With an increased interest in meatless and plant-based products, delicious alternatives to meat are a welcome addition for vegetarians and those seeking meatless substitutes.
Ron and Yolanda Jahn have been offering some savory plant-based products out of their business, Creative Foods, Inc. since 2012. They are "dedicated to producing healthful foods at affordable cost—for health and for life."
The Jahns met while teaching in college in the Philippines. After a three-year career, Yolanda visited family in California and ended up staying. Ron had moved to Missouri, and the couple met up and were married in California.
Yolanda had always wanted to start a food business, and the Jahns heard about a salsa business for sale. They made the decision to buy the business in 1997 and started up their current business, Creative Foods, in 1999. For a time, they had both businesses, then sold the salsa business.
Creative Foods was moved to the current location in Baldwin Industrial Park in 2012. It began with a frozen Vege Steak product. Yolanda explained that is similar to Seitan, and it contains wheat gluten, whole oats, whole wheat and seasoning. It has the consistency of a steak and can also be used for casseroles, entrées or stir fry.
"It is plant-based protein for those who like to cut back on their meat intake or for vegetarians," explained Yolanda.
Shortly after starting the business, a friend from Porto Rico introduced them to a product from chickpeas that was brewed like coffee. He said it tasted similar to coffee and has no caffeine. The couple developed a product that has a longer shelf life than coffee, and it has no acid. The chickpeas come from the Walla Walla, Washington, area. All the chickpeas are non-GMO.
"It's very low in acid, and a lot of people drink it because of that, too. The fact that it is all-natural, and it doesn't have any weird things going on in the processing makes it a pretty good product," pointed out Ron.
"There are people who cannot drink coffee anymore, so this is what they could go to," added Yolanda.
The coffee substitute can be used in a French press and brews stronger than coffee. They are working to develop pods for their product.
Ron and Yolanda process and grind their own Bueno Coffee Substitute, with three flavors: Original, Pecan Praline and Creamy Hazelnut. They also process the ingredients for their Vege Steaks and freeze them. They are able to roast approximately 50 pounds at a time for their coffee substitute.
In addition to the frozen Vege Steaks, they sell Vege Shreds, although they do not process it at their facility. It has a long shelf life (approximately up to two years). When they sell any of their product, they give recipes with the product.
The Jahns market most of their product online, with distributers in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and California. They also offer their product to locals by appointment.
Creative Foods, Inc.
Owners: Yolanda Jahn, president and Ron Jahn, production and sales
Address: 3048 SW High Desert Drive, Suite L
Call ahead for an appointment.
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