Carla Boyd on Trailblazing Hemp & TechnologyTaking the lead often comes with challenges. Carla Boyd joins us on Herbonomics to talk about leading the way in hemp-based foods.
Carla Boyd started her journey into the industry as a hemp and cannabis advocate; however, her own nutritional issues forced her to look at alternatives and nutritional food sources for herself. Her own recipes and formulations began to look like a business opportunity, so Carla launched Hemp Way Foods and took her product to market.
Starting with small restaurants in local retailers, Hemp Way Foods has grown quickly, expanding into markets in Southern California. And her products are currently being evaluated by numerous other grocery chains and retailers. However, Carla admits that the regulations and challenges were much more difficult when she entered the market eight years ago.
Although she still has to go into great detail to explain the hemp side of her business to various institutions, like banks and insurance companies, Carla believes consumers are becoming more enlightened about the nutritional benefits of hemp. She admits it’s rare but still a little disheartening to receive questions and comments such as, “I’m not gonna get high from this burger, am I?”
The Push for Plants
As the push for plant-based foods gains momentum, Carla likes to think of Hemp Way products as the flexitarian's best friend. She believes it's not necessarily about eliminating foods, as it is about moderation and making healthier choices.
For example, a Hemp Way burger is made from simple ingredients, including lentils, brown rice, hemp hearts, garlic, chia seeds, hemp protein, flaxseed, and organic flour and spices. Additionally, each burger touts:
- Only 180 nutrition-packed calories
- 4.5g of fat
- 10g of protein
- 8g of fiber
- No added sugars
- And it’s corn, dairy, gluten, GMO, nut, and soy-free!
However, Carla explains they don't market their product as a meat replacement. Instead, she sticks to her mission of simply being a wholesome, clean food made from vegetables, seeds, and hemp hearts.
Naturally, Carla avoids making any healthcare claims about her own products, but science and research do show that decreasing red meats and increasing our vegetable intake do have significant health benefits. Hemp Way Foods provides rich and savory products to help consumers take baby steps towards a healthier diet - without feeling like they need to eat bland, flavorless foods.
The Journey & the Roadmap
Carla admits the journey hasn’t always been easy but being a trailblazer in any industry rarely is. Interestingly, she is also blazing a trail in technology, recently announcing that Hemp Way Foods has launched the first-ever NFT for a hemp-based food product.
Realizing how difficult it is to acquire funding for expansion and new product launches, Boyd admits she "makes bootstrapping look glamorous.” But she’s hoping the new venture in crypto-outreach will help her find investors to expand Hemp Way’s product line.
Hungry? Where to Find Hemp Way – Right Now
Now available at Whole Foods across Colorado and several niche health food stores and regional restaurants in Colorado and Southern California, Hemp Way is actively engaged in finding new retail outlets and partnerships.
Learn more about Hemp Way and its roadmap by tuning into the podcast for Carla’s incredible journey!