3.31.2014

Interview with Joanne Adirim, Founder, CEO, & Pastry Chef


Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get started? 
Joanne Adirim: I founded the company in 1993 with a mission to create delicious gourmet desserts for local foodservice. I rented a space in a catering kitchen in Culver City, CA. In the beginning, I was the only employee baking, selling, delivering, running operations from an office in my apartment, etc. Shortly thereafter, I hired some kitchen help. Within a years time I moved into my own space in Los Angeles. My background is a self-taught pastry chef with a passion for baking. I have been personally baking since I was in elementary school and could open a box of cake and cookie mix. I was an avid reader of everything baking and cooking. I was not formally trained as I chose a more traditional path to college. I graduated Boston University with a degree in psychology. From there I went to graduate school for clinical psychology. I worked with the the crazy of crazies until I decided to follow my true passion - baking. 

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about Hannahmax? How did that begin?
Joanne Adirim: Over time, I grew the business with the help of several employees who I hired for baking and office work. My husband was a big supporter financially and through the wee hours of the night, when he would take off his suit jacket, (he would) roll up his sleeves and scoop cookie dough.
Eventually, my husband decided to move from his successful career into the business full time due to a large win with a retailer who we continue to work with today. We co-pack for this retailer under their brand label. The business grew substantially over the years and eventually my husband and I purchased our first building. We built the home of Hannahmax Baking in Gardenia, CA approximately 10 years ago. Until 2012, Hannahmax Baking only made gourmet perishable desserts. 
We have a portfolio of hundreds of desserts we make for foodservice and retailers. In 2012, we launched crunchy cookie chips. This product was developed for fun at home during the summer of 2010. My only goal when I made these was a craving for crunchy chocolate chip cookies. My kids ate them, loved them, and couldn't stop eating them. 
Literally, at the time I was baking them, I was observing the eating behavior of my teenagers. My skinny petite daughter loves almost everything crunch in the snack category. When the bag opens, it only closes in the trash can. I wondered if the same could be accomplished with a cookie. A chip style cookie. I immediately googled everything and anything regarding cookie chips, thin crunchy cookie snacks, sweet crunchy snacks. There was nothing at the time.

Sarah Velasco: What is your vision behind the brand?
Joanne Adirim: To make cookie chips the leader in sweet all natural snacking.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the ingredients you use? 
Joanne Adirim: Our ingredients for the crunchy cookie chips include cage free eggs, hormone free butter, pure cane sugar, real bourbon vanilla extract, fine chocolates, all natural peanut butter, etc. Any Hannahmax branded product will only use simple clean ingredients. 



Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the different products you have?
Joanne Adirim: On the perishable side of our business we make mousse cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes, mini desserts, individual desserts, coffee cakes, donut muffins, bars, brownies, cookies. On the crunchy cookie chip side we currently have 5 flavors- chocolate chip, cinnamon sugar, original brown sugar, sea salted peanut butter and dark chocolate chocolate chip. More flavors and varieties on the way. 

Sarah Velasco: What are your best sellers?
Joanne Adirim: Cookie chips, donut muffins, mini cupcakes, red velvet cake, tiramisu cake, lemoncello layer cake, molten chocolate cakes etc. 

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers purchase HannahMax Snacks? 
Joanne Adirim: Cookie chips are available at major retailers including safeway (Vons/ Pavillons), The Fresh Market, Fairway Markets, Gelson's, Bristol Farms, Stater Bro's, Whole Foods, Roche Bros, Piggly Wiggly, ABC Stores, Earthfare. Check our website locator for more locations. 

www.shop.hannahmax.com

Essence Cosmetics Spring 2014



"Essence cosmetics wants to give you access to more great products that will inspire you to express who you are - with even more style, confidence and fun. Essence cosmetics, the #1 value cosmetics brand in the world, is known for high-quality products at incredible prices ($0.99 - $4.99). Featuring a wide range of fun and fashionable items, Essence carries on-trend lipsticks, eye shadows, mascaras, concealers, powders, nail polishes and pencils. In addition to its standard range, Essence releases new and unique limited editions every season."

