I am so incredibly excited to announce a new brand partnership between Misadventures with Andi and Sahale Snacks. Over the next year I will be sharing my #SahaleInspired journey with you. And of course, I invite you along as well!
You when it comes to working on these kinds of projects, I always like to share my own story with the brand. I was first introduced to these beyond ordinary nut mixes at Starbucks. They began showing up in Starbucks in 2009 and from that time forward I have been buying them and stashing them in my travel bags. They are the perfect snack for the plane – definitely beats most airline nut mixes. Now you can find them in Costco, Hudson News, Amazon, Safeway lots of places that provide you an opportunity to snack better.
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When Sahale Snacks reached out to ask about whether I wanted to work on a brand ambassador project with them, the choice was pretty obvious, I had to say YES!
I am passionate about food. I am even more passionate about good food. Whole food. Real food.
Food is an essential part of my life. It is not just fuel for my body. It feeds my soul.
When I met up with the other bloggers and the Sahale Snacks team I knew I had found my people. Can you imagine a dozen people spending 48-hours together talking about food, eating and gasp, people who knew not to touch a thing on a plate before properly photographing it? Foodie heaven!
The Sahale Snacks crew from the founders to the marketing team to the manufacturing group are dedicated to bringing you a snack experience that is out of this world. The main reason? Because that’s what they want to eat!
Sahale Snacks came about when the two founders (and friends) climbed Mt. Rainier in 2003. Josh and Edmond had done many climbs and hikes together and being food enthusiasts, the food they usually brought with them was some form of sausage, cheese, bread, and wine (my kind of guys). But they hired a guide to climb Mt. Rainier (it is a technical climb) and the guide wouldn’t allow them to bring their normal feast. Instead he asked them to pack trail mix and dehydrated food.
Well. That just didn’t fly with them. So the very next day they took over Josh’s kitchen (his wife thought they were crazy), opened up the spice cabinet and made 15 batches (including some of the original flavors) of Sahale Snacks.
Every single ingredient that goes into a Sahale Snacks is sourced/created to perfection. From Madagascar vanilla to cinnamon and black pepper from Vietnam (on farms that they donated money to clear mines from and then invested in the planting to promote local farming). They dry roast their nuts instead of using oil. The nuts are whole, not pieces. The fruit is naturally dried and is unsulfered, preserved in fruit juice instead of preservatives.
As I got to taste every single one of their products, I can tell you that you can taste the care that goes into creating and producing them. Not only that but the culture and the people live and breathe the snack better promise.
I also got to tour the production line with my fellow bloggers. As they are producing food and there are strict regulatory and food safety requirements, I don’t have any photos as we weren’t allowed to carry anything with us. But of course that didn’t preclude us from wanting the obligatory pre-tour photo!
I completely forgot how silly I looked the moment I stepped onto the production floor and I smelled vanilla. Come to mama! I couldn’t wait until we got to the end of the line where we had the opportunity to taste the Honey Almond and Pomegranate Vanilla Cashews, the two products they were making that day. Coming right out of the roaster, warm and toasty – delicious!
Our time wasn’t just about Sahale Snacks, it was about connecting with other food enthusiasts and sharing our passion. Seattle is one of my favorite cities and we enjoyed great dinners at Urbane and Sitka & Spruce (I went there during my trip in January, this place is phenomenal!) We spent some time at Pike Place Market, a must do!
Including completing a fun scavenger hunt. I teamed up with the lovely Angela of About A Mom. We ended up in a spice shop gathering inspiration, when one sniff of taco seasoning had us searching for tacos for lunch! We met up with Julianne of Beyond Frosting and it became #TacoTuesdayOnThursday!
What’s the best thing about eating with other bloggers? No judging when you want to order three tacos because they all sound too good to be true!
We did more than just eat, we also spent some time with David Clugston and Rachel Grunig, the dynamic duo behind Sahale Snack’s new packaging. They are experts in their fields of photography and food styling and they graciously spent time with us sharing tricks of the trade in David’s studio.
It was very informative and fun as they let us play around with the natural lighting and strobe lighting sets to try our hands at styling and photography.
I now have a deeper appreciation of just how difficult it was to make the Sahale Snacks packaging look as simple as it does. There is a ton of work that goes into it! Those are actual nuts and fruit and seeds and they don’t always behave (although they sure do taste good!).
So what happens when you’ve got 5 bloggers, a room full of camera and styling equipment plus food? You let them loose!
Me trying to figure out which cloth I want to photograph my Thai Cashews on. It was a serious decision. I know! First world problem.
Jeana of Surf & Sunshine zooming in.
Julianne of Beyond Frosting lining up next to David’s camera.
Amy of Oh So Savvy Mom capturing the action.
And Angela of About A Mom searching for the perfect cashews.
Our last morning in Seattle we headed back to the Sahale Snacks headquarters for an experiment in mixology. Not what you are thinking. No alcohol involved. Instead, we took over the actual test kitchen to try our hand at making our own nut and fruit mixes! We paired up in teams and literally went nuts with all the premium ingredients available to us.
Because there were only 5 bloggers I was honored to team up with Mel from Sahale’s digital team. It was a perfect pairing as we had similar tastes and came up with a recipe right away.
We both love pistachios so we hit those first! Then we added cashews and blueberries. We both prefer more savory mixes so we sniffed around and decided to add smoked cayenne, pepper, as well as tart lemon and orange peel. Plus salt.
The measuring is super important, and as I suck at math, I let Mel do it!
Once we had our mix ready to go we had to market it! So I sat down with Mel and worked on the name, the description and why it was so awesome.
Of course, nothing really happens unless it’s captured on Instagram!
After we left, the Sahale Snacks team cooked up all our mixes and sent them to us to taste the final product.
As soon as I captured in photos, I ripped them all open to try. Cache Blu is spicy, but I loved it, went really well with the champagne I was drinking, I’d say they’d go great with a Chardonnay as well!
I already loved the product. But after meeting the Sahale Snacks team and spending time with them at their headquarters and breaking bread over some amazing meals, I now know I also love the company!
And the 4 other Sahale Snacks bloggers? Rock Stars! Friendly, gracious and inspiring.
Over the next year, I hope to share more with you as to why I am so #SahaleInspire[d]!
How about you? Have you had Sahale Snacks? What’s your favorite flavor?
This sponsored post is part of an ongoing #SahaleInspire project. Over the next year, I will be experiencing Sahale Snacks through a series of events and initiatives and sharing them with you. As always, all opinions are most definitely my own.