FEATURED PALEO TRAVEL SNACKAs part of Getting Primal's Paleo-friendly travel snacks feature, the founder of Rickaroons was interviewed in order to obtain an inside look into the creation of Rickaroon's Paleo-friendly food products.
Macaroons. I was never quite a fan of macaroons. Maybe it's because the only Paleo-friendly macaroons I ever made were banana flavoured ones. Not bad but nothing to write home about either. When I found out about Rickaroons and saw the variety of macaroon flavours they offered, I knew I had to give them a try. A review of their travel-friendly snack is coming up shortly on the blog - suffice to say for now that our family loved them! We each had our own favourites and naturally, 'Mocha' the flavour with a hint of espresso was mine.
I had the opportunity to interview Rick who is the brains behind this father-son operation. As for the heart, both father and son have that covered. Rick's inspiration for starting Rickaroons stemmed from his love for a woman and his son Grant, in my correspondences with him, was always quick to respond and proved to be very attentive and helpful. I can tell from my dealings with Rickaroons' founders that they place great care in taking care of their customers. It's no wonder their macaroons taste like they do - they put their heart and soul into their creations - no compromises, no less.
What inspired you to start Rickaroons?
Rickaroons were a logical (but unpredictable) step in the evolution of healthy cookies. I first started baking in 2000, when I met a woman with health issues, and she was required to eat a dairy-free and wheat-free diet. She told me that if I really loved her, I would make her a chocolate chip cookie she could eat. Within a couple years, that cookie became the basis for a company called Ultimate Naturals Cookie Company. Our products were based on a spelt flour recipe I created, and it was of course vegan (and delicious). Ultimately I sold that company, but continued working on recipes. Within a year or so I had come up with a fantastic brown rice flour recipe that was gluten-free as well as vegan, and was also delicious. I firmly believed we would start a cookie company based on that recipe, but one day I decided to try making cookies without any flour at all, and the Rickaroon prototype was the result. That first prototype was pretty much a home run, and we have had to make very few deviations from it even while scaling up to making hundreds of pounds of Rickaroons at one time. Once people got their hands on Rickaroons, they insisted they be able to buy them somewhere. We of course had to satisfy that demand.
What is the hardest part about creating your snacks?
Deciding which flavor will be the next one to go into production.
Are you working on any new flavours at the moment?
I am always working on new flavors. I’ve probably got a dozen more that could go into production once we get the printed labels finished for our original four flavors.
Any other paleo-friendly treat connoisseurs who you admire and can recommend?
I’m going to leave this one unanswered. I’m a vegan, and prepare most of my own food from scratch unless on the road, and even then we try to get lodging in vacation rentals so I can do as much cooking as possible. (I really do love to cook.)
Can you tell me a bit more about some of these creations - the process you took to make them, what inspired you to make them? Original Chocolate Chip, Mint Double Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Espresso
I think the first paragraph answer above pretty much covers this one. The inspiration to make the evolutionary jump from the gluten-free brown rice flour cookies to Rickaroons was just a thought that had occurred to me a few years earlier. It was simply “what if I left the flour out altogether?” I was looking to create the most nutrient dense delicious cookie possible that met all my criteria for ingredients. (Organic, vegan, gluten-free)
What would people be surprised to know about you?
This is one that Grant would probably have to answer about me. I don’t really know what surprises people these days, and I really don’t know what people would find surprising about me. Some people think they have me all figured out when they find out that I’m a vegan cookie maker who is liberal politically and drives a prius. : )
Any future plans (sneak peeks, teasers, future goals you do not mind sharing)?
I would just say here that we have a lot of plans, some involving marketing (amazon.com, vitacost, Left Lane Sports, The Clymb, etc), and of course we will always be looking to innovate and create new flavors.
For more information about Rickaroons and their products, you can visit their website, like their page on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
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