You might have picked up some of Rawcology's granola or coconut chips from our website or stores - they're delicious! We caught up with its founder & CEO, Tara Tomulka, to learn more about this Canadian family-owned brand.
Fresh City: How did you decide to start Rawcology? What was the main motivating factor?
Tara Tomulka: “What legacy do you want to leave behind?” Answering this question led me to take a leap of faith in leaving a career in corporate communications, becoming a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and launching Rawcology in the summer of 2017. In living a plant-based lifestyle for years and experiencing the positive changes that having a holistic approach to health can have on your mind, body and spirit, I wanted to create a business that would empower individuals to find joy in eating real, whole foods and plants as much as possible. I was dissatisfied with the lack of truly, healthy and delicious packaged foods available in the market and wanted to create healthier, better-for-you packaged foods using organic, plant-based, low sugar and superfood ingredients. At Rawcology, we believe in making food choices that honour your health and taste buds while making you feel great. You don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. We aim for progress, not perfection.
FC: How do you go about sourcing your ingredients? Are there any farms you particularly love working with?
TT: All of our ingredients are certified organic, certified vegan and non gmo, so our suppliers must meet these sourcing standards. In addition, since all of our products are allergen friendly, our ingredients must be sourced from environments that are free from the top 11 allergens. This process requires a lot of due diligence in working with our suppliers and ensuring that they maintain these standards. Since coconut is a key ingredient in all of our products, I’d love to share more details about where our coconut comes from. We work with a small family-owned farm in Sri Lanka with farmers that value the life of all living beings above profits and follow sustainable, organic farming practices that are bio-diverse with little impact to the environment. Fun fact: this farm also happens to be Sri Lanka’s oldest certified organic coconut farm!
FC: Can you walk us through the process of creating your products?
TT: We create all of our products in our dedicated allergen friendly facility in Etobicoke. Our products are free from the most common allergens so that everyone can enjoy them regardless of dietary restrictions. Our production team makes our grain free granolas and savoury coconut chips by first sprouting the sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds overnight before production day. The process of sprouting seeds removes their enzyme inhibitors, making the seeds easier to digest in addition to unlocking their full nutritional benefits. On production day, our team creates the “sauce” for our products by blending the ingredients in our commercial food processors. Afterwards, the sauce, coconut and/or sunflower and pumpkin seeds are mixed in our “tumbler” machine. The team then lays the mixed product on dehydrator trays all by hand. The product is then dehydrated for a full 24 hours. The next day, our products are packaged and ready to be sold! Our unique dehydration process involves drying our products at low temperature for optimal nutrition, crunch and flavour. The products are never heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the living enzymes of the products in tact. This is our guarantee to offer the healthiest packaged food products available!
FC: What is your all-time favourite Rawcology product?
TT: My go-to is our Chocolate Grain Free Granola! It also happens to be our best-seller. You can never go wrong with chocolate :) I like it best with coconut yogurt, a drizzle of nut or seed butter and berries.
FC: Is there a misconception about your brand/product or plant-based eating in general that you'd like to dispel?
TT: I’d like to dispel the idea that plant-based eating involves sacrificing taste! Get inspired by the many spices and flavours you can use to create delicious and nourishing plant-based meals. Plant-based eating is all about getting creative in the kitchen and finding joy in the process.
FC: Are there any new products you're currently working on? If yes, please tell us a bit more!
TT: I can’t share specifics but I can say that we are working on some new products that are very different than our current offerings! Stay tuned :)
FC: Can you share a simple dinner you're currently loving to inspire anyone looking for some new nourishing recipes?
TT: I’m loving this Kale Pesto Chickpea Pasta recipe we’ve shared on the Rawcology blog! You can make the kale pesto ahead of time and use it for various other recipes, too. Boil the pasta and cook your veggies (onion, mushrooms, garlic, asparagus). Once everything’s cooked, add in your kale pesto, mix in some spinach, a sprinkle of vegan parm, a dash of salt and pepper, and voilà!
FC: What has been the most challenging aspect of starting Rawcology?
TT: Every day presents new challenges but since I didn’t have a background in food manufacturing, one of the most challenging aspects in starting the business has been learning the ins and outs of setting up our own dedicated food facility, implementing our food safety and certification programs, and scaling up the business.
To try some of Rawcology's products, browse the selection from our website here.