Melafera Foods

Dave Coletti is a local-grown Nelsonite with family roots that run deep here. His grandfather and then his father owned and operated an Italian grocery and butcher shop from the 1920s until the late 70s.  The original store location has remained in his family for almost 100 years and is now Kootenay Exchange antiques, which his brother operates. Dave’s past five years were spent owning and operating a small local coffee shop, but he’s excited to have taken the leap to Melafera Tweets!
FUN FACT: Dave has been a Kootenay Co-op member since 1979!

What do you make?
The round handmade energy bars called ‘Tweets’.

Let me tell you a little bit about the benefits of the whole food ingredients I use.

  • Oats are high in soluble fiber, help to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. They also promotes healthy gut bacteria and contain many powerful antioxidants.
  • Spelt flour has a high water solubility, making it potentially easier to digest for those with a wheat intolerance. The health benefits of spelt include its ability to help in regulating the body’s metabolism, aid in the creation of sex hormones, increase circulation, build strong bones, improve the immune system, boost digestive function, lower blood sugar, and reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Dates are high in fibre, iron, protein, selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
  • Raisins are rich in iron, vitamin B complexes, and are high in copper.
  • Pumpkin/Sunflower/Sesame Seeds are antioxidant rich (Heart Healthy), rich in iron, Vitamin E, A, C, folate, magnesium, fibre and copper.
  • Honey has a lower glycemic index, burns slower, and helps steady blood glucose compared to sugar.
  • Sunflower Oil is an antioxidant, an unsaturated fat, is immune supportive and is high in Vitamin E.

And the Co-op is super excited that you recently decided to make the switch to more organic ingredients! What inspired that transition?
I decided to switch to organic for the base ingredients as I had had a number of requests from customers I met at the last demo day I did at the Co-op in October 2017.  I felt it was a good move for Melafera Foods going forward and it matched my vision even more since I was producing a healthy high-quality product. In addition, the switch to sunflower oil (from canola) was requested repeatedly. So I did that as well.

The base ingredients in the Tweet Bars are 100% organic, however, at this time I have not  switched the chocolate to organic, but we have ensured that it is a sustainably sourced product.

How would you describe your operation?
“Real Food for Real People.” I appreciate simplicity and think it’s important to shop local. We’ve just moved to organic ingredients (in January 2018) in an attempt to improve sustainability and we use local wholesalers for the ingredients.

How long have you been in business?
I’ve been involved in the Nelson business world since 2000. I recently closed my coffee shop “Junipers” at the Prestige Hotel and in October 2017 purchased Melafera Foods from Laura Hyde.

Congratulations on your business move! What motivated you to do so?
Timing… the coffee shop was closing, and I was looking for other opportunities. It’s amazing how it all happened.

What are some of your greatest joys?
My family – I’m from a large family and my wife also is from a large family, so life is filled with family and friends to bring us joy.

Then there’s golf, hockey, and learning the joys that gardening can bring.

What are some of your greatest challenges?

  • Gardening: still figuring out how much water plants can survive without.
  • Goal tending: still trying to figure out the angles and how to stop the pucks.
  • Golf: it’s the small stuff that matters.

What is your vision for your company?

  • Keeping it simple – people are looking for food that is ‘clean’ – so not cluttering up a product with lots of complicated processes
  • Bringing the value of ‘organic’ ingredients is great for everyone and our planet
  • Giving value, quality and service to customers
  • Having fun – I love meeting customers

Why is local food important to you?
Its important to keep things local. It’s a very caring community, and I love to give back. We can all do our part to reduce the carbon footprint; buying local helps us do that.

Local purchasing supports our local economy, the great diversity of Nelson and area’s business and our ‘Kootenay Culture’. It shows that we care about each other.

Okay, last question, if you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members and customers, what would it be?
Being able to produce such an authentic clean energy bar that is good for people while living in my hometown is wonderful. I really appreciate the support of the Co-op members, and have been a Co-op member since 1979.

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