Joshua Tabin, CEO of Wild Zora Foods, was kind enough to chat with DeliveryRank about this budding little family enterprise that has taken the snacking and eat-on-the-go worlds by storm.
I most certainly would. My wife and I had recently moved to Colorado and we were spending a lot of time outdoors on hiking trails with our kids. It was impossible to find snacks in the grocery stores that didn’t contain oodles of sugar and carbs. The kids would get hungry whilst hiking and we would give them these bars that would more often than not contain 300 calories or more. What we didn’t understand was why the kids would be hungry again 30 minutes later.
It turns out that when one eats carbs and sugars, insulin levels shoot up and your blood sugar crashes down soon after which means you get hungry. What we were eating at home; meat, veggies and a little fruit, actually acts as a better snack and keeps you full for longer. But how many snacks contain meat, veggies and fruit? This is how we started out.
My wife Zora started to dehydrate meat and veggies in our home dehydrator to make our first snack bars. The kids started to take them to school and pretty soon people were asking where they could get some of “Zora’s bars.” We then started selling them at the local farmers market on the weekends and it just took off from here.
We really believe that people should only eat food and that food should only contain food! Literally every product that we have only contains ingredients that grow in or on the ground. This is first and foremost for us.
We believe in balance, so we don’t tend to follow every new trend that surfaces from the increasingly complex world of nutrition. Some things always remain true, so we never use processed sugar, chemicals or preservatives, and our meat will never contain hormones or antibiotics – that would go against our values. Our products are clean and, in fact, having a “clean label” is probably our principal value.
We started out making snack bars but have since branched out to make whole meals for camping, travel, or whatever tickles your fancy. Because of the lack of preservatives in our products, our shelf life is shorter than other camping products out there and are only viable for 3-5 years, unlike others that can go on for a lifetime almost ;). We feel that 3-5 years is more than long enough!
We have seven different product lines; noodle cups, quinoa meals, camping meals, instant cereals, snack bars, instant soups, and dried fruits… and two of these are quite new: One, our quinoa meals, have quickly risen to be our best sellers, and are a perfect size for a quick meal on-the-go and come in five different flavors. The other new product this year is our noodle soup cups which are made with unique and delicious “vermicelli glass noodles” made from sweet potatoes. Both the noodles and the quinoa have been huge hits as 8 out of 10 of our best sellers are now these two new products.
The quality of our ingredients is a major differentiating point. We use non-GMO & organic ingredients, free-range meat, and grass-fed beef, etc. Originally, we thought we would use organic meat, but here in the US, organic beef can still come from cattle who still live on a feedlot, standing in their own you-know-what, eating organic grains, and aren’t allowed to simply roam free in a pasture like our 100% grass-fed cattle. We like to see that the animals have been raised in a healthy, sustainable and humane way, and we do visit the farms from which we source our products.
We sell from our website and many of our products are also available on Amazon. We have also just received a large purchase order from a major national outfitter and they will begin carrying our products shortly. During Covid, most of our customers wanted to buy online, but we see ourselves shifting back to more of a hybrid model where key items will be available in retail stores, whereas our complete product assortment will still be online.
Many company founders we’ve talked-to seem to think their lives would be better if they were no longer working, so they are looking for an exit strategy. We, on the other hand, LOVE what we do – helping people live healthier and happier lives – and so we hope we can keep doing this for a long time to come!