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This episode was recorded at the Nourished Festival in Sandy, Utah. I was really fortunate to taste some of 88 acres delicious snacks and and bars. And I was really impressed by their company. And so I asked my next guest to be on the travel bug free podcast right at the show so you can hear a little of the excitement and the noise and the movement in the background of De San Utah Nurse Festival, which was really great. And I got to meet a lot of vendors and Dina was one of the vendors at 88 acres and she was able to come on the podcast during nurse festival. So we hear all the noise in the background. That's what it is. It is the excitement of the nurse festival. So let me give you a little bit of background on 88 Acres. It says from their very first batch to their next big idea, they're always seating a vision of simply better snacking in every craft bar, butter and Nola nutrition.
That is all good for everybody. Always. That's why they're called eight acres as a reminder of the rural roots that bind farm to Panche and heart to heart where you don't have to fear food and the whole family can enjoy it. The same great taste, making more from less is what they do and they do it very well. More of that home cooked quality from a small scale allergy friendly bakery and more community and personal impact from the small everyday choices that they're making to live their values of betterment through mindfulness and collaboration through transparency. Because delicious food doesn't have to be at odds with nutrition or safety at 80 acres, they're growing that change seed by seed. So without further ado, I love to introduce my feature guest, Dayna scan down from 88 acres. Dayna, thank you for coming onto the gluten free travel going free podcast today and welcome to the show.
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
So Dayna, I was, we are at the Nourish Festival in Sandy, Utah today and you have your amazing products out and I have never tried your products before and I tried them yesterday for the first time cause today's the second day of the nourish festival, which I'm really enjoying. I, I love your products. And we're going to jump in your POTUS a little bit, but tell me some of the feedback you've been getting from people who are trying your products at the nurse festival.
Yeah, so we have three different product lines. We do seed bars, seed butters, and seed Nola at the neuros festival. We're only sampling our seed bars and our seed butters. Usually seed butters are the ones that get the most attention because we have a watermelon seed butter that's totally new and different and it really catches people's eye. So when they try it, they don't really know what to expect. But a lot of the feedback has been really positive. Everyone really likes it.
And it's really funny because usually when you think of watermelon seeds, you think of like you buy into a watermelon and then you get these seeds and they're really crunchy and they get stuck and you're like, get the spit them out. But what are your watermelon seed? I actually ordered some of that because it's really, really good. It's very like creamy. It's almost like a sesame mixed between a sesame Tahini and the peanut butter. But your nut butter, well, if they're not nut butter as your see butter lines are so great because any kid or a person with a uh, tree nut allergy can eat any of your, your seed butters. I want to see, I see, keep thinking nut butters in my head. Any of your seed butters that don't have to worry about getting like contaminated or an allergic reaction to any nuts.
Right. Well, we're actually free of the top eight food allergens plus sesame and gluten. So we try to be a food that everybody can eat, even people without allergies. So I don't have any allergies myself. And I eat our products every single day just because they taste good and it's really great because I know on, I can't remember what diet it is, but you're not supposed to eat like peanuts and certain other things at the Lectin Diet. And so this is really great because you can get like a nut, like a nut like butter, but it's not made from nuts. It's made from seeds and you can still get like that buttery feel and taste. And it's really nice because your products have like a little bit of a different tastes, which makes them really special, but it's not so different that it's not enjoyable.
Right. We tried to be recognizable, so we do sunflower seed butter is that people have known and loved for years, but we don't do a plain sunflower seed butter because that's what everyone already knows. So we do a dark chocolate, a vanilla spice, and then a maple sunflower. So we try to make them more flavorful, more exciting. And then we do the pumpkin seed butters, which are totally different. And the watermelon seed butters, which are totally different, but they still have that familiar butter feeling to them. So you can replace peanut butter with the pumpkin seed butter. You can really use them in any recipe that would use an almond or any other nut butter. But they do make it a little bit more fun. And so we actually had to back up a little bit cause we, I got so excited about talking about your seed butters that we jumped right into that.
Dayna, your role at 80 acres is the marketing manager, photographers who, tell me a little bit about what you do or behind the scenes at 88 acres.
