Allyson Straka, founder and CEO of Frozen Garden, reveals more about her Indiana-based company that delivers smoothies, water infusions, and more to your door. It turns out, being healthy has never been easier!
I started Frozen Garden in 2016. However, it was a book that I read about 15 years ago called Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko, about the incredible health benefits of dark leafy greens, that inspired me.
Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-dense ingredients missing from the American diet. This book explained how blending the leaves into a fine pulp could actually render them more digestible, therefore allowing for better absorption of the nutrients.
I started to drink a green smoothie every day just as a way to supplement my normal diet. This was the beginning of my health journey. After my second child, I left my career as a software developer, completed a degree in nutrition, and became a holistic health coach.
Friends wanted me to open a smoothie bar, and after chatting with my father, Frozen Garden was conceived; ready-frozen, ready-to-blend smoothies, with plenty of options including greens. I tested the concept out of my health coaching office and, as it turned out, we couldn’t keep up with the demand.
We have three different product lines and two more coming out this year. We ship nationwide.
Our Smoothies are frozen, ready-to-blend whole fruits, vegetables, seeds, and spices. All you have to do is open the pouch and empty the contents into a blender. They often include a dark leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, and perhaps basil, mint, or parsley.
We’ve also launched fruit Smoothies for people who are on blood thinners and can’t eat leafy greens.
Our Fusions are frozen, pureed fruit and herbs in a little cube which you drop into your water or liquid of choice for added flavor.
Our most recent launch is our Delites, designed to be blended with milk or a milk alternative. Once blended, it creates a spoonable “dessert”, and when I say dessert, I mean 100% fruit, seeds, and vegetables – nothing more!
We’re based in Indiana, and we try to source all our ingredients from the Midwest. We have several farmers that grow produce specifically for us. Produce that doesn't grow locally, such as pineapples and avocados, are sourced commercially.
We freeze our produce on the day we receive it. Typically for spinach, within four days of harvest it loses half of its nutrients, so we freeze the same day as harvest.
This is something we continue to work on everyday and on every iteration. Our shipping process is very sustainable – our liners are actually made of corn starch so you can run water over them and they will literally dissolve.
We’re still working on our packaging as our pouches are still plastic, but unfortunately right now there isn’t a high-quality alternative available. It’s something we’re constantly working on.
I think it’s here to stay, and getting bigger and bigger. Plant-based is now mainstream. When the big, traditional food manufacturers start introducing plant-based products, you know it’s just the beginning.
Unfortunately, these manufacturers also have a knack of turning things into commercialized, processed products. We’re all about keeping it natural!
We’re pretty much middle of the road. Feedback from our customers suggests that by the time they’ve purchased all the ingredients to make one smoothie, it’s cheaper to buy from Frozen Garden.
In addition, there’s no waste, which tends to happen when buying for your own consumption, as half the produce has deteriorated by the time you get around to using it all.
This fall we’re launching an overnight oats product. When you add the milk in the morning, your oat pouch will have defrosted overnight and your whole blueberries and other fruits will be as fresh-tasting as can possibly be.
A little later in the year, we hope to launch our Garden Bowls, which are rice and vegetable meals. We’re expanding our range, away from just drinks and breakfast, all the while maintaining the same philosophies and staying true to source.