Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1017167

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Page 36 of 91

Goni Light and Yonatan Sela, co-founders, Seeds of Collaboration W hen Goni Light and her husband, Yonatan Sela, were invited to dinner parties in New York, they were instructed not to bring wine, just a jar of tahini. Their friends had fallen in love with the Israeli-born couple's nutritious, sesame seed-based sauce. "We are tahini addicts and eat it with everything," Light says, "on ice cream, added to smoothies." For fun, they set up a tahini stand at Burning Man and were surprised that people didn't know what it was even though it's a vital ingredient in hummus. Still, they didn't think of turning it into a business. Sela had come to the U.S. for an MBA at Wharton and worked for startups while Light had a job in finance strategy at Procter & Gamble. Things changed when Light was expecting a baby. "I wanted to do something I'm proud of," she says. In 2017, the year their daughter Noya was born, they launched Seeds of Collaboration, importing their absolute favorite tahini from Palestinians in the West Bank who had been making it the authentic way for five generations from a recipe that goes back many centuries. It's the process, they say, that makes their tahini different from all the rest. The sesame seeds are soaked in water without salt, slowly roasted at a low temperature and stone ground. The other purpose behind Seeds of Collaboration is an economic partnership between Israel and Palestine. "What the brand stands for is bringing people together, having a social impact," Sela says.—J.B. 12 Under 35 Kate Kavanaugh, CEO and co-owner, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe K ate Kavanaugh had been a vegetarian for 15 years when she and her meat-eating partner, Josh Curtiss, were passing through Sedona, Ariz. At a restaurant, she ordered a salad and he got an antelope burger. She had been considering eating meat again, but from sustain- able, humane sources. That became the moment. She ate his burger and he ate her salad. About three hours later Curtiss asked what she wanted to do. "I want to drive back to Sedona and eat another antelope burger," Kavanaugh said. And so, he turned the car around. The pair did an apprenticeship in Kingston, N.Y., at Fleishers Craft Butchery and learned how to break down sides of heritage beef and pig and lamb carcasses. Their butcher shop, Western Daughters, opened in Kavanaugh's native Denver in 2013. It specializes in 100-percent grass-fed, pasture-raised beef. Derived from cattle with a mixed forage diet that go to slaughter at 26-29 months as opposed to the conventional 14-20 months, it's more well-marbled than typical grass-fed beef. "We researched farmers who were using ruminants to promote healthy grasslands in the state, practicing regenerative agriculture," she says. "One of our biggest philosophies is that food can heal the land and heal bodies." "I'm passionate about building a bridge between people who are growing food and con- suming food," she says. "Vegetarians and vegans come talk to us about where the animals come from, concerned about their welfare and impact on the environment. There's a lot of misinformation out there. But it's not our goal to change their diets. It's very personal, very political, and it's important for people to make those decisions for themselves."—J.B. Ages: 32 and 34 Age: 29 34 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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