Sure. So our company is really still kind of small. We've been around for a couple of years, but we're really lean team and so everyone on our team wears multiple hats. So my official role would be the marketing manager, but I kind of work in a lot of different areas. I help with the online store, I help with the brand development. I do the photography for Instagram and I work with PR and media. And then I do these fun events where I get to talk to customers and consumers and meet other brands. So I kind of do a lot of consumer facing things and then a lot of brand development things.
Nice. And how did you get into 88 acres? Like what made you pursue going into this company to work or did you just kind of fall into it? How did that happen?
Well, I've always loved food ever since I was young. I've loved food and restaurants and food industry things. It's just been a passion forever. So when I was at Northeastern university, they have the co op program where you work for six months and then you go to school for six months. So my last co-op my senior year was with 88 acres and it immediately caught my eye because it was, you know, a food business. They do all their own manufacturing. They are creating jobs in an area of need in Dorchester, Massachusetts, which is wonderful. And the two cofounders are just really inspiring people. Robin, Nicola, husband and wife team. They are creative and passionate about what they do and they're really creating a culture where people can contribute and get behind something that's making a difference. So once I met them, I was pretty much sold.
Awesome. And then besides your seed butters, so you have a variety of seed butters and so you have the sunflower Pumpkin, watermelon seed butters, and then you also have a line of bars which are really great. And I love your bars because one of the things I love about your bars is that they're really great to travel with because they don't have a lot of like melty stuff on them. Right? Which a lot of like. And you'll see a lot of big grocery stores or whatever, a lot of like mainstream things and they have like chocolate and vanilla just coated on them and it adds a whole bunch of extra sugar by love your bars cause you don't have that coding so it's not as sweet and they taste great. So can you tell us a little bit about more about how you guys came about with the bars and he like who came up with the idea and flavors short?
So the bars were actually our original product line. Everything started with the triple berry bar is cranberries, blueberries and Zante currents with sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds and oats. That bar was made by Nicole, our CEO and cofounder when her and her husband Rob, we're training for a triathlon. So rob is definitely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and he couldn't eat any of the training foods that Nicole was eating while they were trying to get up to speed for this triathlon. So they went to the grocery store and they were looking for allergy friendly products for rob to enjoy. And all of the brands were just very stigmatizing and were very allergy focused, didn't really focus on flavor or ingredient quality. And so they decided to just make them at home. So they started making bars in their basement kitchen and then the triple berry bar was born and they shared it with their friends took off from there.
Nice. And how many different flavors of bars do you have now?
We now have five flavors of bars. We just had, we have three flavors last year and then we added the oats and cinnamon flavor and the double chocolate Mocha flavor in early of 2018. Um, all the, all the bars are delicious. Our chocolate sea salt is usually the one that gets people's eye first because it's kind of like a chocolate chip cookie. But our ginger and apple seed bar is a fan favorite. And one of my personal favorites too. Oh that is, that was, that was my personal favorite when I taste this at all of them. Yesterday was the ginger one that was really good. And it's nice you get this a little bit different cause you get a lot of like chocolate is pretty common. But Ginger is really nice because it's a little, it's a little bit of a switch but it's still something people can recognize.
Right. And it kind of is good for the morning because it suits your stomach. It kind of wakes you up a little bit. And it's a unique flavor. You know when you walk down the bar aisle in a grocery store, you have the classics, right? You have the chocolate, you have a lot of peanut butter. Right, exactly. And so we wanted to do something that was a little bit more unique, a little bit different. So the ginger and apple kind of came about because we love ginger. It kind of reminds us of Apple Pie. We had a lot of cinnamon to it and it's kind of like a warm, delicious, chewy homemade snack that just is really satisfying and full of nutrient dense ingredients. And then what do you use to sweeten your bars? So we use a mix of maple syrup and brown rice syrup to sweeten the bar and also hold the bar together.
So because we bake our bars on sheet pans just like you would at home, the bars need to be pressed pretty, pretty, pretty firmly into the sheet pan and so we need to use something sticky to keep everything together. But we try to keep the sugar between eight and 10 grams, which is actually a lot lower than a lot of other granola bars out there. Yeah, and I noticed that too and I tasted it yesterday. I don't like super sweet items and it was great cause it had Justin the sweet that like it gives us some more flavor but it's not overly sweet. Right. We won't really want the seed flavor to come through plus the oats so when we mix everything together and we bake the bars in the ovens, the roasted flavor of the seeds is really the flavor that you taste first and then everything else like the fruits and the chocolate and the spices. Just kind of as another layer on top of that, but it really is seed for all right.
