This month we've been showing love to one of our favorite new local vendors, 88 Acres, which is a family-run business based in Boston, MA that makes allergy-friendly snacks like flavored sunflower seed butter, seed bars, and "seednola."
With food allergies on the rise, both individuals and institutions are looking for delicious, safe options that everyone can enjoy. At 88 Acres, consumer safety is the number one priority. All products are created in a dedicated bakery free from top allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, dairy, sesame, eggs, fish, and shellfish.
This commitment to food safety is personal for husband and wife co-founders, Rob and Nicole, who know firsthand just how difficult living with a severe allergy can be. After a scary fourth date, when Rob nearly died from cross-contaminated meal, Nicole started experimenting with baking healthy treats that both of them could enjoy. Eventually, 88 Acres was born!
In addition to creating a safe product, the couple wanted to develop a fun brand that would represent Nicole's ties to the 88 acre family farm where she grew up. They also wanted to help reduce the stigma that can surround allergy-friendly products by making 88 Acres a brand that everyone would want to reach for. Here at ChicopeeFRESH, we think they've done an awesome job! Keep reading to learn more about how we serve 88 Acres seed bars in our cafeterias.
Since the start of the school year, we have been serving up 88 Acres seed bars in our elementary schools as part of our regular breakfast and Breakfast in the Classroom programs. Students have responded really well to the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Triple Berry flavors, and we wanted to take advantage of the release of the new Cinnamon & Oats flavor to host some taste tests and bring these delicious snack bars to more students across the district! So we designated February as 88 Acres Month, and scheduled a series of taste tests at Chicopee elementary and middle schools, including Dupont, Streiber, Bellamy, Lambert-Lavoie, and Bowie.
To get middle school students more pumped up about trying this local product, we're hosting Lucky Plate days on March 1st and March 2nd at Dupont and Bellamy middle schools. Five lucky students at each school will win an 88 Acres swag bag with a variety of seed bars and stickers (see below).
If you'd like to try 88 Acres products at home, you can order them here or find them on Amazon or at a store near you! Our personal favorites are the Dark Chocolate Seed Butter and the Apple Ginger and Dark Chocolate Seed Bars. YUM!
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.