Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Girton.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Amanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Our story began (even though we didn’t know it yet) April 2012 when my dad was officially diagnosed with Dementia. This led to a drastic shift if our diets. We were eating the typical SAD (Standard American Diet) meat, processed foods, frozen meals. What we were eating hit home and we finally realized just how powerful food is and what we are putting into our bodies.
It was then we began to shift our diets to healthier foods that were raw, vegan, organic, not processed. As we started on this new lifestyle, we discovered that healthy snacks were hard to come by. Either they were expensive (and still didn’t taste great), were ‘healthy” but actually weren’t that healthy, some even had fillers!
We began to make our own snacks. They were delicious. We love them, our friends loved them, even friends of friends! It was because of this that we began to sell our items at the local farmers markets.
Here we are seven years later and our business has evolved into having a commercial facility where we handcraft our raw vegan snacks and distribute them across Florida.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our journey has not been a smooth road. Our biggest struggle has been caregiving for my dad while also focusing on and growing the business. Caregiving is a draining job physically, mentally and emotionally.
Outside of family, we had struggles with more typical business areas such as sourcing better quality ingredients, smoothing out production and growing the business steadily so it was a better success.
One memorable struggle was throwing away 20 cases of product last summer. Our snacks are raw meaning they are dehydrated. Well, trying to remove moisture from food in such a humid place as Florida is difficult and we learned that the hard way. Even though we have a commercial dehydrator, we added two dehumidifiers to our facility to keep the air as dry as possible and preserve our snacks.
We have certainly learned a lot and grateful for all our friends and family who have supported us this far!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Slow Foods Kitchen story. Tell us more about the business.
Slow Foods Kitchen is a family business. My mom and I are the team right now and are excited to see our growth and bring in 1-2 employees over the next year.
Our company specializes in raw vegan snacks. That means all of our snacks are dehydrated which is a process that slowly removes the moisture from the foods at a low temperature. Because the foods are not cooked, the live enzymes and nutrients remain intact. This gives us a product that is a nutrient-dense. The best part-because the food is dried, we do not use any preservatives. The process preserves the foods for us.
We are known for handcrafting vegan snacks that carnivores love! Many of our clients are not vegan, but they all love our snacks, some are even addicted!
I am most proud that we have faced adversity and kept going. We didn’t give up.
What sets us apart is the drive to create snacks that taste great. Our goal is not just to have healthy snacks, we want our customers to enjoy every bite. And that is exactly what happens.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The bad luck of my dad’s illness was heartbreaking. However, is it due to him that we started this business and can now provide snacks to ours to help them either start a healthier lifestyle or continue on their journey.
I’ve had the good luck of having two loving parents and an AMAZINGLY supportive husband and friends who have made this business possible and a reality.
With this luck combined with the hard work and dedication we have put in we are now witnessing our beautiful business blossom.
- Kale Chips, $6
- Coconut Macaroons, $6
- Flavored Pumpkin Seeds, $3
- Address: 1499 17th St W., Palmetto, Florida 34221
- Website: SlowFoodsKitchen.com
- Email: Amanda@SlowFoodsKitchen.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/slowfoodskitchen
- Facebook: facebook.com/slowfoodskitchen
- Twitter: SlowFoodsKitchen