Basic Roots is a Calgary-based business that creates ready-to-go, delicious, raw foods. Owner Paula Bellavance began at a local farmers market selling pre-sprouted, pre-soaked nuts and grains and other essentials for those interested in incorporating raw foods into their diet. When popular raw food proponent David Wolfe came to town several years ago, Paula decided to demonstrate some pre-made raw food treats at his talk. Little did she know there would be no going back. Her tasty and very healthy line of snacks captured many people’s attention and tastebuds, and there was a strong demand for her to continue making her prepared raw foods. Once Community Natural Foods began carrying Basic Roots, Paula decided to go strictly wholesale.
It may be surprising to learn that preparing raw foods can be more laborious and time-consuming than cooked foods. For example, one of Basic Roots’ most popular items, the Fig Bars, begin 3 days before going to the dehydrator for the final stage. The oats are soaked (which is thought to make the oats more digestible), rinsed, dehydrated and made into flour just before the cookies are prepared. Then the recipe is mixed and put into the dehydrator shortly before the cookies reach store shelves. Each individual cookie is handmade.
Behind every recipe is the Basic Roots commitment that ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality. Paula takes great care in sourcing unpasteurized, organic ingredients and it is of the utmost importance to her that Basic Roots fans can count on the integrity of the ingredients. From her perspective, raw foods demand a high level of freshness and quality because the flavors are so pronounced without cooking.
If you’ve never tried raw foods before, Basic Roots makes it very easy to overcome any skepticism through one of life’s greatest selling points; the tasty factor. Paula shares how many people adore Basic Roots’ creations without even knowing they are eating raw food. Plus, raw foodists consider eating raw to have many health benefits. Without the use of heat in the process, vital enzymes and nutrients stay in tact and remain in the food. Coconut oil, cacao butter, and nuts which feature highly in the Basic Roots line are all thought to be healthy fats and very nutritionally satisfying. Paula says that many customers buy the cookies for breakfast or as quick nourishing snacks. Finally, a breakfast cookie you can feel good about!
Paula likes having relationships with the stores that sell her products, which is why she likes working with Community Natural Foods. She feels a strong level of support and community through her interactions with CNF. “It’s not about having high volumes and making sales, but relationships and making impact with the products carried,” shares Paula. Community carries the Basic Roots full line- crackers, cookies, bars and kale chips.