4.08.2014

Interview with Doug Furlong, Doug's Nuts


Who is this guy?
Doug Furlong: I have led a colorful life. I worked on the TransAlaska Pipeline Project as an instrument technician, played rock and roll in a touring band in the ‘80s, and spent considerable time as a surf bum in San Diego. In between those gigs, I married the girl of my dreams and raised two wonderful daughters in Eugene, OR. I graduated with honors from the Food Science & Technology program at Oregon State University in 1986 and immediately launched a new career as a developer of innovative and creative foods for national brand leaders in the natural foods marketplace. After 25 years spent building brands and guiding companies to national prominence, I decided it was time to put my own name on a company, and the rest is snack food history. 

An average day? 
Doug Furlong: Owning and operating a tiny food company means wearing a lot of hats all the time. I do all the R&D on new products in my home kitchen, usually accompanied by loud rock and roll. I’m the warehouseman, bookkeeper, truck driver, troubleshooter, media relations guy and bon vivant party girl face of the company. An average day? No such thing around here. 

All about Doug’s Nuts
Doug Furlong: The idea for Doug’s Nuts came to me on a lovely day in February at Elliot’s Bay in New Zealand. In between body surfing and quaffing delicious local beers, my friends and I joked about about selling a beer nut that would be called Doug’s Nuts. The idea stuck with me and when we returned to the States I started tinkering with flavors and recipes.
Doug’s Original Blend came together after trying 16 different iterations of sweet and salt. It features almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, Spanish peanuts and walnuts, all gently sweetened with organic sugarcane, blackberry honey and oatmeal stout beer, then finished with organic vanilla, maple and sea salt. The flavor profile is subtle, not terribly sweet, and accentuates the taste of each nut without masking the natural goodness.
Our newest blend, Coconut Beach Crunch, showcases beer-glazed almonds, toasted coconut and dark chocolate. I like to think of it as Spring Break in a bag. As an added bonus, I sourced a gluten-free pale ale from a brewer in Portland in order to make this a healthy, gluten-free snack.
What makes Doug’s Nuts so special is the care I take in sourcing and blending the flavor ingredients for each recipe. Nuts are a perfectly wonderful and healthy food all by themselves, and all I want to do is add a little something special to make them irresistibly delicious.
 
Health benefits? Doug Furlong: Nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of protein you can eat. They’re also rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium. In addition, recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine show a definitive link between regular consumption of nuts and the reduction of heart disease and cancer incidence (you can find a summary of the results on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r60RJuwoZAk)

Misconceptions?
Doug Furlong: The most obvious misconception about nuts is that they will make you fat. Like any snack food, nuts should be eaten in moderation, but a handful every day will provide a high protein kick along with heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats that will provide the sensation of satiety, leading to a more sensible daily diet.
 

Favorite recipe?
Doug Furlong: Try the Original Blend as a topping for a fresh spinach and pear salad. Arrange baby spinach leaves on a small plate, slice up a fresh pear and dress with a tart citrus vinaigrette and crumbled soft cheese. Sprinkle Doug’s Nuts on top and voila: an elegant salad that will impress any dinner guest!

Where to find?
Doug Furlong: Doug’s Nuts are now sold in over 25 states around the country. The best way to see if there is a nearby store with us on the shelf is to use our Store Locator on the Doug’s Nuts website: www.dougsnuts.com. We sell direct to consumers via this website and we’re also available online at Amazon, Abe’s Market and OpenSky.com Our website is full of fun stuff and you can stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.