

 

Indonesian coffees tend to be lower in acidity. Acidity provides flavor but they’re still very good tasting coffees, even though they’re lower in acidity.  

 

Also the coffee in Indonesia, Sumatra, for example, Papua New Guinea, and even Hawaiian Kona coffees, those tend to have a lot of boldness. When you taste the cup, your mouth just tends to [recognize] that bold flavor, which you don’t get in African coffees. So those are a couple examples.

 

So really it is like old world wine versus new world wine. A noticeable difference in mouth feel depending on what region you’re going after.

 

When people ask, Hey, what kind of coffee should I buy? I always ask, what kind of flavors do you like? Start there. Then for people that are experimenting, try different coffees from different regions.

 

 

 

 

You mentioned that you’re from Costa Rica.  So tell us more about the Costa Rican volcanic regions.

 

It’s the most popular coffee growing region in Costa Rica, the Tarrazu area, which is very mountainous, goes up to 5,000 feet above sea level south of San Jose. Very steep. 

 

The coffee beans, because of the volcanic soil, have a lot of flavor. It’s a very mild flavor, but very flavorful as well. And because of the elevations, the beans are also very dense. They’re a harder bean. In fact, there’s a designation strictly hard bean that is used in the industry because of that. 

 

Being from Costa Rica I came here [to the U.S.] when I was a baby.  My mom would tell stories about how she would assist with her father, which is my grandfather, in the harvest. Because my grandfather was a teacher, he would work out in the rural areas of Costa Rica where the coffee bean farmers worked. They would assist during harvest time with picking coffee beans off the tree. There was the connection going back a couple generations in our family.

 

There has been a coffee influence throughout generations of your family.

 

Yes. For decades, maybe even a century, coffee was the number one product for Costa Rica. Today it’s tourism.

 

I’m glad you brought up tourism. We cover a lot of travel. If somebody wanted to visit Costa Rica, maybe even a specific coffee lover, is there a place you can recommend to come visit?

 

One of the farms that we work with actually has an Airbnb right on their plantation. We’ve had several customers that have made trips there and have gone and stayed at the house. It’s gorgeous.

 

 

More people are working from home and making coffee at home. A lot of us making coffee wrong. Can you just walk us through step by step the best way to grind and brew your coffee?

 

The single largest improvement in the freshness of your coffee is by grinding your beans at home.  A lot of people don’t know this: buying ground coffee, because it’s in smaller particles, tends to deteriorate very quickly. So you’re not enjoying the best of what coffee can be. 

So first of all, grind at home and it’s the type of grinder.

We recommend a burr grinder. The other type of grinder is a blade grinder, which is a cheap type grinder, which does not do as well as a burr grinder. 

Second thing is you wanna match your grind type to how you’re brewing. So there’s different levels, how fine or how course you want the coffee.  If you’re doing a French press, you want to have a coarse grind.  The opposite spectrum is an espresso grind. It’s almost like very fine sand. So if you had coarse coffee and an espresso maker, you’d have a bad cup of coffee. And the opposite too.  If you had a French press where you’re using espresso ground coffee, you would not have a good tasting coffee. A lot of it has to do with the extraction and this is the chemistry behind coffee.

Then in the middle of that would be like a traditional drip grind, which most people have which is a medium coarseness of a grind type. That works best to pour over or a drip grind.

 

Once you buy the equipment, you’re saving quite a bit of money by doing this all at home. More value and quality out of doing it at home?

 

Oh yeah. A cup of coffee outside can cost $3-6. At home, 50 cents per cup. Plus you’re controlling the flavor, how hot it is and how fresh it is.

 

How many cups do you think the average coffee person drinks per day?

 

The average is between one to two cups per day. Wall Street Journal says 66% of Americans have had coffee within the last day.

 

 

So with volcanic, you’ve mentioned low acid. Tell us more.

 

Low acid coffee is actually a natural occurrence. There’s no additives that need to be added, at least we don’t add anything to our coffee. It’s just how it’s sourced. How it’s brewed also affects acidity. 

 

So for example, the cold brew method tends to lower the acidity of coffee. Even more than if you brewed it traditionally in a drip grinder. It benefits people who suffer from acid reflux; and different types of indigestion abnormalities can benefit from low acidic coffee just because the pH is a higher number. 

 

We have a lot of customers thanking us because they could not drink coffee before they heard about our low acid coffee, so now they can drink coffee again. 

 

We have a blend of different coffees called the low acid coffee, plus 12 or 15 other coffees that are also rated as low acid. We rated them, we’ve done the pH levels on all of them, and all of them fall into that category of being lower in acidity.

 

 

Volcanica has built up a really strong community on your social media avenues.  What have the results been like?

 

We’re on all the major socials: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok. It’s very easy to find us.  We take customer feedback really seriously. We’re always looking for input and ideas. 

We’ll get a request [to] carry a type of coffee or coffee from a region and we’ll always look into it. 

We offer 100% customer satisfaction. We take returns, even when the customer just didn’t like a coffee, which is no fault of ours.

 

When someone does suggest a new bean, a new region, is that an easy outreach to investigate, or is that a whole process?

 

It is a whole process.

 

 

 

What’s a great online shopping strategy for finding the right coffee beans?

 

Align yourself with a brand that has a quality product. Look at customer reviews, their roasting technique.   Then it’s a matter of what type of coffee do you like? What flavor notes? Something mild? Berry notes? Lower in acidity?

 

So I go onto your website to buy some beans.  What’s a safe way to pick a bean that I’ll probably enjoy?

