Phew, what a year 2015 has been! When Sarah and I started toying with the idea of I Heart Keenwah in 2010, we never thought it would come this far. 2015 marked a lot of changes for the company: the opening of our Chicago office and the addition of our new employees Natalie and Josh (hi guys!), the launch of our quinoa puffs, and a branding overhaul. Things I'm thankful for:
1. Our awesome employees - As co-founders of I Heart Keenwah, Sarah and I are seriously lucky to now have full time employees. Josh and Natalie are an amazing addition to the I Heart Keenwah family. Not only are they incredibly resourceful and hardworking, but they are also quirky and fun. Natalie is our in-house vegan encyclopedia, and Josh is an avid outdoorsman. We have learned a lot from both, and we eat more vegan food than we did previously (the "Natalie effect").
2. Brew Doctor Kombucha - My one guilty pleasure (other than listening to 80s new wave when I'm catching up on accounting) is kombucha. Brew Dr. is one of my favorite brands that seems to be more available on the West Coast given their HQ in Portland, OR. My favorite flavor is Clear Mind, a refreshing mix of green tea, peppermint and rosemary.
3. Minaal Backpack - I travel a ton for I Heart Keenwah, and I hate having to carry bulky luggage. A recent find has been the Kickstarter-backed Minaal's Carry-on Bag. Slim, compact, ergonomic, this bag does it all. The best thing is that it can carry a week's worth of clothes plus DSLR camera and laptop and still manage to fit in the under-seat storage department of any economy class ticket.
4. Maangchi's Korean Cookbook - I love eating Korean food, and I have been a super fan of YouTube sensation Maangchi since she launched. Maangchi published a killer print cookbook this year, and it is a great resource for making healthy (and veggie friendly) Korean food. I even adapted one of her recipes with quinoa to make quinoa kimbap.
5. Alter Eco - We have always looked up to sustainable foods purveyor Alter Eco since launching I Heart Keenwah. This year the company inspired us again by switching to compostable wrappers for their addictive chocolate truffles. Nice work, Alter Eco!