Small-town businesses are a cornerstone of many communities, and that's just what we are here at Frozen Garden; a small-town business owned and operated by a passionate CEO, Allyson Straka. We strive to provide quality, handcrafted products for our customers that taste delicious, all while keeping sustainability at the forefront of our minds.
In this interview from Sarah Kirton, we learn more about how Allyson's business was born, how it operates today, as well as what we can expect from Frozen Garden in the future.
Allyson Straka, founder and CEO of Frozen Garden, reveals more about her Indiana-based company that delivers smoothies, overnight oats, grain bowls and more to your door. It turns out, being healthy has never been easier!
How did Frozen Garden find its roots?
I started Frozen Garden in 2016. However, it was a book that I read about 15 years ago called Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko, about the incredible health benefits of dark leafy greens, that inspired me.
Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-dense ingredients missing from the American diet. This book explained how blending the leaves into a fine pulp could actually render them more digestible, therefore allowing for better absorption of the nutrients.
I started to drink a green smoothie every day just as a way to supplement my normal diet. This was the beginning of my health journey. After my second child, I left my career as a software developer, completed a degree in nutrition, and became a holistic health coach.
Friends wanted me to open a smoothie bar, and after chatting with my father, Frozen Garden was conceived; ready-frozen, ready-to-blend smoothies, with plenty of options including greens. I tested the concept out of my health coaching office and, as it turned out, we couldn’t keep up with the demand.
Tell us about the products you offer…
We have five different product lines and seasonal flavors released every 3 months. We ship nationwide to the lower 48 states.
Our Smoothies are frozen, ready-to-blend whole fruits, vegetables, seeds, and spices. All you have to do is open the pouch and empty the contents into a blender. They often include a dark leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, and perhaps basil, mint, or parsley.
We’ve also launched Fruit Smoothies for people who are on blood thinners and can’t eat leafy greens as well as Protein Smoothies for those looking for meal replacement options.
Our Fusions are frozen, pureed fruit and herb blends in a little cube which you drop into your water or liquid of choice for added flavor. We created these because we love the idea of flavored water, but not added sugars, processed powders, artificial flavors, or the time it takes to chop fruit for DIY infused water. Each pouch of our fusions comes with 12 single serve cubes, and we have a variety of flavors to choose from!
Delites are designed to be blended with milk or a milk alternative. Once blended, it creates a delectable snack or dessert, and when I say dessert, I mean 100% fruit, seeds, and vegetables – nothing more!
Depending on the amount of milk or milk alternative used, you can create a deliciously healthy milkshake or a smoothie ice cream! It's the perfect snack or dessert to eat without the guilt from added sugars or processed ingredients that come in store-bought alternatives.
4. Overnight Oats
It can be a struggle to find energy or motivation in the morning to make sure you're getting a nourishing breakfast before heading out the door. Overnight Oats make it simple to start your day off right with a nutritious and delicious breakfast. They're easy to make and even easier to eat on the go! Just add milk to the pouch the night before, place it in the refrigerator and you're ready to go in the morning!
5. Garden Bowl
Our latest and greatest product line is Garden Bowls. When time’s not on your side or you’re in a mealtime rut, skip the fast food and grab Garden Bowls! A nutritious, plant-based and healthy vegan grain bowl that is ready in minutes. Just grab a pack, pour into a microwave-safe bowl, heat and eat!
Where do you source your ingredients?
We’re based in Indiana, and we try to source all our ingredients from the Midwest. We have several farmers that grow produce specifically for us. Produce that doesn't grow locally, such as pineapples and avocados, are sourced commercially.
We freeze our produce on the day we receive it. Typically for spinach, within four days of harvest it loses half of its nutrients, so we freeze the same day as harvest.
Do you have sustainability policies in place?
This is something we continue to work on everyday and on every iteration. Our shipping process is very sustainable – our liners are actually made of corn starch so you can run water over them and they will literally dissolve.
We’re still working on our packaging as our pouches are still plastic, but unfortunately right now there isn’t a high-quality alternative available. It’s something we’re constantly working on. The packaging for our latest product line, Garden Bowls, contains 30% post-consumer recycled materials.
How do you see the future of plant-based nutrition?
I think it’s here to stay, and getting bigger and bigger. Plant-based is now mainstream. When the big, traditional food manufacturers start introducing plant-based products, you know it’s just the beginning.
Unfortunately, these manufacturers also have a knack of turning things into commercialized, processed products. We’re all about keeping it natural!
Are your products affordable?
We’re pretty much middle of the road. Feedback from our customers suggests that by the time they’ve purchased all the ingredients to make one smoothie, it’s cheaper to buy from Frozen Garden.
In addition, there’s no waste, which tends to happen when buying for your own consumption, as half the produce has deteriorated by the time you get around to using it all.
What’s next for Frozen Garden?
We are continuously exploring and developing additional product lines and flavors. We currently release seasonal flavors every three months and we hope to launch our 6th product line in 2023.