Learn more about Trish Kurnik, owner and founder of New Beat Foods. Trish has created a line of truly delicious gluten-free quinoa crackers...and I say that as a gluten-loving person. Her line of flatbread-like crackers are so hearty and flavorful - in fact, they are one of our favorite snacks on warehouse packing days! She's based in old town Longmont (just like us) and we're truly excited to give you a sneak peek into her behind-the-scenes.
Trish Kurnik, founder and CEO of New Beat Foods
How did you get started? What were your first steps and how did it evolve from there?
In 2001 I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle in Boulder, CO. It was a life changing event in so many ways. A few years later, as I continued to heal from my brain injury and several different surgeries, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, physical, and emotional trauma, have been known to trigger the autoimmune disease.
To say this was challenging for a lover of natural, local, and organic whole foods is putting it mildly. One of my favorite snacks is crackers. Most gluten-free crackers are made with highly processed alternative flours, starches, gums, and fillers. They not only fell short in terms of flavor and texture, they were also full of empty calories and high-glycemic carbs. In other words, neither delicious nor nutritious. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. A life-long baker, I decided that if I couldn’t find a cracker I loved, I'd make them myself. Armed with steely determination and a well-equipped kitchen, I went to work, and New Beat Foods was born!
The giant oven and giant stand mixer at New Beat Foods.
Tell us about the space where you make your product? How big is it, what does it look like?
Up until 2017 we shared commercial kitchen space with up to 25 other foods entrepreneurs. While that was a great way to start your business in the food industry you can not grow your business with such limited time and limited access. So, in Oct of 2016 my husband and I took the plunge and decided to build our own commercial kitchen/manufacturing facility in Longmont, CO. It took about 6 months, but we moved into our new facility in June of 2017 just 5 minutes from our house. I have an office, conference room, over 2,000 sf of manufacturing space and a shipping/receiving area. Not that I want to work 24/7, but the space is all ours.
A big bin of Trio Quinoa Crackers.
What's your favorite thing that's been said about your product?
I have so many quotes and testimonials from our loyal fans it is what literally keeps me going on some days. Some of my favorites are: "Your crackers are like quinoa bacon", "New Beat Foods crackers are the only reason we come to the Boulder County Farmers' Market", and...."Positively craveable".
I am told weekly that we are the only gluten free cracker that people can eat. I really love what I do - making nutritious and delicious gluten free foods!
The nuts and bolts behind everyday operations - big trays and big mixing bowls.
Are there any other great artisans you're into right now?
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
I walk my healthy, gluten free talk: a smoothie with all organic ingredients. Spinach, kale, kefir, frozen blueberries, cinnamon, raw walnuts, a sprinkle of gluten free granola, water and some pea protein powder. It keeps me going until lunch.
Organic Quinoa and a hanging outlet over the main work station, ready for action.
You live and work in Longmont; do you have a favorite place to enjoy the beauty of your area?
I have to get outside everyday; it literally keeps me grounded and sane, especially after a long baking day. I still love to ride my bike, although I'm a bit more comfortable on my mountain bike, away from cars, these days. But seriously anything outside will do. I enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking and gardening. Before starting New Beat Foods, I was a landscape architect so being outside is essential.
Hiking at Maroon Bells.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant? Is there anything special you love to order there that you can tell us about?
Hmm that is a hard question, I really love food. Unfortunately, eating out with celiac disease is really challenging. Most menus have gluten free options but contamination is a huge issue for me. My husband and I love to cook; I'd rather make an amazing meal at home and know that it will be safe for me to eat. We also love to entertain. We enjoy having our friends over and experimenting with all kinds of dishes. That all being said, I really enjoy sushi. Sushi Hana in Longmont has fabulous sushi; they know I am gluten free and take great care in preparing my food. For breakfast...my current favorite is Sun Rose Cafe. Their veggie breakfast bowl with green chili is delish! My biggest indulgence/"treat"...tater tots at The Roost. They have a separate, gluten free fryer.
Trish's beautiful home. Check out the amazing gardens...she was formerly a landscape architect, after all!
Shop New Beat Crackers in our shop, here.
If you enjoyed this blog, check out some of the other artisan profiles we've done in the past:
- Zora Tabin of Wild Zora Foods (grass-fed meat and vegetable snack bars made in Loveland)
- Kelly of Merfs Condiments (hot sauce and more made in Denver)
- Cordelia of Formulary 55 (luxurious spa products made in Pueblo)
- Brett of Light Provisions (the best smelling and best designed, candles in Colorado. In our humble opinion. Made in Co Springs)