Hi! …..and I welcome you to our new blog series – so many years on the to-do list! As one of two Co-Founders of Power Super Foods (with my husband Paul), and as somewhat one of the pioneers of superfoods in Australia - this is our 14th year, proudly going strong - we’ve been kept literally sprinting with so many hurdles to negotiate every day in the complicated world of international food import. Being flat-chat ensuring we bring the very best product to you every time, has meant us keeping a bit of a low profile as company heads (Captains Chaos, at your service!) with our heads down and bums up – just like our precious pet ducks! (the Brady Bunch).


 The Brady Bunch!

But we thought it might be time to let you in on how things operate ‘’behind the curtain’, some stories of how we came to meet the suppliers that have become like family over the years, a geography brief of a few of the cool places and the amazing historical civilizations depicted in our new ‘’The Origin Series” packaging that ruled in the countries we’ve been to sourcing premium quality superfoods, and some funny stuff that‘s happened along the way in this crazy healthy journey.


The Origin Series

We’ll also have some superfan guest bloggers, those that have been using our products for eons or are fresh to them, including our NEXT GENERATION OF HEALTH series of young bloggers, to assist them in gaining an even wider audience, as we really believe they are key kickstarters to the future transformation in store for this beautiful Earth. And finally, our resident naturopathic star Diana Robson will be giving us all an interesting education on a superfood theme every month – and if you’ve signed up to our newsletter, there will be supersneaky discount codes on her featured products! Click on our 'newsletters' page to check it out. You can sign up on the home page. 



 

To kickoff this festive season, let’s talk about our most popular product – CACAO

Searching for a supplier of cacao was actually easy – there are squillions around the world – but finding ones that ticked all our mandatory boxes (consistently pure, certified organic, fairly traded, beautiful aroma, rich chocolatey taste) was a lot tougher. We tasted so many samples from everywhere that at times our tastebuds went AWOL! Ruling out African supply was immediate as the child labour situation on the Ivory Coast chocolate plantations is the worst in the world, and we just couldn’t risk even inadvertently supporting that trade. Indonesian cacao did not excite us either as the taste was consistently bland and the texture chalky – the varieties grown or climate factors perhaps? We finally found our perfect solution with South American smaller-scale growers.


The cacao vine

Peru is an amazing country geographically – cold ocean Humboldt currents causing dry desert-like conditions in the west, the high Andes mountain climatic extremes of the centre (harsh summer sun/freezing winters/blustery winds) of which Machu Picchu is the southern end, and the lush lowland Amazonian jungle region (Iquitos side) in the east where cacao is grown….. please go if you can & see it for yourself! ...and the people, oh the lovely colourfully kitted out people.

We fiercely believe in forming long & healthy sustainable relationships with our suppliers to create a win-win model of business – if they are secure in the knowledge we wont chisel down the price from year to year, they can invest capital on necessary equipment, ensure their kids are schooled instead of in the fields, and trust that they wont have over-planted unsaleable quantities at harvest of one crop if we find it a dollar cheaper per kilo elsewhere in the world (yeah, that’s what the ‘’big boys’’ do). This is so obviously simply the right thing to do as far as we are concerned, because farming is actually a very volatile profession to make a living from anywhere, with livelihoods at the mercy of Mother Nature.

 

Map of Peru

We now have 3 key suppliers of Cacao products. Funny story; after finally receiving a truly impressive samples of beans, nibs & powder, Paul flew to Peru to connect with our first supplier & they agreed to meet at a certain spot in the airport in the capital, Lima. Paul arrived, looked around at designated area, saw only one very ‘’mature’’ gentleman, waited some more, then finally gave up and took a taxi to his hotel. Meanwhile, I got an email in the middle of the night from the supplier asking if Paul had missed his flight because he hadn’t got off the plane. Of course now I was frantic! Turns out they were both waiting at the right spot, but the supplier had thought there was no way ‘’that young fella’’ was his contact, and Paul thought there was no way this other gentleman wasn’t already retired! We have been doing very healthy business together ever since though, for more than a dozen years and he’s still going strong - we are very grateful he took a chance on us.


Part of our job here is to interpret climate modelling and keep an eye on world events to try and predict the ‘’snowball’’ effect on the food commodities & import markets – oh, if only we were psychic!! A few years ago, when all signs were pointing to a big drought in the Amazon, we realized we had to find a fresh source of cacao quickly that would be unaffected, as we had now built up not only a loyal following of premium-product-hunting healthy foodies, but we had many secondary organic food manufacturers relying on us for bulk supply for their creations eg. raw chocolatiers, brownie bakers, coffee roasters, healthy cafes, gourmet dessert artists, etc. So we went looking in the home of THE most famous luxury chocolate makers of all, Ecuador. This tiny but tremendous South American country is a personal favourite of Paul’s, where he has visited many times over 30 years to study Spanish and travel throughout long before starting this business. Even with a huge array of suppliers to choose from, it was just so easy to pick our very best option from the first moment we opened their sample bag – the incredibly heady, intensely chocolate aroma nearly knocked our socks off and we could almost eat it straight off the spoon, with its fantastic smooth texture and sweetish taste. Over the years we’ve befriended this family far beyond our business relationship and now love to link up together anywhere in the world, chatting away in Spanglish with the kids running around – so much to talk about!

 



All these wonderful people and unique cultures were my inspiration for the rebranding of our range to THE ORIGIN SERIES, honouring the ancient civilisations and their descendants who discovered then preserved the knowledge through centuries of all these superfoods for our nutritional benefit today. Working closely with a brilliantly unique artist, I think we captured a vibrant representation of their essence, which is what we wanted to achieve – some images have up to 600 layers in computer graphics, which is amazing! The more you look at the packaging, the more you see within each - the moody and almost claustro feel of the sun filtering through the thick dark jungle and reflecting off the slowly rippling river of the Berry Power trio, the high dry monochrome plains (aka altiplano) of the Andes Maca-growing region with the colourful costumes, the open swaying fields of purple and white flowering chia fields from Mexico, the beautiful diver swimming seal-like with her flowing red seaweed tangle of hair, and the gorgeously clad woman in her purple-red huipil (traditional woven blouse) picking jewel bright cacao pods from the jungle dwarfed by the Mayan pyramids rising up behind her.

Here is the artist’s original sketch of the Cacao packaging after our first conversation about the historical origins, themes, and mood I hoped would result – you can see we ultimately deviated a bit, but we’re thrilled with the result!

The original Cacao drawing for Origin Series



To wrap up, I’d like to share one of my personal all time favorite cacao recipes, which is just wonderful bagged & tagged for holiday giving as you see here – especially for those in your life you hope will be a little healthier in 2015!


Christmas Crunch – A Morning Buzz

In a strong blender or spice grinder, pulverise 1 cup of Cacao Crunch (use Cacao Nibs for unsweetened version)
Transfer to a bowl and add ½ cup of ground coffee grounds (organic & fair trade please!),
Add ½ tsp cinnamon powder,
½ tsp vanilla powder,
¼ tsp nutmeg (you can double these if you like a lotta flavour)
Stir all to combine.
Then, add between 1-3 Tbsp of mix per cup of boiled water into a plunger (depending on how strong you like your morning cuppa)
Wait 5 mins, plunge & pour, then add milk of choice to taste.
YUM! ENJOY!


Happy Healthy Holidays everyone!!

Yours truly, Lisa Jordan

CoFounder/Power Super Foods Australia