In June, Paul Hodge, Co-Owner of Laird Superfood, accepted a forgivable loan check from the City of Sisters to help build a new production facility in town. Working with the City of Sisters, EDCO’s Caprielle Lewis helped Laird Superfood secure the forgivable loan, which was essential in locating the company
“Caprielle Lewis at EDCO was instrumental in keeping our business in Sisters,” noted Hodge. “Capi did this by finding and connecting us with key employees, finding available land to build our new facility, helping us secure a forgivable loan with the city to fund expansion, and lead us through tax incentives, among many other things.”
Hodge continued, “EDCO went above and beyond the call of duty in support of our business, which was the determining factor in building our business in Central Oregon.”
With ground-breaking slated for later this summer, Laird Superfood is expecting to produce their nutrient-dense superfoods in the new facility by the end of 2017.
Laird Superfood currently has 15 employees including the recent addition of four new key hires: chief marketing officer, customer service manager, FDA quality control and compliance manager and purchasing manager, two of which were direct referrals from Lewis who helped bridge the employer/employee gap. A full workforce of approximately 45 employees is expected by next summer.
Laird Superfood was founded by serial entrepreneur Paul Hodge and Laird Hamilton, the world-renowned big-wave surfer. Hodge, the founder of GolfBoard launched the new business in Central Oregon alongside business partner Laird Hamilton. The company creates clean, nutrient-dense products free of preservatives and chemicals, which currently includes coffee, coffee creamer and other performance/superfood supplements.
Laird Superfood is a result of Hamilton’s love for coffee combined with his career as a professional big wave surfer. Surfing big waves requires a high level of focus in order to maintain peak performance levels. Hamilton understood long ago that premium coffee was a natural and healthy solution to keep him performing at a world class level.
“We started with coffee because the coffee market is massive and can provide a gateway to coffee drinkers which may not be currently focused on nutrition. Laird had heard someone say that in many cases people’s diets are so out of whack that the coffee they consume in the morning is their healthiest meal of the day,” Hodge said.
Laird Superfood’s coffee uses a high-altitude, organic-certified, wet-processed, low-acid coffee bean that is grown in Peru. The company currently offers a sweetener, performance and energy blend and a coffee/creamer combo. Hamilton intends to continue expanding the product line of Superfood’s to provide healthier food and beverage products to the mass market.
“Recent research has proven that healthy fats are actually the key to losing weight and staying slim. The Aquamin ingredient is a calcified sea algae that grows only off the coasts of Iceland and Ireland. It’s a highly bio-available form of calcium which we all need as we age and it also contains 72 other minerals absorbed from the ocean water which you will be hard pressed to get any other way,” Hodge said.
Nearly 20 years ago Hamilton began incorporating coffee in his daily regimen and began adding healthy MCT fats as fuel for long surf days. He realized that carb loading burnt off too quickly and that healthy fat energy would last long enough to get through a day of surfing. He soon became a coffee connoisseur and created his own coffee, creamer and sweetened using natural whole food ingredients.
“Our coffee is organic and Laird scoured the earth for what he felt was the best organic coffee available. Our organic certification coffee is a low acid strain grown at high altitude creating an HB (hard bean) and SHB (strictly hard bean) class bean, and its wet processed to ensure the flesh doesn’t affect the taste as it dries, its then slow drum roasted for 20 minutes instead of flash roasted, then packaged in 99.9 percent pure food grade nitrogen which keeps it absolutely fresh roasted tasting for 6 months or longer,” Hodge said.