The expanded line is available at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations 

Essence has a huge line that helps you the achieve the look you want. They have a huge selection of products and shades for every style. 

Below are some products they offer:




"metal meets glam! metallic and shimmering effects on your eyes are the ultimate trend! the especially soft texture with extremely high coverage and metallic results creates expressive eye make-up guaranteed to be eye-catching! the range of colors is huge and sure to make every beauty’s heart beat faster!"

Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow ($2.99 each) comes in many shades. These eyeshadows are powder eyeshadows (not cream) with a velvety texture. They are soft and easy to blend while giving you a faint metallic sheen on your lids. The Metal Glam eyeshadow also gives you a crease-free finish with excellent pigment. 
New for Spring: Golden UpCoffee to Glow, Frosted Apple, Chocolate Jewellery, Jewel Up the Ocean




"longlasting love… you simply have to fall in love with the longlasting lipsticks by essence. the lipsticks provide your lips with intensive color for several hours without drying them out. you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for – from bright pink to intensive red and chilled-out berry to subtle nude shades. the essence logo on the texture and the matt, black packaging with a ring of color to match the actual color of the lipstick are true eye-catchers! "

Like the Metal Glam Eyeshadow, Essence carries a wide selection of shades to suit your style. These Long-Lasting Lipsticks ($2.99 each) are great. They have long lasting color and a non-drying formula. The packaging is very well done. It is very classic and has the ring of color on the outside to show you the shade. Keeps your lips moisturized all day long! These are worldwide bestsellers!


"black, blacker, triple black! this is the deep black mascara in the popular get BIG! lashes family. the large, innovative fiber brush offers maximum volume and adds densitessencey to your lashes. its carbon black texture ensures an expressive look with a triple black effect! opthalmologically tested. "

Essence's get BIG Lashes Triple Black Mascara ($3.99) is a great product. It comes in a fun mascara tube and makes your eyelashes looking full and soft without being overly dramatic. New for Spring!
"lashes with star appeal! the innovative elastomer brush with a star-shaped arrangement of blades accurately grips your lashes to give them a push-up effect. the result: lashes with extreme volume and a dramatic false-lash look. secret tip: the LASH mania reloaded mascara offers perfect separation and can therefore also be used as a mascara topper. for all mascara maniacs. opthalmologically tested."

LASH mania reloaded mascara ($4.99) lengthens and volumizes your eyelashes for that dramatic look. It is a wet mascara which means it takes some time to dry. It is worth it! Defines & Separates, applies evenly, adds, volume, lengthens and comes with a great brush. New for Spring!




"sweet lips: the pampering, light formula of the glossy lipbalms in fresh colors give your lips a gorgeous shine and it has a delicious fragrance, too! fruits are mixed with sweet delicacies to create fabulous flavors. "

Essence Glossy Balms ($1.49) have such cute packaging: a small transparent 2" squeezable plastic tube, with a screw cap and slanted nozzle. This tiny size is great for carrying around. The texture of the gloss is thick, creamy, and moisturizing. It moisturizes quite well as lip balm, giving lips a glossy finish like lip gloss. 
The application is easy and spreads nicely. The pigmentation is sheer on application, while giving your lips a hint of color. 
 

