Treats are more than just sweets to us. Treats are those sensual indulgences that light you up and bring you innocent childlike happiness. And it’s totally subjective. Smoked sea salt, roasted nuts, raw milk, a wild strawberry if you’re out in the woods, a finely crafted cocktail, a smoke. Enjoyment for enjoyment’s sake is a gift of being alive! No matter how simple your diet, there’s always an abundance of treats.
While we weren’t aware of it when this food started happening, we have an affinity for ‘plant medicine’ in all its forms: as visual inspiration, aromatics and incense, taste bud enchantment, and master teacher-healers on the neurocellular level. So perhaps it was just meant to be. And we do love tropical fruity smoothie bowls and things of that sort. There’s also been an overabundance of animal products in our diet, resulting in a slew of food sensitivities and gut problems, so offering nutritious plantbased products seemed like a meaningful niche.
Are you a gluten free, dairy free, vegan company?
While grain (gluten) free and plantbased (dairy/egg free) food is our specialty, it’s not because we believe these ingredients are inherently bad. It’s more of a fun creative challenge that’s really helpful to a lot of people at the moment. We love quality cane sugar, aged cheese, and a real fermented loaf of sourdough. But so many people, including us, have experience with wheat’s ‘brain fog’ and bloating. A high cereal diet is no good for keeping your gut’s microbiome world happy either. In general, the high grain-dairy-sugar diet creates a slow, lethargic mind and body. Also, whether it’s refined sugar or refined wheat or pasteurized dairy, it seems like highly processed ingredients of any sort tend to create more addiction and side effects than their wholefood counterparts. There are also plenty of socio-ecological and moral reasons to be intentional about where animal products come from, or to avoid them altogether. Although we tend to eat a mostly vegetarian diet and we do respect the ways, we personally don’t identify in our hearts as vegans. We place focus on appreciating what we do eat rather than putting energy into an information and guilt-driven type of eating. Like a lot of gluten-free stuff, many strict vegan products either highly processed (i.e. harsh on the human animal and those animals that feed on our downstream waste) and/or have ecological-animal consequences that aren’t so apparent (ex: the consumption of inorganic pollinated crops, such as almond milk, on the bee population).
Are your products certified organic?
No. Perhaps someday, but not at the moment. We use the best tasting and best feeling ingredients we can find, all of which are certified organic if possible, and certainly non-GMO. But we value being transparent about our sourcing much more than a federal agency’s branding program, which negatively affects smaller farms and producers and promotes a catch-phrase shopping mentality rather than one of reading and knowing ingredient lists.
What does this Hippocrates 'let food be thy medicine' thing mean?
Food as medicine is about finding out what works for you. body, mind, all of it. Finding your own inner truth about what you eat that serves your deepest callings and what doesn’t. Books and nutritionists can share ideas and transmit the wisdom they embody, but nobody can walk this path for you. No two bodies are alike and therefore no two bodies thrive on the same diet. And just as our cells and gut microflora are always changing, so do our cravings. If we define medicine as that which helps bring our mind bodies into a state of grounded, clear, content, open-hearted focused aliveness, aka meditation, then certainly some foods will serve as medicine while others (or the same food in a different form) will serve as the opposite.
Dragonfly appeared in our minds as a symbol that we both felt an affinity for. Then a beautiful one died by our backyard and Stephen decided to keep it on a bed of moss inside a jar. Then we asked an artist friend to paint us a dragonfly for our front doorway. Then we learned more about it and it started to appear more. Dragonfly is a symbol of transformation. It spends most of its life under water, then climbs out of the water, quickly sheds its old nymph skin, and emerges with wings as an entirely new creature. It’s quick, it hunts, it’s strong, it has incredible sight and balance, it comes in a zillion magnificent colors, and its genetics have barely needed to change over its 300+ million year evolution. To us, dragonfly represents a sort of re-birthing transformation out of the waters of emotion and into the world ‘out there’ – something that’s been personally meaningful.
Why don't your cheeses have nutrition facts on them?
The numbers for fermented cashews aren’t something we can accurately calculate based on raw ingredients and we haven’t yet felt obligated to invest in sending our cheese to a lab. Our chocolate cups are straightforward, so we’ve added the panels, as small and out of the way as possible. We don’t resonate with what Michael Pollan calls nutritionism – the paradigm that assumes that the nutritional value of a food is the sum of all its individual scientifically-identified constituents. It doesn’t feel right. It’s a shallow way of relating to food that seems to generate more neuroses than wellness. You see a similar phenomenon in medicine. Until a few generations ago we used whole plants to balance the inner human ecology; now we use concentrated doses of the ‘active constituents’ to the exclusion of all others in order to attack presumed agents of disease, typically with a slew of side effects. These views are reflective of an imbalanced culture at large: reductionist, compartmentalized, mechanistic and dominator-based. Ever wonder why America is so relatively unhealthy while simultaneously having the foremost nutrition-concerned food culture? ‘Nutrition facts’ panels serve as an advertisement for this sort of constituent-based thinking. But the FDA and most bigger markets require them, so we play along.