We chat with Stacy Miller, Founder of Good Phyte Foods, about what sets her snack company apart. From the organic ingredients sourced from local farms, to the carefully-designed recipes, it’s easy to see why Good Phyte Foods should be your go-to source for staying fueled throughout your day.
Healthy eating has now become a more mainstream idea. i The goal of consuming more natural products and eliminating processed foods has energized individuals from all over the world, from all different backgrounds.
With this awakened public consciousness, some brilliant initiatives have gained traction, and Good Phyte is one of them. Check out the great work achieved by Stacy Miller, founder of the company, and her team.
SM: Good Phyte is a women-powered micro business crafting clean energy snacks in creative flavors, inspired by the seasons in central Virginia. We are dedicated to supporting local organic vegetable farms and to using nutritious organic seeds to create delicious snacks that fuel sustained positive energy.
We make four flavors of bars, six flavors of grain-free crackers, as well as granola and a growing variety of powerball flavors. Right now we're really digging pecan pie and gingersnap powerballs!
This business was a response to the frustration I experienced as a parent looking for convenient snacks - everywhere I looked, I felt duped by products that purported to be wholesome, but which were actually full of nutritionally vapid ingredients (like corn starch) and vegetable powders.
I have a background in organic farming, and I wanted a business that genuinely supported the hardest-working people I know - diversified organic vegetable farmers! I still visit markets to catch up with our favorite farms and source ingredients at their freshest.
SM: We have customers all over the map, demographically speaking, but I admit that I was surprised to notice a trend among many of our local customers. While I expected our audience to be made up of more young parents with kids looking for healthier snack options, most of our "early adopters" that have remained loyal customers are over the age of 60.
These customers are old enough to have learned hard lessons about what does and doesn't make them feel their best, and seem to have made a steadfast commitment to clean eating.
However, we do reach a number of younger people in their 20s and 30s through some of our wholesale partners, and I would say that the diversity of our base is definitely growing. For example, we have been embraced by more men of different ages. The majority of our regular customers are still over 40, though.
SM: For sure. Cost is always a factor, especially for certain product sectors (like bars) where there are a LOT of competitors on the shelf. Despite being unique in using vegetables sourced from small local farms and using zero added sugar, we do whatever we can to avoid the perception of being a "premium" product, because we want to be a choice that's within reach for the majority of people. It's definitely hard to keep prices stable when organic ingredients seem only to be getting more expensive, but we try!
SM: Frankly, the process of creating our bar recipes took years of tweaking. The ratios are critical if you want to create a nutritional profile that you're proud of, and that was a primary goal.
We keep everything vegan and paleo and, while we previously made a paleo muffin with eggs, we are now fully vegan, since I don't like to demonize ingredients. However, it's our goal to create a product that is accessible to a wide variety of dietary preferences, so avoiding eggs, dairy, grain and, in most cases, nuts, is important.
We recently created a powerball inspired by the gingersnap cookie, which I finally accepted should probably contain a little molasses!
However, that's the only instance of an added sugar, which has no place in the rest of our products, since we use whole organic dates, apricots, or figs for sweetness (and fiber)!
SM: We use renewable packaging on just about everything, and encourage people to return or reuse some of the bags. We spent a lot of time researching biodegradable wrappers for the bars, which was definitely worth the extra time and money.
Earlier this year, we began subscribing to a composting service that can accept our bar wrappers and powerball packaging, and it brings me joy when folks save and return their empty wrapper for the compost! We use recycled cardboard boxes and packing material to ship, though we do still use some 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bags for our wholesale customers until we can find a better solution for bulk packaging the bars!
SM: Our cracker flavors rotate through the seasons, so we'll be winding down pesto and roasted red pepper soon, and making way for broccoli garlic and butternut sage. Beet rosemary is pretty much a perennial flavor!
All our monthly subscriptions are unique - while we offer a few standard PHYTE CLUB packages on our site, many of our customers end up adding other products to their monthly share, and requesting certain flavors, which is great. Why subscribe to something when you don't get exactly what you want every month!
We also make it a practice to give a little freebie (usually a powerball or two) with each monthly package, which keeps it fun!