AB - LACOMBE
5110 HWY 2A N
LACOMBE
T4L 1Y7
BC - DOUGLAS STREET
1222 DOUGLAS ST
VICTORIA
V8W 2E5
ON - MCINTYRE CENTRE
1186 MEMORIAL AVE THUNDER BAY
P7B 5K5
ON - BRACEBRIDGE
248 MANITOBA STREET BRACEBRIDGE
P1L 2E1
AB - KINGSLAND PLAZA
7606 ELBOW DR. S.W. CALGARY
T2V 1K2
NB - SUSSEX
201 MAIN STREET
SUSSEX
E4E 1R4
ON - SEAWAY MALL
800 NIAGRA STREET
WELLAND
L3C 5Z4
ON - YONGE & CHARLES
728 YONGE ST
TORONTO
M4Y 2B3
AB - HAMPTON MARKET
6290 199 STREET EDMONTON
T5T 2K4
ON - KINGSLAKE PLAZA
1201 DIVISION ST
KINGSTON
K7K 6X4
ON - SOUTH
GEORGETOWN CENTER
333 MOUNTAINVIEW RD S GEORGETOWN
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ON - WASAGA BEACH
1900 MOSLEY ST
WASAGA BEACH
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AB - JASPER GATE MALL
10116 150 STREET NW
EDMONTON
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ON - RITSON CENTRE
300 TAUNTON RD E
OSHAWA
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ON - CLIFFCREST PLAZA
2999 KINGSTON RD
SCARBOROUGH
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54 BECKWITH ST N
SMITHS FALLS
K7A 2B5



PEI - SUMMERSIDE
454 GRANVILLE ST.
SUMMERSIDE
C1N 4K7

3.30.2014

Beanitos Review


Beanitos are the original bean chip. There are six flavors of Beanitos – Original Black Bean, Chipotle BBQ, White Bean Nacho Cheese, White Bean Restaurant Style, Simply Pinto, and Pinto Better Cheddar. Restaurant Style & Nacho Cheese are two of their newest chips made from white beans. 
Beanitos have 6 g Protein & 9 g Fiber per 1.5 oz single-serve bag. Plus they are Non-GMO, Gluten-free, Corn-Free and Low Glycemic. Beanitos taste amazing!



Chipotle BBQ – has a nice smoky flavor with a touch of spiciness. It is spicy and smoky, salty, a little sweet, and has a nice kick all at the same time.

Nacho Cheese – tastes like a healthy, gluten free version of Doritos. They are very addictive!

Better Cheddar - salty and cheesy, which is not something you find everyday in a chip. The cheese flavor is light and subtle.

White Bean Restaurant Style – made with sea salt. Delicious on its own and with dips.

Original Black Bean – great flavor and pair nicely with chili or salsa.

Simply Pinto Bean– the taste is unique and different from any other chip on the market. So much flavor!

Each of the Beanitos flavors are crunchy and filling. If you are looking for a healthy snack that still has lots of flavor, these are for you!

Beanitos just launched the FIRST EVER bean puff. Beanitos Puffs are made from white beans and come in two flavors: Hot Chili Lime and White Cheddar. The puffs will hit stores in Summer 2014.

Interview with Doug Foreman, Founder and Chairman of Beanitos



Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get started with Beanitos?

Doug Foreman: I’m Doug Foreman, the founder and Chairman of Beanitos. I started Beanitos in my kitchen at home in 2010.. I researched low-glycemic chips and found that there were none on the market. I wanted to create a low-glycemic, corn-free chip, so I started Beanitos. Previously, I launched Guiltless Gourmet in the late 80s with only $200. We grew that company into a half-billion dollar category, and sold it in 1994. So you could say I’m a snack entrepreneur.


Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about Beanitos?
Doug Foreman: Beanitos is an Austin, Texas–based company that brings corn-free, whole-bean chips to the global market. We make a snack that’s filling, delicious and nutritious snack from something other than your typical corn and potatoes. Plus, Beanitos are gluten-free, low-glycemic, non-GMO, and packed with fiber and protein.
Sarah Velasco: What are Beanitos? What types of ingredients are used?
Doug Foreman: Beanitos are chips made from three different type of whole beans. We use navy (white) beans, black beans and pinto beans. When consumers look at our nutrition label, we want them to recognize what they are eating. Our chips are made from healthy, non-GMO ingredients. We use whole beans, whole grain rice, sunflower oil, guar bean gum and sea salt. With our flavored varieties, we use a different seasonings that you’d usually have in your cabinet at home.

