The Food Issue

Rawxies treats take vegan mainstream

Updated: 2013-03-14T23:56:16Z

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA

The Kansas City Star

So you think moving to a plant-based diet means trading in makeup for a tree house in the woods?

Callie England, 28, cringes at such “granola” and “hippie” stereotypes. After all, the former creative director is partial to hot pink lipstick and matching nail polish.

Three years ago, England began to write a blog ( callieengland.com) about her healthy lifestyle changes. As her blog caught on, she decided to merge her interests in package design, branding, food and health.

Rawxies — a cross between “raw” and “foxy” — are oat-based, heart-shaped treats aimed at the mainstream consumer looking for a healthy snacking indulgence rather than a Clif-style energy bar power lift.

But Rawxies are gluten-free, soy-free and made with palm sugar, which gives them a low glycemic index. England’s nutritional goal — which is emblazoned on a Rawxies T-shirt — is to get more people to “Stop eating crap!”

England moved to California to rub elbows with other natural food entrepreneurs. She signed more than 60 accounts in just 16 months, but when the Bay Area Whole Foods came knocking, she decided it was time for her to hightail it back home, where a spacious and affordable East Bottoms facility will allow her to crank up production from 300 handmade hearts to 4,200 machine-extruded hearts per hour.

“What I thought was the land of opportunity was saturated and expensive. The land of opportunity is here in the Midwest,” says England, who grew up in Jefferson City and graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Rawxies will relaunch this month with three flavors: banana nut bread, mint chocolate chip and lemon poppy seed. Suggested retail price is $2.50 for a 1.65 ounce package. Available at Cosentino’s and select Hy-Vee stores.

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