By Shay Castle
Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Kay Allison has a plan to sneak more veggies into the not-so-healthy things Americans eat. Allison is currently crowdfunding for her startup “Farm & Oven Snacks” which packs several servings of veggies into delicious bakery bites.
Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
Care for some carrot in your cake? How about some beets in your brownies? Boulder mom, baker and entrepreneur Kay Allison is hoping you do, and her startup Farm & Oven Snacks is ready to provide the goods.
“Seventy percent of Americans say the No. 1 thing they intend to eat more of is vegetables,” said Allison, citing market research by Harman. “But if you look at how we actually do, we suck at vegetables.”
Around 87 percent of adults don’t get the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And nearly half of all vegetables grown in the U.S. are potatoes and tomatoes, the Department of Agriculture found — most making their way into pizzas and french fries, not salads, the agency reported.
Allison has a plan to sneak more veggies into the not-so-healthy things Americans we eat. We sat down with Allison to learn more about her plan, and why Farm & Oven Snacks won’t be hitting grocery store shelves anytime soon:
Question: When and why did you start putting veggies into muffins?
A: I have three kids, and my youngest has a sensory processing disorder. It’s more than just being a picky eater: the look, smell taste and the texture of food are all very important to her. She eats mac and cheese, grilled cheese and spaghetti and cheese.
At first I did things like juicing spinach and putting it in her milk shake, pureeing butternut squash and adding it to her marinara sauce. It’s an unsustainable amount of work. I wanted to create a sweet way for her to get vegetables. Ergo, created this company.
Question: Is the product marketed to kids or adults?
A: Adults. The flavors are relatively sophisticated. What I’m expecting and have seen happen with people I give it to is they’ll bring it into the house and love it and then give this to their kids.
Why wouldn’t you? You’re going to be buying and eating the bakery goods anyway, so why don’t you buy them with two servings of vegetables added?
Question: Do you plan on expanding beyond baked goods?
A: Of course. What I want to be really careful of is creating something that sounds like frankenfood, where people are like, ‘What the heck is a vegetable doing in this?’ I do like the idea of a pasta because people already buy tri-colored pasta or veggie pasta.
Question: How long until they’ll be in stores? And which ones?
A: We have the product developed, the recipes, enough for samples to be able to give to people. Our first forray into sales is Amazon; we’re not going to mess with grocery stores.
We want to have a community of foodies around our product, and marketing and selling online creates that community.
Food sales are burgeoning online right now.
And frankly, you make more money. You keep much more of the margin than (by) selling to brokers, wholesalers, retailers — with every one of those middlemen, you just bleed margin.
Question: How are you funding the company?
A: We’re in the middle of crowdfunding phase, so we’ve got a Kickstarter going right now. It’s a small raise, only $5,000, and we’re most of the way there. Other than that, we’re self-funding. We want to hold onto equity for as long as we possibly can.