In our new Supplier Stories series, we’re featuring our wonderful suppliers! So many of them have special stories, from women entrepreneurs to family farms to mission-driven folks who want to make a difference. Some are local—only available in a couple of stores—while others are growing along with us. Follow along as we share their tales.
As a former health journalist, Brooklyn-based Nancy Kalish had been in wellness circles for years. She knew the drill: eat healthy, get exercise, reduce stress. Trouble was, she had a major sweet tooth. To get her sweet fix, she sought snacks with plant-based ingredients and minimal sugar — things that didn’t leave her pining for junk food.
When her search perpetually came up short, she took matters into her own pans and experimented with brownies made from beans. Yep, beans.
“I know, it sounds crazy,” she said. “My first tries were awful. “But there was something there — a very luscious texture. And I knew if I could get the beany taste out, I’d have something really special.”
Building a Business, Bean by Bean
So she kept at it. One year and hundreds of dirty pans later, she finally found the perfect recipe — one with 40 percent beans and non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free ingredients.
“And it tasted amazing,” she said. “Those brownies tasted so good, I created a Blondie [made of garbanzo beans]. And those tasted so good, I thought: I should bring these to market. After all, how hard could it be to start a food company?”
Rule Breaker Snacks was born in September 2015. Taking the plunge as so many small business owners had done before her, Nancy booked a booth at Expo West, a trade show for all things natural and organic.
Crossing Paths with Whole Foods Market
The idea of a brownie made from beans won the hearts of everyone there, including a buyer from Whole Foods Market.
“From the moment the show opened, we were mobbed,” Nancy said. “We wrote our first orders, and best of all, we were discovered by Whole Foods Market’s northeast region.”
Six months later, Rule Breaker Snacks hit the shelves of Whole Foods Market stores in the Northeast, where you can still find them today in select stores. Just call your store to see if you can find them near you! Or visit Rule Breaker Snacks online.
“We’ve broken the rules, re-imagined, and re-engineered,” Nancy said. “And now people have a treat that’s completely different.”
Now, that’s a real Rule Breaker…and a perfect lunchbox packer, too.