Saturday Farmers’ Market Vendor Feature: Pure Pod Co.
This week we are featuring Pure Pod Co., a first-year vendor at our market! Pure Pod Co. uses organic and ethically sourced ingredients to create quality cacao-based beverages packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidants. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the owner, Sarah Kerr, to find out more.
How long has Pure Pod Co. been around? How did you get started?
Pure Pod Co. started this year. Our first market was on June 13th at UBC Farm. Last year, when I was in Costa Rica, I discovered a cacao pod. I cracked it open, tasted its sweet, sherbet-like flesh, and became fascinated with this tropical fruit, and all it had to offer. Chocolate was the only product I knew of that was made from cacao, but most chocolate is highly processed and full of sugar. I had no idea that raw, unprocessed cacao was a superfood – packed with antioxidants, nutrient-dense, and rich in theobromine (a natural stimulant).
What are the three most important things you think people should know about Pure Pod Co. ?
- We use raw and natural ingredients that taste great, are nutritious and make you feel great.
- We care about people and the planet. Our ingredients are ethically- and sustainably-sourced, and vegan.
- We use biodegradable or reusable containers, to help you live a zero-waste, minimalist, and low impact lifestyle.
Many of our products are adaptogenic, what does apoptogenic to mean? What are the health benefits?
Adaptogens are plants (certain herbs, roots, fungi) that can support your body’s natural ability to cope with physical and emotional stress. They do this by working at a molecular level, regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
They are called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to the specific needs of your body. For example, if you are feeling anxious, they can help you feel more relaxed. If you are feeling down, they can help improve your mood.
Our Hot Cacao Adapotgen Blend contains the following organic adaptogens:
- Siberian Ginseng for reducing stress and inflammation.
- Astragalus for immune support
- Maca for energy, endurance and stamina
- Ashwagandha for mental alertness, vitality and a rejuvenated sense of wellbeing.
We use a tablespoon of this blend to make our Adapotgenic Cacao Smoothies too.
How do your source your cacao? What do you look for when finding a supplier?
West African countries, mostly Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, supply more than 70% of the world’s cacao. As many as 2.1 million child labourers work in West Africa. When looking for suppliers of cacao, I wanted to be certain that no child labour was involved in the growing and production of cacao. The cacao we use at Pure Pod Co. comes from small-scale farms in Ecuador. The cacao is not only organic and of high quality, no child labour is involved and the growers are paid above fair wage. There is a focus on sustainable farming practices and we want to be involved in improving the quality of life for cacao growers and their families.
You use minimal and compostable packaging, why is this important to you as a company?How do you select the packaging for your products?
There is too much plastic in the world, clogging up our oceans and sealife. We did not want our products to contribute to the waste problem.
We sell products that are healthy for the body, so the packaging needs to be healthy for the environment. For our take & make products, we landed on using a company in Ontario who has created OmniDegradable bags. These leave behind only water, CO2 and a small amount of organic biomass, all beneficial to plant growth, when they degrade.
At the markets, we serve Iced Tea and Cacao Smoothies in mason jars, which can be returned, recycled or repurposed. I hope that in the near future we can implement a mason jar refund system at the markets, so we can reuse the jars.
You have created many cacao based recipes, what goes into coming up with these?
Cacao is such a versatile ingredient, so it’s easy to be creative and incorporate it into a variety of recipes. I really enjoy cooking and experimenting with different ingredients and have fun in the kitchen. My son, who is two, helps with the taste-testing : )
My latest creations include Cacao Energy Balls using raw nibs, and Pumpkin Spice Hot Cacao, using raw cacao powder, spices, cacao butter, and oat milk. I post my cacao creations on our Instagram page, so feel free to check it out for some baking inspiration!
Why did you choose to come to the UBC Saturday Market specifically?
I love the atmosphere at UBC Farm. The Farm staff and volunteers are so helpful and the people who shop at the markets have time to chat, are friendly and genuinely interested in getting to know you and your business.
It’s also very family-friendly. My toddler loves to visit the chickens and wander around the apple orchard. You will often see him and my husband laid out on a picnic rug behind the Pure Pod Co. stall. I don’t know of any other markets in Vancouver that have the same vibe.
If you could only eat/drink one of your products for the rest of your life which one would it be?
With the exception of Cacao Nibs and Cacao Butter, all of our products are beverages. If I could only drink one of my products for the rest of my life, it would have to be a tie between our Hot Cacao Adaptogen Blend, because you can make it into a hot drink, or use it to make a cacao smoothie and our Strawberry Cream Cacao Tea. It tastes as good as it smells, is caffeine-free and can be enjoyed at any time of day or night.
If I could only eat one of my products, it would be the raw cacao nibs. They have such a robust flavour, that is slightly bitter and nutty, and are so versatile.
Where else can customers find you?
You can also order from my website!Market Dates| Facebook Page | Instagram | Website