Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.
Bee Nut Free, LLC is an allergen-friendly snack food company that is both gluten-free and free from the “Big 8” food allergens (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat). Their granola bars, energy bars, trail mix, and cookies are made with all natural, organic, Non-GMO ingredients which create a flavorful, nutritious, safe snack option. Inspired by family members and friends with food allergies, Bee Nut Free strives to normalize eating and make snack food choices easier for those with food sensitivities.
We chatted with Jo-Anne, the owner and brains behind the business, and asked her a few questions (the really important ones). This is what she had to say:
1. You’re packed up with you Trails End Trail Mix and heading out the door for a hike. Where’s your dream location?
My dream location for a hike is in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Doing a canopy tour and swinging with the monkeys in Costa Rica is on my “bucket list” – I can hardly wait to get down there! Bee Nut Free’s Trails End Trail Mix will be a huge hit with the resident monkeys because we add banana chips and dried blueberries – two delicious dried fruits rounding out the sweet/salty taste of this scrumptious trail mix.
2. Ultimate (nondairy) ice cream sandwich combination: what flavor with which of your cookies?
I’m a bit of a traditionalist so I’d have to combine our new large 5” Chocolate Chip Cookie with vanilla bean ice cream – really, who wouldn’t love that??? Although now that I’m craving an icy treat, I’m thinking our large 5” Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookie with Carmel Sea Salt ice cream could be a hit.
3. If you were shipwrecked on a tropical island and could only bring one of your products with you, which one would it be and why?
This is a no-brainer! Our Ten Mile Tropical Granola Bar, of course! When in Rome….right? A medley of pineapple, mango, goji berries, with a heavy ginger finish is the perfect blend of flavors to kick off any luau! If you’re going down with the ship, go out dancing, I say!
4. If you could create a cookie/bar inspired by a Disney ride/attraction, what would it be?
I kind of already have – our Sunny Honey Cookie Drops remind me of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Bathed in honey with a sunflower seed spread accent, we’re sure Pooh Bear would love these cookies!
However, you asked if I could create a product inspired by a Disney ride/attraction… I’ve always loved the dark mysterious and ominous feel of the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride. This granola bar will of course have a Certified Gluten Free Oat, Quinoa, Organic Applesauce, and Organic Palm Shortening base but then we’ll add anise, chopped turmeric root, and a hint of coriander to finish this bar with a smoky, almost musky taste. The anise will complement the other flavors highlighting the spunky, vivacious character of the pirates portrayed throughout the ride.
5. What’s the craziest/funniest/most memorable time you’ve experienced with a fan?
2011 was the first summer we participated and introduced our products at the Vail Farmer’s Market in Vail, Colorado. A 40-something gal was vacationing with some girlfirends and became overwhelmed that she found something to satisfy her Celiac diet. As she stated, “I’m used to coming to events like this and NEVER being able to participate in all the delicious food opportunities because of my food sensitivities.” She was so excited after tasting our products, and having a difficult time deciding what to bring home with her, she vaulted over our table and gave me a HUGE hug! With tears streaming down her face, choked with emotion, she was overwhelmed from her experience of eating a granola bar for the first time in her life. It was an emotional and uplifting experience for me! We love that our products are helping to normalize eating for those with food sensitivities!
There are two places that stand out in my mind. The first is to South Africa. A neighbor of ours, who happens to be Celiac, picked up a few mixed cases of our bars and traveled throughout South Africa with Bee Nut Free in hand. From what she tells us, she was so happy she did because she couldn’t find a single gluten free item anywhere!
The second place is the Great Wall of China. It was really neat to receive photos of our Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and Cranberry Citrus Energy Bars along the turrets and stone steps of the Wall! This travel location is particularly special to us since our daughter Lily was born in China. We look forward to someday bringing our own stash of Bee Nut Free bars AND Lily to China to tour the highlights of her birth country.