Small Town Cultures
A family-based fermentation company located in upstate New York, bring simple, clean fermented foods to customers. Founder Cori Deans became chronically ill with Crohn’s, and she found respite in wild fermentation to heal her gut and diversify her gut biome. Now healthy and well, Deans says she’s constantly wowed by the powerful unseen world of probiotic microbes. Small Town Cultures’ products are made in Keene, New York, using mountain water from the Adirondacks, and are free of sugar and preservatives.
Minor Figures Light Oat M*lk works with coffee and tea without splitting, but cuts down on on some of the fat. The barista standard is a great add to the kitchen, if you’re looking for something lighter for daily use. Minor Figures, which started out in the UK, also has an organic oat milk for those seeking an organic alternative specifically. Given the brand’s efforts to be more eco-conscious, all their milks are carbon-neutral through two carbon offset programs, which are details on their site.
Over 80% of the Afghan population is reliant on the rural agricultural economy. By sourcing directly from farmers and foragers in this region, Rumi Spice has created agricultural job opportunities, and provided reliable wages, for over 4,000 Afghan women. The success of the spice industry is an integral part of Afghanistan’s economic stability and can touch every member of the villages we work in, not just those directly involved in the harvesting and processing, explains CEO Patti Doyle.
While the company’s spice blends and its iconic saffron have been a hit, the brand has now launched salts blended with their fragrant spices, such as the wild foraged fennel, black cumin from the Hindu Kush, and dill seed from Herat. There’s also a salt blend with their flagship, the saffron. These salts are perfect for summer meals, when the ingredients are fresh, the cooking is minimal, but you’re looking for added flavor.
Rumi Spice is also currently fundraising for Aghan communities that were recently hit by an earth quake; the company continues to find ways to give back to Afghanistan as it reckons with new challenges.
Cure’s electrolyte pouches don’t have the processed sugars found in typical sports drinks, but provide the necessary boost when you’re looking for some electrolytes. CEO and Founder Lauren Picasso wanted to create a science-backed hydration mix that used a few plant-based ingredients with no added sugar but still tasted good. This year, they’ve released a host of new flavors to cater to different palettes and taken all the feedback from their customers as they debut these new additions. So instead of that sugar-laden sports drink, try one of these electrolyte pouches this summer instead.
Jacobsen Salt Co. x Fly By Jing
The Oregon-based salt company is partnering with the popular Sichuan chili brand to create a product that brings the best of each: the Tingly Sichuan Salt. Zap your tastebuds with 54 hertz of Tribute Pepper tingle with this limited edition salt featuring Fly By Jing’s handpicked Sichuan Tribute Peppers and Jacobsen Salt Co.’s hand-harvested Kosher Sea Salt.
Available on both Jacobsen Salt Co’s. & Fly By Jing’s websites, as well as select specialty stores, it’ll bring some true flavor and heat to your summer bbq’s.
Sacred Serve, a new gelato company, is making ice cream less sinful. With a base of upcycled organic young coconut meat sourced from Thailand mixed with varying ingredients — matcha, mushrooms, chai, and more, this gelato is slightly different than your standard offering. Last year, founder Kailey introduced 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable ice cream pints. In July, Sacred will launch in Whole Foods nationwide.
Táche, which launched in 2020, is the first true pistachio milk in the US. Founder Roxana Saidi began making her own pistachio milk at home as an alternative to almond milk back in 2015. She argues that pistachio milk requires 75% less water than almonds — an issue that hits home since Saidi resides in drought-ridden California. So she started experimenting with pistachios, a nut that reminded her of her Iranian heritage and is so ubiquitous in Iranian desserts and dishes. A bit richer, creamer, and silkier, it’s a wonderful addition to coffees and teas. Though pricier than comparable nut milks, a little goes a long way, especially if you’re using it to just top up you daily choice of caffeine.
Purity Coffee isn’t just looking at the origin of its organic coffee beans. They brought together prominent coffee industry professionals, scientists, cuppers, and medical practitioners to maximize the health benefits of already high-quality shade grown organic coffees from around the world. Arguing that not all coffee beans are alike, Purity Coffee tests each batch for mold, pesticides, and Ochratoxin A (which Purity Coffee founders explain can cause kidney damage). They then roast each batch, being mindful that excessive roasting can reduce the antioxidants and benefits of the coffee bean. Lastly, heat sealed with nitrogen, the bags are designed to last longer. Available in medium, dark, and decaf, the beans are pricier than your standard store-bought fare, but the founders believe the quality of their coffee will leave you feeling better, free of the jitters typically associated with coffee.
