In this interview, Ree Dolnick, the Founder of Jeca Energy Cookies and Bars, speaks about the interwoven relationships of food, culture and health and how they influence her company.
Q: Jeca Bars are yummy and could be promoted as simply tasty snacks, like many other products out there. Instead, for you, how important is it to the aims of Jeca to generate interest from customers and partners through educating your market about the benefits of healthy eating? How intrinsically important is the message of healthy eating and healthy lifestyles to the Jeca brand?
A: I think it's extremely important, and it's very intrinsic to the ethos of our company that there many, many tasty snacks out there, not necessarily all healthy, and therein lies the problem. They're too tasty, but with no substance, and we're just consuming them with no control. I think with our products needs to have the two components - of course, it's going to be a healthy snack, but don’t worry because it's still going to be delicious.
I think it really comes down to this issue of over-consumption. Why do we eat so much, or so badly, even when we know that it’s not good for us? Our food has to satisfy our nutritional requirements but also our (perhaps unfortunate) biological cravings. So often products that are marketed as “health foods” are tasteless or a strange texture, or otherwise offputting in how non-foodlike it seems. We want to provide an option where you’re familiar with the vehicle - a cookie or bar - and it’s made with really wholesome ingredients, but the flavors are so bold and exciting that you truly will be satisfied with just one.
Q: How important is healthy eating to ensuring maximum energy and enjoyment of life? Feel free to go nuts on all the science stuff here, Ree. As a scientist yourself, give it to us. What are the physical benefits to living a healthy life and eating the right foods?
A: I think it's critical. I really believe that keeping your whole body healthy and full of energy is the key to happiness and longevity. We all know that “hangry” feeling! But seriously, I think a lot of focus on healthy eating has been about nutritional requirements and not enough attention is paid to the emotional effect that feeling either unsatisfied or constantly trying to deny your cravings can have. On the other hand, if your body is nourished and you are emotionally positive, life is yours for the taking. I’m of the opinion that keeping up your energy is a key component of feeling fulfilled and happy, which releases more and more happy hormones, and the benefits just stack up. I can’t emphasize that enough.
Q: Why is Jeca personal to you? What need arose in your life for tasty ways to quickly boost energy?
A: Well, working in research, I didn't always have regularly scheduled times throughout the day to be able to eat. Some days, I would be running so behind and feel so low on energy, I was really cranky and felt like I couldn’t think - it was awful!.
I knew I needed some way to get an energy boost, a way that was quick and convenient. But I couldn’t find anything at the store that I felt was truly healthy and nourishing. So, I decided to make my own bars to take to work and tide me over until meal times. My friends and coworkers noticed, and started clamoring for me to sell them to solve their own struggles with similar situations.
And that’s how Jeca was born! Contact us to learn more.