Q&A with the Founder of Kaleamazoo Chips

What do you get when you cross kale with tasty herbs and spices and a woman who goes by the name of Fresh Food Fairy? You get Kaleamazoo Chips, of course. Utilizing sustainably grown kale, healthy oils, and nutritional spices, Hether Frayer, aka Fresh Food Fairy and owner of Kaleamazoo Chips, focuses on organic, local produce to bring Kalamazoo a snack that packs healthy with a kick. 

Interesting to note, too, is that all proceeds from the sale of Kaleamazoo Chips go to fund the Fresh Food Fairy Nutrition Education, a program that promotes healthy eating to youth. VegOut Kalamazoo will be bringing you more information on this program in a soon to be posted article. For now, let’s learn a little more about these delightful chips. 

VegOut Kalamazoo: First things first. Where can we purchase these amazing chips? 

Hether:  Kaleamazoo chips are available at Sawall’s, People’s Food Co-op, Natural Health Center, Juicy Leaf, Irving’s, Earth Fare, and Hardings on West Main. 

VegOut Kalamazoo: How did you get started producing these? 

Hether: My home is a CSA box drop off site. I used to end up with extra vegetables that members didn’t want. Kale was a common leftover. I experimented with a lot of recipes. My family wasn’t thrilled with many of them. Kale chips, however, were a hit. I would even share them with friends.

People started suggesting I make them to sell. I thought no one would buy them. I started making them available at the Nature Center gift fair, and they just flew off the shelves. 

In 2014, I set up at the Can-Do kitchen, a licensed kitchen for beginner businesses. Once I did that, I could sell to stores.

VegOut Kalamazoo: Are all of the chips vegan? 

Hether:  Three of the four flavors are vegan. Garlic Parm is the only flavor NOT vegan. 

VegOut Kalamazoo: Do you create any other products? 

Hether: I offer tomato chips at the farmer’s market. I season them with the kale chip crumbs I get after packaging the kale chips. I call these the “crunchies.” 

I also sell spice packs for DIY kale chips. The packs include all the dry ingredients for either Lemony Kickit or Lime Coconut. All you have to add is oil and lemon or lime juice.

 Kaleamazoo Tomato Chips

Kaleamazoo Tomato Chips

 Kaleamazoo Spice Packets

Kaleamazoo Spice Packets

VegOut Kalamazoo: What do you see for the future of Kaleamazoo Chips? 

Hether: I’m in process of creating a savory energy bar using the crunchies and some flax. They are currently available only at the farmer’s market. I also would like to experiment with beet chips and apple chips and provide more kale chip flavors. 

If you haven’t tasted these yummy snacks already, head out to pick some up today!

Visit freshfoodisfun.com/kale-chips for more information. You can purchase them online and in more than 20 stores across Michigan. Kalamazoo area stores include: People's Food Co-Op, Juicy Leaf, Irving's Market, Sawall Health Foods, Earth Fare, and more.