Interview with Todd Troha: Director of Marketing for Ziggy Marley Organics

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about yourself? 
Todd Troha: I’m Todd Troha. I’ve been the Director of Marketing for Ziggy Marley Organics since we launched the brand over 2 years ago. Prior to Ziggy Marley Organics, I ran a marketing agency that only promoted organic and sustainable businesses, non-profits and musicians. 

Sarah Velasco: What projects are you working on? 
Todd Troha: Right now I’m coordinating with Ziggy’s management to support the release of his new album, Fly Rasta, and the subsequent international tour this summer. Social media and in-store events are continuous projects.

Sarah Velasco: What does your schedule look like for an average day? 
Todd Troha: Well, I work out of a home office so my commute is pretty short. After I get my two girls off to school, I’m at the computer and on the phone, getting the word out about Ziggy’s products. Sometimes I’m answering questions on Facebook or connecting with chefs who use our products. Other times it is making sure that our Sales team has what they need to be successful. 

Sarah Velasco: How did Ziggy Marley Organics get started? 
Todd Troha: Ziggy Marley Organics started in the summer of 2011 when we all got together with some innovative ideas. We wanted to develop healthy food that was unique in the market. Hemp and coconut oils were natural fits so we created the world’s first organic flavored coconut oils and the world’s first roasted flavored hempseeds. 

Sarah Velasco: What was the vision when creating Ziggy Marley Organics? What did you have in mind? 
Todd Troha: Ziggy Marley has always been an environmentalist and vocal about taking care of our bodies and our planet. The food line expands on his ideas and philosophies and gives Ziggy another medium to get his message out. 

Sarah Velasco: What types of products do you carry? 
Todd Troha: We have the finest cold-pressed organic coconut oil on the market in four varieties (Original, Lemon Ginger, Orange Almond, Curry). We also make organic hempseeds in two roasted flavors (Caribbean Crunch, Sea Salt & Pepper) and a shelled variety. 

Sarah Velasco: Where did the idea of flavored coconut oil come from? 
Todd Troha: A lot of people were researching why coconut oil is good for you after hearing about it from friends or in the media. The issue was that while they might understand its benefits but they still didn’t know how to use it. We created our flavored oils to make it easier to cook with coconut oil. 

Sarah Velasco: Why Coconut Oil and Hempseeds? 
Todd Troha: Ziggy has important ties to both hemp and coconut oil.
We are huge proponents of legalizing industrial hemp in the U.S. and the more you learn about hemp, the more you understand why it is so important. Hemp can be used as food, textiles, building materials, paper, bio-plastics, and biofuels. It grows quickly so it can be harvested multiple times a season and doesn’t require pesticides. Hemp is a wonder crop. Our hemp seeds are a good source of clean plant protein and the Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Coconut oil was something that Ziggy grew up with. Women in the market would make the coconut oil and they cooked with it a lot. Coconut oil and coconuts are used in the Rasta culture as popular flavor. Our organic cold-pressed oils are also healthy for you too. 

Sarah Velasco: What's your favorite recipe using one or both of the products? 
Todd Troha: Wow…we have over 60 recipes on our site. That’s a tough one.
Everyone loves is our Cinnamon Orange Almond Popcorn (http://www.ziggymarleyorganics.com/cinnamon-orange-almond-popcorn/). It is an amazing flavor combination and is so easy to make.
Personally I love the Crunchy Cuke Salad (http://www.ziggymarleyorganics.com/crunchy-cuke-salad/). Again, it is really easy to make but the Caribbean Crunch hempseeds add just the right amount of spice and crunch. 

Sarah Velasco: Anything else readers should know? 
Todd Troha: I really encourage people to try new things. While we have a lot of recipes on our website (www.ziggymarleyorganics.com), simply stir frying some veggies in our Lemon Ginger coconut oil or tossing some Sea Salt & Pepper hempseeds on a salad might really surprise you. I don’t know how many times I’ve given someone a sample and they were completely blown away.