Örlö’s scientists claim to have the world’s first carbon-negative production process: using 99% less land and water resources than other omega sources. That is, algae made from 100% renewable resources, including waste-stream CO2 and glacial melt water. Örlö also claims to have a completely self-sustaining and closed-loop vertical algae farm using machine learning to perfect growing conditions delivering 10 times the growth and 5 times the nutrient content (versus traditional means of growing algae) thanks to optimized conditions. The process is done using Icelandic natural geothermal resources for heating and cooling and the algae is grown in an aquaculture planthouse in Iceland (compared to fish, krill or algae grown in open ponds.)
This algae omega-3 supplement is designed to support brain and heart health, joints and immune system. It is vegan, non-GMO and carbon negative.
Plant-based milks for kids that they might actually like and drink? Kiki Milk, started by husband-wife duo Alex and Lauren Abelin have come out with a chocolate milk that’s likely to fool little ones. Free of gums, oils, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or common allergens like soy, gluten, or dairy, the milk is a game changer for parents looking for alternatives and hoping to sneak in a few veggies and fruit. The duo take it a step further by doing third-party testing to verify that their product is free from glyphosate and heavy metals. After researching and feeling dissatisfied with the options available on the market, they sought to create products to suit the needs of their own child along with the others similar children who have chronic conditions or dietary needs that gear them towards a plant-based diet.
Kiki Milk is currently available in Original and Chocolate varieties. They come in 8oz Tetra Pak cartons packaged in a 12-pack (great for summer travel) with 32oz family-sized cartons launching in July. Kiki Milk is also a carbon-neutral company.
Honey and cacao come together in this lovely combo from Canadian brand Beekeeper’s Naturals. Known for their throat spray, which contains propolis, the company has branched out to a carry a variety of new products — some for immune support and sinus/cough relief and others that feature the best of honey. Beekeeper’s Naturals tests the honey for pesticides, a common problem in the honey industry unfortunately as bees feed on flowers and crops that have been sprayed. In addition, they’re working to support research and beekeepers who are addressing the challenges bees face nowadays with dwindling populations and exposure to chemicals that affect their health and well-being.
Your summer drink need a better straw? Repurpose’s new Marine Degradable PHA Straws are non-toxic, sturdy, and made to last to the very last sip. They’re made from PHA and are certified biodegradable in soil, freshwater, and marine environments, keeping our ocean friends safe.
Made of plants, PHA is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oils such as soy and canola and degrades easily and completely in multiple environments. Not only does it offer better end-of-life options, PHA is also renewably sourced, making it a circular material that helps eliminate waste.
This women-led enterprise is hoping to put peanut butter to a bigger mission. Sourced from farmers, smallholders and rural communities in Haiti, this mission-driven business is helping Haitians rebuild their lives and businesses, in partnership local social enterprise, Acceso Haiti (which has helped to generate more than $5 million in farmer income since 2014, some farmers are seeing their incomes rise by more than 500 per cent.)
There’s a QR code on the back of each jar. That’ll explain which region and farm in Haiti the peanuts were sourced from. Working with over 3000 farmers, Lavi is supporting farmers by not just buying their main crop, peanuts, but helping them diversify their land: for instance, they also provide farmers seedings of fruit trees like lime, mango and moringa, which thrive in the warm climate. Plus, there’s added training of how farmers can maximize their soils by co-planting or intercropping.
Sparkling waters often have artificial flavorings to give it that lemon, lime, tangerine, you name it flavor. Founders Paul and Maddie Voge wanted to go a more natural route. They started by blending flavors together in their Colorado kitchen and mixing it with carbonated water. When a Whole Foods buyer at a local trade show tasted it, they were in business. A few years later, the duo have released more flavors and are on store shelves across the country and online. Along with their fun, upbeat marketing (one of the best IG ads I’ve come across), they’re pulling back the veil on carbonated waters and adding in fresher ingredients. Where it’s cactus rose, featured here, or one of their other flavors, these are some of the most refreshing sparkling waters currently on shelves. Plus, all sales help them donate 1% to eco-forward non-profits. And the artwork on the cans will jazz up any picnic you maybe attending in the next few months.