Ariah’s Edibles is a family business in beautiful Glade BC. Mother and son team Ariah and Aaron, along with other involved family members, are passionate about creating healthy and tasty alternatives to conventional fast foods, using high quality, organic and local ingredients. Motivated by their desire to support more organic farming, this business uses their tasty creations as a vehicle to utilize and support as much local organic produce as possible.
Who’s in the kitchen at Ariah’s Edibles?
We are a mother and son family business owned and operated by Ariah Desilets and Aaron Hoekstra. We have recently expanded our dynamic team to include Ariah’s wife Brenda Jacobs and sister Jackie Desilets.
What do you make?
We produce Healthy Fast Foods. We make three flavors of spelt encrusted burritos, greek rolls and two flavors of baked samosas.
How would you describe your company?
We built our own commercial kitchen on our two-acre farm in Glade, where we roll out healthy alternatives to convenience food. We collect ingredients from as many local suppliers as possible and then challenge conventional wisdom of what a convenience food can be. We are unique in creating quickly available processed food that is nutritious and delicious!
Our products and ingredients reflect our goals to serve our customers the best quality foods we can, to create foods that are nutritious and easy to digest for many dietary needs, and to support local organic farms. We use lactose free cheddar, fresh squeezed lime juice, freshly ground flax, and whole black beans that we soak and cook ourselves for our burritos. Our fillings are cooked with water, not oil to ensure the best nutrition possible, and our samosas boast freshly ground ginger and local root vegetables on a consistent basis. We believe that what you eat and can digest easily is important, and that the closest food from local farmers gives us the highest nutritional value.
What is the history of Ariah’s Edibles?
In 1987, Ariah started in the organic food business opening Manna Foods, an organic Bakery in Edmonton with her parents and three sisters. In the early 1990’s, the family moved in stages to Nelson and some formed the Kootenay Bakery. Ariah joined in the mid 1990’s to develop organic soups and savories for the new bakery deli and shortly thereafter for the new Kootenay Country Store Co-Op deli start up. In 1999 Ariah branched off on her own to form Ariah’s Edibles in order to grow the business to a larger market area.
Ariah’s son Aaron joined in 2011 as a full time business partner. Aaron brings a youthful vitality, fresh eyes, an irrepressible grin, and a passion for farming and good food!
Ariah’s wife moved to Canada from Portland in August 2015 and adds her excellent cooking ability and organizational skills to the team. Recently, Ariah’s sister Jackie also joined the team with her experience in baking, sales and infectious exuberance.
What motivated you to start in this business?
One of the biggest questions we asked ourselves was how can we support more organic farming and local growers. Cooking is our passion and using organic ingredients is our way to grow more organic farming and farmers. We also wanted to help people source healthy alternatives to fast food. We understand that people are very busy and did not want this to be a reason for them to miss out on healthy delicious food.
What are some of your greatest joys?
We LOVE making good food for people. We love making healthy alternatives for kids and hearing when children enjoy our food; we often think of them during our creative process. We enjoy the challenge of taking a popular food and transitioning it to a healthier version. Creativity in food is an ongoing pleasure. We get a thrill every time we receive a local organic farm delivery. And on a personal level nature and family…family, family, always family.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Sourcing local greens in quantity for our Greek Rolls in a sustainable way! Marketing can also be a challenge. For example, deciding what to call these very different looking products of ours? How to convey to the public outside of our local area what the heck they are. Rolls? No one else is making a burrito like we do or taking spanakopita filling and rolling it up in a Spelt pastry. It’s challenging to convey, but it’s also what sets us apart as unique in the grocery section.
What is your vision for your company?
To grow and continue to spread the news that healthy processed food doesn’t have to mean less tasty or less convenient. Continuing to encourage children to eat healthy and changing food beliefs and habits for the next generation. Ariah and Aaron outside their commercial kitchen.
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
Because local organic farming is what we want to support and grow! Local ingredients are a huge part of our business and we believe these farms are vital to all of our well-being. Let’s grow more local organic farms: small, medium and large. Let’s get farming programs in schools, let’s encourage more youth farming, let’s keep growing that way!
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Thank you for your support over these almost 20 years, you are the reason we can keep doing what we do and we love cooking for you! Keep an eye out for upcoming new products ;).