CHICAGO — A mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and brown flax seeds provides diet, taste and crunch to the allergy-friendly snacks provided by Chicago startup Blake’s Seed Primarily based. Founder Blake Sorenson, recognized with a “deathly nut allergy” as a preschooler, developed the preliminary recipes for his seed-based bars three years in the past as a enterprise faculty undertaking.

“I grew up because the allergen child, and numerous merchandise like path combine, cookies, bars, snacks that usually have nuts had been simply off limits to me,” Mr. Sorenson mentioned. “I sort of accepted this for 28 years of my life after which had the concept to resolve my very own downside and begin making these merchandise by myself. Not with the ability to eat nuts, seeds had been the choice… From an early age I spotted I appreciated the best way they tasted, the diet, they usually additionally had been an awesome alternative to make use of in recipes that historically had nuts.”

Immediately, Blake’s Seed Primarily based merchandise could also be discovered in additional than 1,000 retailers nationwide, together with Sprouts Farmers Market and choose Walmart shops. This summer time, that quantity is ready to double because the model expands into Kroger. The merchandise additionally can be found on-line at

The entire model’s merchandise are freed from the highest eight allergens, together with peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, fish and shellfish. The core line of diet bars options seeds, plus chickpeas, puffed quinoa and crisp rice. Flavors embody s’mores, raspberry, pineapple and blueberry lemon.

“I began in my very own kitchen after which realized rapidly I needed to discover a co-manufacturer,” Ms. Sorenson mentioned. “That was frankly the toughest half. I visited over 20 completely different services and had very strict requirements. We now have to make it in an authorized nut-free, licensed gluten-free facility. It took a few yr to discover a facility. It took numerous diligence, however frankly that’s what units us aside.”

Inside a yr of launching, Blake’s Seed Primarily based was chosen for the Kraft Heinz Co. Springboard incubator program, a platform devoted to scaling and accelerating meals and beverage manufacturers. Contributors obtained mentorship, funding and entry to pilot vegetation and culinary kitchens on the Kraft Heinz Innovation Middle in Glenview, Sick.

Earlier this yr, the model launched a line of crispy rice treats, impressed by Mr. Sorenson’s need for guilt-free indulgences throughout the pandemic.  Blake’s Seed Primarily based Rice Crispy Treats are the primary vegan and first licensed nut-free merchandise of its type available on the market, based on the corporate. Conventional varieties are made with marshmallows, which generally include animal-derived gelatin. The addition of seeds gives nutritional vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

“Speaking to numerous vegans who’re our prospects, there wasn’t a vegan rice crispy deal with available on the market,” Mr. Sorenson mentioned. “It’s been one thing behind our minds for some time. We spent fairly a little bit of time working in R&D and ultimately discovered a recipe we’re actually proud of.”

Blake’s Seed Based rice crispy treatsMeals allergic reactions have an effect on 1 in 13 youngsters in the USA, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Blake’s Seed Primarily based was created as a trusted, secure possibility for this inhabitants, however Mr. Sorenson needs his merchandise to attraction to a much wider set of shoppers, together with these in search of more healthy snacks. The model has gained a following amongst health communities {and professional} sports activities organizations.

“It was necessary for me to create a model that was not only for folks with meals allergic reactions,” he mentioned.

The corporate is ready to debut a further product line in June. Mr. Sorenson declined to share particulars of the forthcoming innovation, however he confirmed it is going to stay true to the model promise. And it’ll positively embody seeds.

“Long run we wish to play in numerous completely different classes and supply snacks which are wholesome, style good, and are freed from the highest eight meals allergens,” Mr. Sorenson mentioned. “The aim there may be, why wouldn’t you make merchandise that everybody can eat, and that’s our imaginative and prescient and mission going ahead.”


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