At Fiesta Farms, we’re always looking for the best produce and products to offer our customers, and every now and then a new product comes along that makes us excited to be able to share. It can be something totally new, or a new twist on an old favourite, or a product that is organic, pays Fair Trade prices and adheres to ethical sourcing and production values. If the product is good for the body, the environment, and good value, we jump at the opportunity grace or shelves with it.
And when the company behind the product is local, and runs on the energy and optimistic vision of a young entrepreneur it is a no-brainer.
Will Yeung is the founder and director of Operations of Vegan rev, a food and beverage production and distribution company based in Oakville, Ontario. Will had a look at the nut milks available to the general public and was not all that impressed; commercially produced almond beverages, for example, are only about 2% almonds. The rest is usually water, additives, flavourings, vitamin and mineral supplements and often thickeners like carrageenan and gellan gums.
Believing he could produce a better nut milk, Will started making his own, and distributing it to devoted customers in Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and Brampton. Will’s goals are simple; to create healthy, real, certified organic and vegan raw food products. “Our goal is to provide superior dairy free products that are delicious, cruelty free, and great for our health – one sip at a time!”
Almost all almond beverages on the market are made from California almonds, which is of some controversy and concern as the drought in California coupled with the amount of water used in the production of almonds has made headlines for some time. California produces about 80% of the world’s almonds, and the industry uses 10% of the annual water use for agriculture. Further, by law, all almonds grown and harvested in California must be subjected to pasteurization, cooking them by steam or roasting, a process that destroys much of the nutrient content.
For his part, Will uses almonds grown and harvested in Spain and Italy that are never subjected to heat over 116 F, thus they fall into the RAW food movement . The nuts are sprouted before processing, which adds to their nutritional profile. And the raw organic almond content in Vegan rev is a whopping 28-30%, sixteen times the amount in typical large commercially produced brands.
The ingredient list is remarkably simple for each mylk, with usually only four or five ingredients. Here, for example, is the ingredient list for Almond Vanilla mylk: raw certified organic almonds, filtered water, organic medjool dates, organic vanilla bean, Himalayan pink salt. For his Tru Coconut Mylk, Will uses only all-natural fresh cracked coconuts, nothing dehydrated or concentrated or boosted with “natural” flavours.
At present Vegan rev offers four varieties of nut “mylks” and creams: Almond Vanilla, Almond Cacao, Cashew Cream and Coconut Mylk. The rev almond and cashew mylks are certified organic, raw, and vegan; even the sweetener used is vegan and organic, raw medjool dates. And as any good cook knows, a pinch of salt will bring out the flavour of almost any recipe, savoury or sweet, and Vegan Rev uses only natural, pure Himalayan pink salt (a product they also sell)
But the proof is in the pudding, right? Keeping that in mind, Will is in our store this Sunday, April 11, from 12-4 p.m. and will be showcasing his nut mylks and creams, offering tastings and demonstrating and discussing the versatility of his wonderful products. See you there!