Sarah Velasco: What flavors do you have? Any new flavors coming out?
Doug Foreman: We have six flavors of bean chips: Restaurant-Style White Bean, Nacho Cheese White Bean, Original Black Bean, Chipotle BBQ Black Bean, Simply Pinto and Better Cheddar Pinto Bean. We also just launched the FIRST EVER bean puff. Beanitos Puffs are made from white beans and come in two flavors: Hot Chili Lime and White Cheddar. The puffs will hit stores in Summer 2014, so it’s an exciting time at Beanitos!

Sarah Velasco: Why are Beanitos a healthier choice?
Doug Foreman: With Beanitos, you actually get nutritional value. You can also read the label and recognize the ingredients. My mission is to offer snack-chip lovers a tasty alternative that fills them up with real and healthy nutritious ingredients. If you’re looking for a guilt-free snack, then Beanitos are your best bet. Plus, each serving has up to 6g Fiber and 4g Protein. Those are nutritionals you don’t want to miss out on.

Sarah Velasco: Why is it important for products to be corn free?
Doug Foreman: Ranchers feed cows corn to fatten them up and the American diet consist of over 70% corn! We think corn has the same effect on humans. Besides the fact that corn has very little nutritional value, we don't really need to add any more to our diets that have way too much in it already! We’re corn-free because we want to give consumers a delicious snack that also has nutritional value instead of the empty calories that consumers get from corn.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find Beanitos?
Doug Foreman: Beanitos are in over 15,000 stores nationwide and in Canada. You can find us in Whole Foods, Safeway, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Super Target, Albertson’s, and HEB/Central Market, among other places.


3.29.2014

Rise Bar


"Every Rise bar is at least all-natural—that means no preservatives, non-GMO and non-sulfured fruit." www.risebar.com 
All Rise Bar ingredients are gluten- free and produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

What's different and great about Rise Bar is that they have bars in three categories: Breakfast Bars , Energy Bars , and Protein Bars . The breakfast bars are great for when you just wake up and need to get on the go, the energy bars are great for when you need a pick-me-up between meals, and the protein bars are great for fueling a workout. 

For Breakfast Bars, you have the options of: 

Crunchy Cashew Almond  - 180 calories, 10g fat, and 10 g sugar. This tasty bar has only 7 ingredients; almonds, honey, cashews, dates, amaranth, crisp rice, and salt. Filled with huge chunks of nuts.

Crunchy Cranberry Apple  - 160 calories. This bar contains almonds, honey, dates, apples, cranberries (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), amaranth, crisp rice, and salt. Tastes like a home-cooked breakfast!

Crunchy Perfect Pumpkin  - 190 calories. This bar has a variety of flavor and texture and contains pumpkin seeds, dates, raisins, apricots, and cranberries. 

Crunch Macadamia Pineapple  - 160 calories. This delicious breakfast bar has macadamias, honey, pineapples, raisins, sesame seeds, amaranth, crisp rice, and salt. 

For Energy Bars, you have the options of:

Apricot Goji - This bar also has a moist, chewy texture and a pleasant, mild cashew flavor. The cashews give it a nice crunch.

Blueberry Coconut - This bar has a moist, chewy texture and an amazing coconut flavor.
Coconut Acai This bar has a very mild flavor and a nice crunch from the almonds and amaranth.
Raspberry Pomegranate - This bar is a delicious mixture of raspberry, and pomegranate with a hint of coconut. 

The bars range from 190-210 calories, 9-12 grams of fat, and 11-16 grams of sugar. These make perfect pick-me- up in between meals.


For Protein Bars, you have the option of: 

Almond Honey - 280 calories. This enjoyable bar is made with three ingredients: almonds, honey, whey protein isolate. 

Crunchy Carob Chip - 260 calories. This bar is delicious. It has a deep carob taste while being dense and chewy with little crisps of rice. 

Lemon Cashew - 260 calories. The lemon cashew bar is different from all the other bars. It has a softer texture. An enjoyable lemon taste. 

