So welcome back guys… or wait thanks for welcoming us back into your lives. Hope you didn’t miss us too much.
The last few months we’ve been super active on Instagram – @thehealthybies and in real life too – new companies opening, travel and some slight hibernation over the winter time. Hence the #hiatus.
What’s shakin’ up in here now you ask (I’m assuming you’re asking)?
We have a few big announcements in the making, tons of new recipes and recently sat down with a new favourite snack company based here in Toronto.
Handfuel is a Toronto based company founded in 2015. They focus on supplying flavourful and nutritious products for health conscious consumers across Canada.
Their unique line of products originate from traditional family recipes.They strive to focus on hand crafting all of their products to ensure the consistency of excellent taste and quality in every snack they produce.
Here’s what founder Cole Richman had to say!
RachelBies Nutrition: First off, really nice to meet you and love the story of you and your aunt in her apartment making what was to become HANDFUEL. Aside from this inspiration – is there another reason besides legacy that you wanted to market and sell this?
Cole Richman: I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and when I graduated from university I was torn between pursuing a profession in finance and real estate, or chasing my dream as an entrepreneur. I researched at the health food landscape extensively and saw a niche market that I could capture by using unique ingredients that were non-traditionally available in Canada.
RBN: Using Spanish almonds and flavouring them with fresh lemon is a neat spin and something different to what we’ve seen in the market! Is there any subtle difference in taste using Spanish vs. Californian OR Middle East?
CR: There is! The Spanish Marcona almonds are considered the “Queen of all almonds” They’re very smooth in taste and a touch sweeter than traditional California or Middle Eastern almonds. Additionally, Marcona’s are richer in natural fats and dietary fibres.
RBN: With gluten-free, non-GMO and other “buzz words” in the markets – what was the importance of gearing this product towards these specifications? Myself as a holistic nutritionist and wellness chef – I understand the importance of having a target market and appealing to them.
CR: It’s very important – it connects with a consumer who is concerned about their overall well being and who is aware of what they’re purchasing. Our products are sourced using premium ingredients and they’re tailored to the health conscious customer, so focusing on health food trends was essential.
RBN: I like that you weren’t afraid to “shake” up the mixes. Ordinarily most on trail-ish mixes are the same plain Jane varieties. WE love the sounds of cherry, buckwheat and hazelnuts in The Vitalizer OR all the berries including blueberries in The Antioxidizer! Where did you/do find the inspo behind these mixes?
CR: We wanted to do something different and provide consumers with a premium product packed with all fuel and no filler. Usually, the reason you don’t see cherries or blueberries in mixes is because they are so expensive, however, our focus was on building a nutritional complexion with unique flavours and not sacrifice our core values based on price.
RBN: What’s your background in food, nutrition and wellness – was there academia? Or just a natural love of holistic and real ingredients?
CR: My educational background is in business and global development, however, I’ve always had a passion for food, nutrition, and wellness.
RBN: Heading into the market soon with the 4 mixes (which sound delicious), are there more in store? Perhaps a seasonal mix? A holiday mix?
CR: Currently, our products are in roughly 100 stores across Canada, predominately in Ontario, including Pusateri’s and other health food stores and independent markets. Our next product will be launching in a few months and it’s a grab and go size – 40g compared to current size of 190g – which is marketed toward the everyday, on-the-go, health conscious consumer.
RBN: Have you thought about doing collabs with health and wellness folks in the industry? Perhaps from a culinary perspective?
CR: Yes, definitely! The recipes of the three mixes were developed by a health and wellness chef, and we’re always looking for new partners to help us innovate our products.
RBN: I’m really excited to try HANDFUEL and LOVE that’s its gluten-free and super great snack for on the go and hectic days! You can literally take this gem anywhere!
All the best and cannot wait to see what’s in store for you guys!
Be sure to check out their INSTAGRAM!