forage adaptogen cookies – Interview with Ali Magee
Tell us about your new business – forage adaptogen cookies?
Forage was born from a desire to create a treat that I felt good about eating. I spent a lot of my spare evenings in quarantine baking, and I figured if I was going to consistently have baked goods around I might as well make them healthy! So, I spent time perfecting my healthy cookie recipe. I would share them with friends, and eventually began sharing them with everyone through Forage!
How did you come up with the idea?
The first batch of cookies that would eventually become Forage came about by taking one of my favorite traditional cookie recipes and swapping out the ingredients for healthier ones. For example, I swapped butter for coconut milk, and flour for whole oats. It did take a lot of adjustments to get the consistency and flavor right!
How did you decide what type of cookies and ingredients to offer?
The cookies that we currently sell are actually not the same flavors we launched with! After doing a soft launch for an online market I took feedback and adjusted my recipes/flavors. Social media has been a huge tool in this regard. The ability to post polls and get instant feedback has allowed me to interact with customers and potential customers and discover where the demand is. Since I choose to follow a plant-based diet, the recipe has always remained vegan, and I chose to work with gluten-free ingredients so that the cookies are accessible to a wider group of people.
What are the health benefits of your cookies?
All of the cookies contain adaptogens in the form of dried and powdered mushrooms. I have always had an interest in the power of mushrooms, I believe there will be a big shift towards utilizing them medicinally in the next few years. The benefits they provide for the mind and body are amazing – including boosting the immune system, helping with mental clarity, memory, and much more! I nerd out and read about them in my spare time. I definitely recommend Michael Pollan as a resource for anyone looking to learn more about adaptogen mushrooms.
What are the challenges of marketing a new offering, and how do you plan to get the word out?
The biggest challenge in marketing is probably consistently finding relevant content to share. I want to make sure my online presence provides value to those who follow along or are interested in the products. My marketing plan relies heavily on having an online presence, as well as collaborating with others who are already established. Sending cookies to like-minded influencers has proven to be a great marketing tactic!
Do you have any favorite food shows that you watch or food bloggers that you follow?
I do! I actually love watching the Baking Championship series on the Food Network – mostly to pick up some interesting baking tips, but it’s also incredible to see the creativity and I’m constantly inspired by the unique flavor combinations. Online I like to follow Erin Ireland – she’s an incredible baker based in Vancouver.
What brought you joy this week?
This week I’ve had a lot of gratitude in having a job that I’m excited to be at. I am also very grateful to live in a region that receives so much sunshine in the winter! Even if it is -30 degrees… haha..