Sunflower Cinnamon - 280 calories. This is a delicious mix of sunflower seeds with cinnamon. Flavorful, soft and chewy. 

Rise Protein Bars are compact and easy to digest before a workout. Plus, they`re tasty! Rise Protein Bars are packed with simple ingredients to fuel your workout. Note that Rise Protein Bars use whey protein and are not considered dairy - free , but the other bars are dairy free. Unlike other bars, Rise Protein Bars are not chalky.
These Rise Bars products are amazing. They come in so many varieties too! Whether you are on the go, or just want something to give you energy, Rise Bars do the trick. Great quality and delicious. Healthy and rewarding. 

Interview with Natalie Gattrell, Rise Bar


Natalie is  currently training for the Boston Marathon this Spring and seeks new adventures. She is active in the community and a Lululemon Brand Ambassador. Natalie participate with non-profit organizations like Challenged Athletes Foundation and John Wayne Cancer Foundation. She also loves the southern California sunshine and participates in outdoor activities every chance she gets.


Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get started?
Natalie Gattrell: I have been a lover of Rise Bars before I started working here and ever since I found them at my local Whole Foods Market. I started following the brand and with my experience in natural foods and marketing background it was a perfect fit coming on board over a year ago!

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about Rise Bar? How did that get started?
Natalie Gattrell: We were formerly Boomie Bar and were purchased almost 3 years ago and renamed Rise Bar. The recipes stayed the same and we have since introduced two new protein bars to our line.

Sarah Velasco: What types of products do you carry?
Natalie Gattrell: We carry Breakfast, Energy, and Protein bars. They are all free of gluten, soy, preservatives, peanuts and non-GMO. 

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the bars being gluten free and non-GMO bars?
Natalie Gattrell: Not many know that gluten is one amongst three top allergens in the United States along with soy and peanuts. We make our bars in our own facility and we have an un-wavering commitment to quality products that meet our high standards. We are currently working with the non-GMO project as it our goal to consistently provide healthy products to our consumers.

Sarah Velasco: Why is carrying gluten free and non-gmo products important?
Natalie Gattrell: What I love most about our bars is we have a bar for just about everyone. Along with being gluten free and non-GMO we have organic and vegan options. We have bars that can satisfy the need to crunch with our Breakfast line, or bars that deliver a flavorful chewy bite in our Energy bars. Functional bars that fill you up with a high protein base and keeps you fueled for your own personal mission!


Sarah Velasco: Are there any differences in your breakfast, protein, and energy bars? If so, what?
Natalie Gattrell: Breakfast Bars are handmade! We carefully roll them out as to not crush the nuts-that for you to do! The Energy Bars are compressed fruit and nut bars that have superfruits and high in antioxidents and also our vegan and organic line. The Protein bars have just 3-5 ingredients and 15g-20g of protein.

Sarah Velasco: Can these bars replace meals?
Natalie Gattrell: I often use the protein bars as breakfast on-the-go. My favorite combination is a Sunflower Cinnamon Bar and a cup of coffee or Crunchy Cashew Almond broken up into bits and sprinkled over my vanilla Greek yogurt.

Sarah Velasco: Do you offer any nut-free bars?
Natalie Gattrell: Sunflower Cinnamon Protein Bar is not only nut free but vegan with 15g of protein. Great after a workout!

Sarah Velasco: How are these bars different from nutrition bars?
Natalie Gattrell: Our bars have very low ingredient profiles and have nothing artificial. In fact our Almond Honey Protein Bar (and my favorite bar) has just 3 ingredients and 20g of protein. Almonds, Hones and Whey Protein Isolate.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find Rise Bars?
Natalie Gattrell: Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, REI, Bristol Farms, Mother’s Market and other natural food stores. Amazon.com, Vitacost.com, Risebar.com are just a few of our on-line retailers.

