Dara Haid’s Mission to Create Awareness Through Food
“We want to help educate and inspire individuals to become aware of the food chain, to become aware of how food relates to our bodies and the impact on the environment,” says Dara Haid, founder of local Boulder company Simply Dara. Dara’s “Raw Balls” are vegan, gluten-free raw snacks that are the most delicious healthy treats on the market. With flavors such as dark chocolate chile, apricot oat and original cacao, the Raw Balls ironically taste more like a wholesome variety of cookie dough than a typical vegan snack.
Dara explains that she and her family were not originally health-minded, environmentally-oriented people. “We live in a farm area, and while passing farms driving to and from school, my then-four-year-old daughter picked up on the connection between the food we ate for dinner and the animals on the farm. She asked in-depth questions about where the food came from. And one day, she pushed away her plate of chicken and said she didn’t want to eat animal things any more. Dara’s recipes were thus originally a family effort: she began concocting tasty, convenient raw snacks in order to support her daughter’s desire for a vegetarian and vegan diet. As Dara began to give the raw balls away to friends in the community, she quickly realized the value of her product. In the meantime, Dara’s family became exclusively vegan. Simply Dara’s Raw Balls are now distributed by retailers in the Rocky Mountain Region such as Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, and Alfalfa’s. “It was so easy and a nice flow, like riding a wave,” Dara recalls of the growth process.
But Dara and her company have been far from complacent about the mission and values that they espouse. For instance, an issue arose around the packaging of the product. “High-quality food ingredients are expensive. I kept getting advice that I needed to compromise on the packaging (the individual wrappers are compostable and the box is recyclable),” said Dara. But as Dara’s mission was to introduce people to raw food, to think about raw food and how it relates to one’s health and the planet, environmentally-friendly packaging remained a priority. “Opening minds and breaking the mold is really important to us,” she says. “Responsible packaging relates to responsible living, and so I wasn’t willing to compromise.” To this day, Simply Dara’s packaging – including the cardboard box and plant-based product wrappers – is compostable.
“I don’t want all people to become vegan,” Dara explains of the Simply Dara mission. “I just want us all to become more aware of the water we use, of the impact we have on the environment, and of the information we’re fed through the media. With our product we try to help people become more aware of the food chain.” If awareness is as delicious as Dara simply makes it, getting in touch with the source of our food is no problem at all!
Learn more about Simply Dara products and mission at www.simplydara.com.
Courtney Zenner is a grant writer, web copywriter and author who founded the writing consulting company Zenner Ink in 2012. She was raised in Colorado and has enjoyed living in Boulder for most of the last five years. Courtney was a Writing Fellow as an undergraduate at Barnard College in New York City and spent much of her 20's as an experiential educator, instructing cultural education programs in China, India, Nepal and Tibet. In her free time she loves to cook, eat delicious local organic food, ski, practice yoga and write.
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