Gorilly Goods Features Nutritious, Ethically Produced Snacks
From organic farming to food trucks, Christine and Stephen McDiarmid, founders of Reallygoods (N173 W21170 Northwest Passage, Jackson, Wis.) are no strangers to healthy foods and the environmental and socially conscious missions beyond the plate. Their Gorilly Goods raw, vegan snacks, available in sweet or savory blends, are a combination of taste, nutrition and sustainability—produced in a plant that is powered by 100% renewable energy and composts all food waste.
“We were looking to move back to our roots in Southeast Wisconsin, and Stephen thought our unique snack could become a purposeful new business,” said Christine.
Their families always called their homemade snacks ‘really good,’ so when they started producing them in 2012, they initially named the snacks Reallygoods, only to find out from their trademark attorney that they couldn’t use that name. Instead, they chose Gorilly Goods.
The McDiarmids considered charitable organizations to align with and eventually chose The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which protects mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Grauer’s gorillas in the Republic of Congo. Gorilly Goods shares 2% of its profits with the fund and also provides the organization with Gorilly Goods for events and meetings. They also adopt gorillas through the organization.
Gorilly Goods snack ingredients are gluten-free and vegan. They are inspected and certified through the Midwest Organic Services Association. The three Gorilly Goods snack varieties include Jungle (also sold under Original), a dehydrated cluster of bananas, nuts, raisins and coconut. The blend combines slight sweetness with a nutty flavor and has a unique, chewy texture with slight crunch. Hillside, sold also under “Savory”, features pumpkin seeds and kale, mildly seasoned with tamari, onion and cayenne. The Forest (or Chocolate) variety, which uses the Jungle clusters, is tossed in raw dark organic chocolate sweetened with crystalized coconut nectar. The chocolate comes from their supplier in Bali and is 70% cacao, with low temperature roasting, thus retaining all antioxidants and minerals.
All three varieties are raw and dehydrated at low temperatures to keep the nutrients intact. The nuts and seeds are soaked to make them easy to digest and more nutritious through better vitamin and mineral absorption. The 1.7-ounce pouches are ideal portions to get a healthy dose of energy while out on the trail, or for a mid-morning snack at the office.
In March 2016, the McDiarmids wanted to expand the line and sought funding. Through Food and Beverage of Wisconsin and Slow Money Wisconsin, Gorilly Goods applied for a pitch presentation at Natural Products Expo West, a natural foods show in California. Canadian-based Nature’s Path, makers of organic breakfast foods, was a 2016 sponsor. The Nature’s Path panel loved Gorilly Goods; talks ensued, and a partnership between the McDiarmids and Nature’s Path was reached this past September.
This year, Gorilly Goods introduced stickpacks: single-serve packs featuring Coast, a curry cashew blend with raisins, coconut and a touch of coconut nectar; Trail, a balanced mix of goji berries, sweetened cacao nibs, nuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds and pineapple; and Baja, a blend of pumpkin and hemp seeds, fresh cilantro, fresh lime zest, lime juice and chili flakes with sea salt.
Gorilly Goods can be found at retailers throughout Wisconsin or ordered online. It is an official snack sponsor of the annual U.S. National Kubb Championship, held in Eau Claire, Wis., and it also sponsors several charitable events in Milwaukee and supports land conservation efforts in Waukesha County. For more information, visit gorillygoods.com.