3.28.2014

The Good Bean

The chickpea is quite the noble bean.
It’s a tropical or sub-tropical leguminous plant that’s been cultivated for what seems like forever, in countries as widespread as Lebanon, Australia, India, Canada, Spain, and Mexico.
Its nutty, buttery flavor is much loved in classic dishes like hummus, chana masala, and chorizo with chickpeas.

A wonderful benefit of chickpeas is that growing them actually makes soil healthier. Chickpea crops put nourishing nitrogen back into land that has been overworked and depleted of nutrients.
Farmers often use chickpea crops as a “rotation” crop, cycling a harvest at some point in the year to give their lands some TLC.

So eat more chickpeas, in whatever form – canned, mashed, in a curry, or of course, in The Good Bean – they’re good for your body and they’re good for the earth!” - www.thegoodbean.com

The Good Bean snacks are all-natural whole foods. At The Good Bean, they source the most minimally processed ingredients available, stay away from genetically modified foods, and are committed to ethical trade practices.

Non-GMO. Fair Trade. Hexane Free. GMPS. Gluten-Free. Low Fat/Low Carb. Nut Free. 


These roasted chickpea snacks have a good texture. They are firm, but not brittle and make a satisfying snack. A nice crunch with the right amount of seasoning. Enjoyable right out of the bag, they also make a good mix for salad, as a topping for yogurt (sweet cinnamon), and as an addition to your favorite soup. 
The wide variety of flavors are unique and delicious. The Chocolate Flavor, Thai Coconut Lemongrass, and Mesquite BBQ make a great addition to the line. 


Sea Salt is lightly sprinkled with coarse sea salt for a healthier twist on the snack made by street vendors in Indian cities. Each serving contains 7 grams of protein, 6 g of fiber and is naturally low fat.
Cracked Pepper gets its peppy flavor from Malabar peppercorns, a smidge of white pepper and sea salt for a balanced snack that will take your tastebuds straight to India’s southern coast of Malabar. The flowery, tingly flavor of this snack packs a nutritional punch of 7 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein and is naturally low in fat!
Smoky Chili & Lime is a delightfully balanced blend of smoky Spanish paprika and punchy Mexican chipotle topped with a touch of lime. This boldly flavored snack is perfect on game day or whenever you want to spice up your snack time with 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
Sweet Cinnamon has all the homespun goodness of cinnamon toast in a wholesome package. This kid-friendly flavor has 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber in a crunchy snack with a sweet, buttery flavor from Sumatran cinnamon and a hint of vanilla.
Chocolate (New!) snacks can be healthy, when it's the finest quality sweet cocoa and vanilla covering nutrition-packed chickpeas. With 5g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving.
Thai Coconut Lemongrass (New!) was inspired by the balanced but zesty flavors of green Thai curry. Sweet toasted coconut swirls with zingy lemongrass and lime for an exotic flavor sensation. WIth 5g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving.
Mesquite BBQ (New!) is so true to Texas flavor, you'll hardly believe you're noshing on healthy chickpeas. Paprika and cayenne pepper are perked up with a hint of sweetness for the smoky spice of your favorite barbeque foods. WIth 5g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving.

The Fruit & No- Nut Bar

Most energy bars are made with nuts. It is nice to see a healthy, tasty granola bar made without them. Great for those with nut allergies. In addition to being nut-free, these bars are gluten-free with a low GI. 

The chickpeas give these bars lots of fiber and 5g of protein per serving, while having less fat than many nut-based bars. Currently there are 3 flavors available: Apricot Coconut, Fruit & Seeds Trail Mix, and Chocolate Berry. These bars have great texture and flavor. Chickpeas have a slightly nutty flavor which works well with these bars. 

The Chocolate Berry is a perfect combination of fruit and chocolate. It is not overly sweet like many chocolate flavored bars. There is enough chocolate to satisfy a sugar craving without being overbearing. 

The Apricot Coconut Bar is not  too sweet either, but at the same time satisfies your sweet tooth. The bar has a chewier texture than the other bars, but still not too dense. It has a slight crunch and a lovely burst of coconut flavor. 

