How it all started...

TL;DR: A trip to Peru inspired me to create superfood-based, totally-good-for-you baking mixes that everyone will enjoy.

 Peru

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The longer version:

I could say NAWI started with a magical trip to the Peruvian Andes, but the truth is I got curious about food systems way before that.

 

In high school English class, we watched a documentary about food systems in the US. Such a simple concept, but my young suburban-New-Jersey mind had never asked the question: Where does my food come from? I started devouring Dan Barber and Michael Pollan books. I bought Alice Waters’ cookbooks. I spent weekends digging my hands into the earth at a community garden.

 

In college, I researched hydroponic gardens and the impact of community gardens in West Philadelphia. I could always be found gathering friends around food, sometimes in the form of a rowdy dinner party.

Dinner party 

After graduating, I spent a few months living in the outskirts of Jerusalem, working at the hip of a private chef named Atalya. She taught me how to pick sumac from a bush and sun dry it on the roof. We spent hazy mornings foraging the best fig trees to make jam. I picked plump pomegranates on my walk to work each morning and turned them into ruby red juice in the evenings. I loved learning about where food comes from and tasting international ingredients.

 

Nawi means or "knowledge" or "eye" in Quechua, the native language of Peru. It is a symbol of wisdom and understanding.

 

When the pandemic hit, I was living in San Francisco and just starting a career in tech. I said goodbye to the city for a two-month road trip around the western US. Two months turned into over two years (oops!), and the western US turned into the western hemisphere.

 

After traipsing around Hawaii, Mexico and South America, one of my last stops was Peru. I fell in love with the Andean city of Cusco, nestled into¬†the mountains at 12,000 feet. While there, I tasted smoky, earthy maca and drank fresh cacao. I¬†spooned up¬†creamy l√ļcuma cheesecake. I chatted with medicine women in the market and had afternoon tea with herbalists. I wondered why these flavors and ingredients weren‚Äôt yet available in the US.

 

More importantly, these plants helped heal my body from the inside. My body felt incredible in Peru. As a distance runner and someone who looks after my health, I'm always looking for ways to improve my diet. I learned that maca is an adaptogen and that l√ļcuma helps regulate blood sugar levels. Yac√≥n is rich in antioxidants. Cacao can improve cognition. These plants have truly earned the name SUPERfoods, yet nobody back home seemed to know about them.

I resolved to make these superfoods accessible in the US. I set out to create baking mixes that taste familiar and delicious, but also harness the power of these incredible superfoods. 60+ recipe attempts later, I am thrilled to share what I am certain is the most perfect, fudgey, good-for-you brownie to EVER exist. Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and packed with Andean superfoods. Tastes so good you would never know.

 

Now, We Thrive.

 

Yours in all things good,

Naomi