FEATURED PALEO TRAVEL SNACKAs part of Getting Primal's Paleo-friendly travel snacks feature, the founder of Caveman Cookies Stephanie Lester was interviewed in order to obtain an inside look into the creation of Caveman Cookies's Paleo-friendly food products.
Who doesn't love cookies? Well, at least my kids and I do. And if you don't, I have no idea why you are even reading this entry...liar. Stephanie Lester founder of Caveman Cookies offers delectable and tasty cookies without the guilt. Grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and junk-free - there are no hidden ingredients in these guilt-free cookies. With unique combinations such as chocolate, chili and chia (Mayan), and pumpkin, maple and cranberry (New World) just to name a few, it's no wonder these cookies are in demand (it's quite well-known and loved by folks who follow the Paleo diet and those who are just mainly concerned about eating healthier). So, if you are looking for a sweet travel snack to satiate your sweet tooth without the added guilt, look no further, Caveman Cookies has exactly what you need.
What inspired you to start Caveman Bakery?
Before getting into baking, I was an attorney at a law firm in NYC. I didn't enjoy it, and began thinking about alternate career paths. It occurred to me that I had been making paleo cookies for friends and family for years with positive feedback and realized that it might be a unique business concept to sell cookies based on the Paleo Diet (this was in 2009 before the Paleo Diet was as well known). I thought it could be a healthy niche that might have a broader appeal to people with all kinds of dietary restrictions: gluten-free, grain-free, sodium-free, high-protein, etc.
What is the hardest part about creating your cookies?
The hardest part about creating the cookies is ensuring a consistent product appearance given the use of natural ingredients! Natural ingredients (nut flours, honey, etc) are very variable. For example, the almond meal you purchase one day might have a higher moisture content than the meal purchased a few months later, or the honey that you order one day might be slightly more viscous than the last batch you ordered. This can have a significant impact on how well the product spreads in the oven. As a result, cookies with the same input weight, but baked a few months apart might appear very different to a customer, with one "appearing" larger than the other (even though they are the same weight). Trying to reduce this differential (which some customers can be bothered by) is one of the hardest parts of production.
Are you working on any new flavours at the moment?
We actually just came out with two new flavours last year: Mayan and our holiday variety, North Pole. Previously we had been introducing one new flavour a year, so that was a lot for us. 2015 will probably be a 'quiet' year, but after that, stay tuned!
Any other paleo-friendly treat connoisseurs who you admire and can recommend?
I'm personally a fan of companies out there who make paleo cereal since.. well... it's something I missed when I went paleo! For that, I turn to companies like Steve's Club and Paleonola.
Can you tell me a bit more about some of your creations - the process you took to make them, what inspired you to make them?
"Original" was based on the cookies I had been making for years for family and friends. For the other varieties, each one is inspired by the flavour profiles and ingredients of a particular part of the world. Having these "regional" flavours was a fun way to explore a wide range of tastes (all while staying Paleo), and allowed our amazing graphic designer (Kristina Filler) to take the Original caveman on a colorful tour of the world. For example, Rainforest contains ingredients from the Amazon (brazil nuts and cayenne pepper) and New World uses ingredients/flavours from North America (pumpkin, maple and cranberry). Most recently I had wanted to do a South American variety (I played around with different ideas like coffee and cacao, and ended up with delicious combination of cacao, chili and chia. Kristina then applied a purple/gold design to the packaging which went really well with the Mayan/Mesoamerican theme.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I think most people are surprised that I answer most company emails personally! Despite our product being available in a number of large stores around the country, we are still a *very* small company, and don't really have a large staff of people answering phones or emails. So if you write to the company via our online form, or call, you will most likely receive a response from me directly :)
Any future plans (sneak peeks, teasers, future goals you do not mind sharing)?
Right now the goal is to expand distribution out West. For some reason, our distribution in the UK and Canada is better than it is in California! So I'm working hard to remedy that. The cookies were recently accepted by Natural Grocers (a chain out West), as well as Whole Foods in the Pacific Northwest region, so that is a step in the right direction! But I still get a lot of customer inquiries about where they can find the cookies more broadly out West, and that's a big part of this year's plan. As for other products/flavours.. well... stay tuned :)
The faces of Caveman Cookies
For more information about Caveman Cookies and their products, you can visit their website, like their page on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
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