The Fruit and Seed Trail Mix Bar is more dry than the other two bars. The minimal amount of cranberries, and the wonderful pumpkin flavor make a great combination. 

We absolutely recommend The Good Bean! They make great snacks. 

www.thegoodbean.com

Interview with Sarah Wallace, Co-Founder of The Good Bean




Sarah Wallace is a veteran marketer in the natural products industry, where she worked with companies such as Clif Bar (where she launched Luna Bar), Kashi, Bear Naked, Think Products, and PopChips.  In 2010 she started The Good Bean, Inc., and launched the first line of all-natural roasted chickpea snacks. Two years later she introduced The Good Bean’s Fruit & No-Nut Bar, the first chickpea-based nutrition bar. She brings her passion for innovation and making healthy food, and her experience creating strong natural brands to The Good Bean.


Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get into the business?
Sarah Wallace: I've been in the food business my entire career, starting out as a Brand Manager at Clif Bar where I spearheaded the launch of Luna Bar. Building brands in the natural foods industry is something I was lucky to discover early in my career was my passion.

Sarah Velasco: What does your job entail?
Sarah Wallace: As a Co-Founder, I wear a lot of hats. While my primary functional roles are leading Sales and Product development, I'm involved in everything from logistics to finance to HR!

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about The Good Bean? How did that start?
Sarah Wallace: I was inspired to start The Good Bean when I began to realize how relevant healthy snacking had become to Americans. But what I didn't really see out there were truly nutritious snacks naturally high in protein and fiber. A gluten-free cookie is still a cookie!! I grew up eating roasted chickpeas (in Bombay, India), and thought it was high time Americans got to enjoy this excellent bean as well!

Sarah Velasco: Why chickpeas? Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose them and their health benefits?
Sarah Wallace: Chickpeas are nutrition powerhouses full of protein and fiber. Ounce for ounce, chickpeas have as much protein as almonds, with WAY fewer calories. The fiber in chickpeas is unbeatable, and they are a source of many other nutrients as well. What's great about The Good Bean's chickpeas is that they are just that - whole chickpeas. No frankenfood!

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the clean ingredients you use?
Sarah Wallace: We use non-GMO verified chickpeas that are sourced only from farmers in the USA, and all our seasoning are fresh ground for us. While we don't use too many sweeteners or salt, what we do use is evaporated cane juice, tapioca syrup, and coarse kosher salt.

Sarah Velasco: What does an average day meal plan look like for you?
Sarah Wallace: I have to admit that my day doesn't truly begin until I've had my large latte! Boiled eggs are a great source of protein if I've been able to sneak in a workout before breakfast, and lunch (when I don't skip it because of meetings), is usually a burrito bowl of grilled chicken and veggies along with beans and salsa. Dinner is often bean focused too - Indian, Moroccan or Italian bean and vegetable combinations, and always a glass of wine! 

Sarah Velasco: If you had to pick two of your favorite products for our readers to try, what would they be and why?
Sarah Wallace: I personally love our Sea Salt chickpea snacks and our Apricot Coconut bars. Our snacks because they are simple, but go a long way toward satisfying that salty snack crunch. Our bar because it is truly the most delicious bar I've ever tasted, even if I say so myself!

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find your products?
Sarah Wallace: We are distributed in many national and regional chains such as Whole Foods, Albertsons, Ralph's Supermarkets, Stop and Shop, Wegman's, etc. as well as independent natural stores and online.

Sarah Velasco: Any plans for offering new flavors or products?
Sarah Wallace: We just launched some new flavors of chickpea snacks that are just hitting the market - Chocolate, Mesquite BBQ, and Thai Coconut Lemongrass. I'm in love with the BBQ!

Sarah Velasco: Anything else you would like our readers to know?
Sarah Wallace: At The Good Bean, we love putting chickpeas in everything. They really are the wonder bean! When you're not snacking on our products, cook up your own and stir them into salads, stir fries and hummus. Your tummy will thank you!