All right, so Dayna, I first want to talk about the portability of your food cause that's one of the first things that I, while this actually the second thing I noticed, cause the first thing I noticed was your watermelon tea butter was amazing and your bars were really great because they didn't melt a lot. But then because I always, I like to focus a lot on because that's what people listen to, the podcast where is a food that can travel easily. And then I believe it was the person who was working in the booth with you showed me that you actually have um, portable, like the little packets of the seed butters. So, and which is perfect to travel, which I love because then you don't have to worry, you can just use it and then toss the wrapper and you know, put it on your favorite chips or whatever. So tell us about how you guys came up with the idea for that.
The seed butter pouches are maybe our most exciting product launch to date. Our seed butters are delicious and they're wonderful. But bringing a 14 ounce jar of seed butter with you on an airplane can be pretty tricky. So we started with the seed bars. Those are great for travel and those are of course a wonderful option if you're on the go. But the seatbelt or pouches just offer another level of versatility, more options for snacking. So we want it to give people an option to bring a seed butter with, you know them on the go. The pouches were a little bit trickier to bring to reality. We do all of our own manufacturing. So when we're in our bakery, every piece of machinery is owned by us. We have to figure out all of the bits and bits and pieces to it. So when we brought in the pouch filler, which is a massive piece of machinery, or actually the smallest company that owns one according to the installer.
Yup. We actually couldn't fit it through our bakery doors. So we had to, we had to do some demolition and blow open the bakery doors and bring the poach filler in and then rebuild the bakery doors after that. So it was a fun adventure to get that going. Um, but now that we have the pouches, we have all seven flavors of our seed butters in a pouch, which makes it really easy and versatile to bring with you on a plane or bring with you in the car or even to the office. Or if you pack lunches, it's great to throw in there. Um, and it's, it's just a great way to have healthy fats and protein with you on the go.
And I noticed on your Instagram, and so you have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven flavors of see butter. And on your Instagram you actually have a pitcher, have like a trial, a trial, like a little box that you open up and magically, like one of each of the flavors are there. So if someone's not sure if they're going to like a flavor, they can order your sample kit of CE butter. Is that correct?
Yes. Our sample pack, it's, it's my favorite product on the website. It's a great place to start. We have seven different flavors of butter, which include a pumpkin seed butter and a watermelon seed butter. And if you're new to seed butters in new to 88 acres, you have no idea how those things taste. So it's kind of a big commitment to choose a whole jar of one of those or a whole pouch catty of one of those flavors. So we like to give an option so you can get the sample packs, sit down at your kitchen table, try everything, try them in your favorite sandwiches, you know, try them with your kids and your family and then pick one or two that you really love and then you can buy the full pouch catty or the full jar.
Yeah, it's a really great idea because especially with kids like my daughter's 19 but she's super picky and so I would really like, I would buy jar for myself because I knew I would try it or I like it. But for her, like if she's not at the expert with me, this is like a great option cause I can bring it home and if she like doesn't like it I'll probably like it. But it's great cause then she can try all these different ones and tell me which one she likes is especially great for picky
kids. Yes. And we do the seed Pouch, see better pouch sample pack as well as the seed bars sample pack. So if you want to try all of our products all at once, you just get both sample packs and do everything, all of, all in the same taste test and then you know your favorite flavors.
Oh, that's awesome. I will definitely have to get both of those. I didn't know you had both of those available. Awesome. You guys have some really great products right now. What was your, I guess, biggest challenge in building 88 acres today? What do you think was your biggest challenge? Like maybe from a marketing perspective?
Wow. I mean it's a food startup, so the challenges are never, never ending and I think that's part of the adventure. That's probably the most fun that we have is coming up with solutions to these complex problems. For me as a marketer and a young marketer at that, this is my first job out of college. I think the most most challenging part is building a brand that is different, that will speak to people with allergies as well as people without allergies. We want our products to be non-stigmatizing and just focus on the food that is in the product and not all the allergens that we don't use. So I think that's been probably the biggest challenge is coming up with, you know, how do we speak to both audiences? How do we make sure that everyone feels like we're supporting them, making sure all the information is clear, but that we're not, you know, putting somebody into a group.
