A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Evan and hearing about his exciting venture called Peaceful Fruits. Not only are Peaceful Fruits super tasty, but they have an inspiring back story and support a great cause.
So, I interviewed Evan to get more of the scoop and share it with you.
Tell me how Peaceful Fruits got started.
After 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, I came home but I couldn’t stand to totally leave my experience behind. Working, on my own terms, to help make a difference for people was too satisfying to give up!
That’s why I started Peaceful Fruits: a social good company that uses delicious, healthy food products to encourage sustainable development in the Amazon. My company is founded in the belief that sustainability and development should not be mutually exclusive – there are ways to help people make money and improve their standard of living that still respect traditional ways of life and the environment.
Though our acai comes from the people of the Amazon Rainforest, Peaceful Fruits literally started in my parents’ kitchen – in Peninsula OH. That’s where we came up with the exact formula for our sustainable, super snacks and decided that this was how to launch the company. It’s a wild path that has taken me from my hut in the jungle to my mom’s kitchen table and now to store shelves throughout NE Ohio – but it’s been incredibly rewarding so far!
What are Peaceful Fruits? How/where are they made?
Peaceful Fruits are our supersnacks – basically, fruit rollups like you would not believe. Made from nothing but pureed whole fruits, we slow-dry the blended fruits into a naturally-preserved fruit snack. The main ingredient is wild acai, harvested in the region where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer, and we mix it with other delicious fruits to make unique flavors – right now we have Acai+Pineapple and Acai+Apple. No sugar added and no preservatives – our natural drying process is enough to maintain the flavor and nutrition of our snacks for months!
Organic, superfood acai is the main ingredient, which means are snacks are rich in the antioxidants (anti-cancer, anti-aging) and omega fatty acids (important for heart and brain health) that made acai famous. Our snacks are naturally GMO-free, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo – because we believe that fruit snacks shouldn’t have anything besides fruit!
We currently produce our snacks in partnership with the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen and Ms. Julie’s Community Kitchen in Akron. We are working to increase production by partnering with a local organization that employs people with with disabilities in our community (hopefully we will have an announcement on that soon!)
I love NE Ohio and am so happy to launch this business here and produce here – but my eventual goal is to move production to the Rainforest. I want the people there to benefit from the value-added steps in the process as well, so they can capture more of the economic opportunities in this enterprise.
What is the mission of Peaceful Fruits?
Peaceful Fruits’ mission is to support sustainable development in the Amazon Rainforest and help people around the world enjoy the incredible, renewable bounty of the rainforest. We are a for-profit social good enterprise; that means we believe long term success is only possible when you take care of all your stakeholders – from the ground where the tree grows, to the person that harvests it, all the way to the mouth that eats it and the package that gets discarded.
The main ingredient in our products, wild acai, is harvested by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Rainforest. We provide a market – and a path to economic development that does not push them to abandon their home or traditional way of life. Wild acai helps them monetize a renewable resource that can only be found in the unspoiled rainforest, supporting progress while encouraging preservation.
How can we support Peaceful Fruits? Where can we buy Peaceful Fruits?
Peaceful Fruits is available for sale at select stores throughout Cleveland and Akron – from fair trade galleries like “In the 216″ to foodie spots like Jim Alesci’s and The Grocery in Ohio City. You can also buy us direct online at www.peacefulfruits.com
If you have a favorite fitness studio, grocery store, or other appropriate venue – mention to the staff that you’d love to be able to buy Peaceful Fruits snacks there! Or message us (via fb, twitter, or our website) to reach out to them! As a growing startup there are lots of other ways to get involved as well – we are always looking for partners that are passionate about our mission. Drop us a line if you want to know more!
Thanks, Evan! Peaceful Fruits is a great new Cleveland company doing great things! Be sure to support their tasty products and humanitarian mission!
***Disclosure: While at the Ohio Blogging Association meet-up at Jim Alesci’s Place, I received a complimentary sample of Peaceful Fruits. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***