We had the good fortune of connecting with Francesca SMITH and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Francesca, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Because our products are 100% plant-based it reduces our carbon footprint, saves lives of innocent animals and promotes a healthier lifestyle for our consumers. In addition, all of our products have added pea protein and beneficial spices and oils to provide real value to your diet and your recovery from activity.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are Francesca Smith and AJ Lawson, and NU Food is our company.
We’ve both spent the better part of our lives as competitive snowboarders and action sports athletes. We’ve always been on the search for healthy, plant-based, protein packed snacks.
We grew into veganism as a way to reduce our carbon footprint, live cleaner lives, and do the least amount of harm to every living creature in this world.
We started Nu Food in 2017 with the goal of making plant-based snacks that we could eat on the mountain that would provide as much if not more protein than a protein bar. So, we started with our first flavor, Nooch! Nooch is short for Nutritional Yeast, it is a seasoning that is packed with protein and all the B vitamins. Nooch, salt and pepper cover our kernels making it delicious and beneficial for athletes and anyone that lives an active lifestyle. From there we expanded to two more flavors, Churro and Kettle Curry. Two flavors we love but have never seen in stores. After that, we expanded to our Queso, which in our opinion is the best one on the market. What is special about ours is that it is nut-free, it is truly all plants and spices.
All of our products have added pea protein to satisfy your snacking needs but also help you keep your energy up and muscles moving. Our products are also all soy, nut and gluten free.
We’ve been making our popcorn and queso for years, perfecting the recipes. All that time, we’ve dreamt of finding products just like them in stores. Thanks to the generous and encouraging feedback we received from friends and family, we decided it was time to share with the world.
Starting a business was not easy, and running a business is not easy. But if you are doing something you are truly passionate about you just keep pushing until you get to where you want to be. We love our products, but we also love our cause. Spreading the vegan lifestyle especially with protein packed snacks means so much to us. Because our goal is bigger than a dollar amount pushing through the hard parts is a little easier. Once we started our company, we got a website up and running a social media page going and we were off! We sent our products to friends and family to promote and we joined a farmers market and started selling. There we found our first retail location and the rest is a lot of hard work, selling and determination.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, we here at Nu Food are always on the mountain. during winter and summer that’s where you will find us. So, for before we get after it for the day we would bring our friend to Vegan Van for breakfast. After that we would get on our boards and ride all day long. Of course, we will pack a few bags of Nu Food popcorn to snack on and keep our energy up.
After our long day of riding we would hit up Nooch vegan market. It is our favorite store and it is 100% vegan and they always have an amazing food truck out front. From Mu Ramen to Wong Way to Best One Yet you will always find a great meal and pick up some amazing staples for your pantry.
For dinner, we have a long list of places to go. We would probably start at Somebody People for some amazing food and drinks and decor. The rest of the week would be filled with City O City, Watercourse and any one of the many amazing vegan markets that occur on a regular basis here in Denver.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would like to thank our families for supporting us and encouraging us to keep pushing and believing in our products. We would also like to thank the vegan community. It is such a family, every business owner supports one another because we all have the same goal. Of course we all want to be successful but at the end of the day we want to spread the vegan lifestyle to as many people as possible through food. Lastly, to our amazing customers, thank you so much for loving our products. You make all the late nights and early mornings worth it and you keep our hearts full.