And so that's been a big challenge. But I mean that's, that's the fun part, right? That's what we all signed up for. So, so it's a, it's a good challenge as a company. I think our biggest challenge would be just doing our own manufacturing. There's, there's never a rule book for how to do this. There's no, there's no game plan and you know, there's never, there's nowhere we can look to find the answers to, you know, how to get a pouch filler into a bakery. We just have to kind of figure out a creative solution to it. So there's many, many challenges that come with doing your own manufacturing. But luckily we have a really smart team and a team that works together really. And so it's, yeah, it's been fun.
You said that you do all your own manufacturing, so I'm assuming that you don't have any gluten in your factory, is that correct?
That's right. Yeah. We're totally gluten free facility. We're totally free of the top eight food allergens plus sesame and gluten. Um, yeah, everything. We try to keep everything really, really clean and really clear for people totally frequently.
Oh that's awesome. So then nobody has to worry about if they have celiacs, they can eat any of your products and they'll be safe.
Right. And I feel like a lot of celiacs sometimes get a little bit nervous when we use oats. And for us, oats are a key ingredient of our bars. But what we do is we use purity protocol, gluten free oats, which is the highest level of gluten free certification you can get. So for us, that's a great way to bring oats to a gluten free community. A lot of oats, you know, they're naturally gluten free, but because of where they're grown, they can be contaminated with gluten. Um, so we just try to use the highest quality ingredients we can to make sure everyone's safe.
And then for your bars, they're all vegetarian. And then um, are they all dairy free as well?
Yeah, we're totally Vegan.
Oh, nice. Awesome. So my daughter who's a vegetarian and her friends who are Vegan can also eat these as well. Nice. So looking forward, what are your, do you guys have any plans for a specific flavor or products going forward? Can you tell us about it?
Right. So it's, um, it's May of 2019 right now and in Q one of 2019, we launched 11 new products, which has been kind of a theme for us. We love to launch a lot of products all at once in the beginning of a year. For us, the biggest thing on the horizon is bringing our seed Nola to the retail market. We've been making seed Nola since the very beginning. It's made from the edge pieces of our bars. So we make our bars in sheet pans and we cut the bars into the perfectly wrapped packages, but there's always some edge pieces that are the corners of the sheet pan. So we crumble those up and rebate it into a seed Nola so we can be totally free of food waste, whereas zero food waste facility, but it's always been a very small batch product because we only, we don't do seed and all the batches, we just use the edge pieces. But in 2019 we're really hoping to bring signal into the retail market, get them their own beautiful bags and kind of brings the Nola to the world. That's been like a cult favorite product within our team as well as our bakery team and some of our VIP customers. Um, it sells out really quickly, but we're really hoping to kind of ramp up production on that and introduce this gluten free, delicious Sea Nola to grocery stores everywhere.
And so we're going to wrap it up a little bit. And so the first I wanted to ask you, Dan, are you gluten free?
I am not. I'm not actually, I have no allergies at all.
Oh, awesome. Okay, that's, that's really great. And then what, so I can't ask you some of my guilty gluten questions, so, but I will ask you my wrap up questions. So we have three wrap up questions I ask everybody at the end. Um, one is, we just talked about your future plans. So what is your ask of the audience? Where would you like them to engage you? Oh, I would love it.
Love for them to check out 88 acres.com. We 88 acres has a big long story. I would love for everyone to learn about us, learn about our bakery and our products and our founders and take a look at all of our flavors. There are so many different flavors to discover, so many different seeds to enjoy. So I would start at eightyeightacres.com and then check your local grocery store for all of our snacks. And then what grocery stores are currently carrying your products right now we are all over the country now in so many different stores as well as cafes and smoothie bars. Yoga studios and corporate corporations in your office. So I would go to 88 acres.com and look at our stores page and then find a your favorite store.
And so is your website the number 88 yup.
It's eight eight numerical 88 acres.com.
Awesome. And then what social media platforms are you guys on?
We're pretty much everywhere. I would find this on Instagram first. That's where you'll find all the pretty pictures of our food. We're also on Facebook if you want to follow along there. And we also have some recipes on Pinterest, but I would start with Instagram. That's where you can contact us the most easy. Okay, awesome. I would definitely, yeah, you guys have some really great pictures on Instagram. Well Dayna, thank you so much for coming out today at the nourish festival to interview, to interview with me on travel blog for your podcast.
Absolutely. Thanks so much. This is fun.
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