Interview with Garlic Clove Foods

October 15, 2016 3 min read

What made you want to start Garlic Clove Foods?

It all started with the desire to feed our family healthy, delicious but convenient foods. Anthony was diagnosed with multiple food allergies early on and it opened our eyes to the crap we were getting from the grocery store. So Amy started preparing meals for us ahead of time that were Whole Grain Based (Quinoa & Bulgur) some had beans, and all had vegetables with natural herbs and spices. People really loved the deliciousness and convenience of our foods and encouraged us to sell them. Without knowing the first thing about a food business we launched in Jan 2009, found a commercial kitchen, and was on the shelves at Sevenanda (our first customer) in March 2009. Amy and I have always been very entrepreneurial, Garlic Clove Foods has allowed us to express that while working with another passion of ours......Food.

What was the first product you created?

The Garden Pilaf was our first product. Its the closest to a "traditional" bulgur pilaf that I grew up eating.

What is now your most popular product and why do you think that is?

Its strange, our Pilafs cycle in their popularity. Originally it was the Garden Pilaf, however in the winter months the Santa Fe Pilaf (black beans) and the Spicy Cajun Pilaf (red beans) seem to get more popular. I think people tend to associate cooler weather with hearty foods like our bean blends. Recently we have seen a huge increase in our Gluten Free Pilafs and have decided now that we are in our own facility to launch even more GF offerings.

You just moved into a new facility. How has the transition been?

Incredible. It has opened up new doors of opportunity for us that would have been nearly impossible to react to the way we had been doing business.

You added some Gluten Free Products to your line. Why?

We wanted people to have options within our line of foods to eat Healthy, Delicious, Quick Cooking foods that are also Gluten Free. Depending on who you read, the Gluten Free industry is suppose to be a $7 - $9 BILLION dollar industry this year. The demand is there. On a side note about the up-swelling smear campaign against everything and all things Gluten..... I try to tell people that there's nothing wrong with Wheat, its just that some people have an intolerance to it. Its like having a peanut allergy, there's nothing wrong with peanuts, its just that some people are allergic to them.

Popularity for Quinoa and Bulgur is on the rise. Why do you think that is?

People are looking for easy, Whole Grain options. Quinoa & bulgur are incredibly easy to use and create meal plans with. They're quick cooking, loaded with plant based protein and fiber. Quinoa is getting a ton of press from people like Dr. Oz, nutritionists, etc... Its almost becoming mainstream.

How long does it really take to prepare one of your products and how difficult?

Super easy. The Quinoa & Bulgur blends cook in under 20 minutes and the Gluten Free blends cook in under 25 minutes.

Do you have a favorite recipe?

Our new Chick Pea Pilaf is my favorite. We have launched it only in local farmers markets and the response has been huge. I can't wait to get new packaging for it so I can get it to our distributors and out to the rest of our customers. Its an exotic blend of Indian spices, with Quinoa, Bulgur and Chick Peas. It has a nice little bite and a real sophisticated curry powder flavor. I love it.

Would you consider your products healthy?

Very. Not only are the ingredients sitting in our pretty packaging super healthy, but since our foods are so easy to cook you will actually eat them.

Check out the products from Garlic Clove Foods

Shawn Swanson
Shawn Swanson

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