 

We carry over 150 different coffees, which is a lot. Visiting our website you have to know your preferences. Having some [filtering/search ] tools out there would be beneficial to people helping the selection process, that’s actually on our roadmap for the future.

 

Part of the reason why we have 150 coffees is because we’ve been listening to our customers over the years.

 

Tell us something about Volcanico Coffee that not everyone knows.

 

We love to give back. We’ve been blessed, we’ve been very successful, so we donate 1% of our website sales to an organization called Charity Water. They build water projects in impoverished communities around the world. This year we’re actually sponsoring a well in Ethiopia for a particular town. We know that we buy a lot of coffee from Ethiopia and we’d love to give back to them.

 

 

What is the future of coffee?

 

The future of coffee is specially curated lots. We call them our “Private Collection”. Farmers that are actually fermenting their coffee with mango, peach, different types of fruits. We have a few of them right now. We’re hoping to be carrying more in the near future.

 

Our audience is listening right now. What would you like them to do?

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about coffee and experiencing coffee, start exploring. We offer a great cup of coffee. Great different flavors and varieties. We even offer decafs, flavored coffees, something for everybody.

 

Website: https://volcanicacoffee.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gourmet.coffee.beans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VolcanicaCoffee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/volcanicacoffee 

 

Philly Foodies curious about Plant-Based Honey Taste? Mellody’s Darko Mandich reveals the Surprise

Philly Foodies curious about Plant-Based Honey Taste? Mellody’s Darko Mandich reveals the Surprise

Philadelphia knows food.  Adventurous foodies, curious eaters.  Plenty of people have heard about plant-based honey, but what does it actually taste like?

People might worry there’s a “laboratory” flavor?  Has it lost its texture? Vibrancy? Is there a “diet” feel to it?

Exclusive Interview with Mellody Food’s Darko Mandich.

Darko Mandich is a food entrepreneur in San Francisco. After spending almost a decade in the European honey industry as a business executive, Darko committed to reimagining the honey industry to become sustainable. Darko immigrated from Europe to California to launch Mellody, the world’s first plant-based honey brand. Darko is an advocate of saving the bees and wild pollinators.

Mellody Food's Darko Mandich

Mellody Food’s Darko Mandich

 

Recently, I had a chance to talk with Darko for nearly an hour.

 

Let’s talk about the honey. What’s the taste profile?

 

There are three aspects of products that people care about. Number one by far is taste. Number two is price, and number three is nutrition.

In terms of the taste, what we’re really after is the best tasting honeys that are made by bees. 

The taste has to match rare honeys that you would find in parts of Europe; France, Italy. Very high quality Acacia honey, specifically.

If we talk about New Zealand, Australia, that’s Manuka honey; and we’re matching that.

So no compromise there.

Moving to the price, I grew up in poverty and I really want to make sure that everybody has access to this product at some point. But it’ll take us some time. So right now it’s premium quality, but it’s also premium price.

In terms of nutrition, we wanna do better than honey coming from bees. How? First and foremost, honey made by the bees contains a certain bacteria that’s called Clostridium. With our product, without the bees [there’s no Clostridium] bacteria.

I’m really proud to say that our product is allergen free; and that for people with allergies to honey and pollen, this is gonna be neutral.

Finally in terms of super ingredients or superfoods, our honey has more than what’s usually found in some of the honey types made by the bees.

The sugar profile is the same, the calorie content is the same, but the twist is there’s a little bit more of certain powerful active compounds that come from the plants.

 

That’s absolutely incredible. It’s enhanced honey. Is there a better word?

 

I like to call it a plant-based honey. And that category of plant-based honey is already elevated to the level of being enhanced compared to bee-made honey.

 

I’m really happy that Melody is starting this category. We are the world’s first plant-based honey.

There’s exactly one same sentence that we get to hear across 5,000 people that were involved in tasting this before it hit the market.

That sentence is: It’s honey.

People taste it, they’re amazed with it, and they say, “Oh my God, it’s honey.”

There are certain plant-based products that have their heart in best place in terms of mission and impact, but are just not delivering on [flavor] expectations. We just want to make sure that people across different categories of nutrition say that this is honey and that they love it.

Eleven Madison Home's The Specialty Tea and Honey Box featuring Mellody Honey

Eleven Madison Home’s The Specialty Tea and Honey Box featuring Mellody Honey

 

Is the honey currently available at Eleven Madison Home?

 

Yeah, the honey is currently available. The Specialty Tea and Honey Box launched for the Mother’s Day collection and Earth Month.

It’s a specially curated box of artisanal teas coming from different parts of the world with honey and also amazing, shortbread cookies. All plant-based, also made with our honey. That’s available right now

Sometime very soon a standalone jar [of honey] will also be available to Eleven Madison Home.

Eleven Madison Home's The Specialty Tea and Honey Box featuring Mellody Honey

Eleven Madison Home’s The Specialty Tea and Honey Box featuring Mellody Honey

 

Tell us again what’s available, how to find it; and how to follow you and support you.

 

Yeah, follow us on Instagram and TikTok at MellodyFoods

In terms of purchasing, head to ElevenMadisonHome.com and you can purchase it there.

Saving the bees is learning more about them. Learning more about pollinators and you can do that on our social media.

And finally, if you’re equally passionate about bees and plants as we are, ask your favorite restaurant to reach out to us to offer Mellody in your favorite restaurant. It can be a vegan restaurant on non-vegan.

We are gonna work with all the restaurants that reach out to us where people ask to see our product offered, either on the menu, either within a meal, or just if you order a cup of tea and you want a side of Mellody.

 

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