Seeds of Health
Mamma Chia takes the ancient wonder seed mainstream
Posted on Jan. 9, 2017
Having largely drifted off of plates and out of diets over the millennia, ancient grains like barley, quinoa, and Farro are enjoying renewed popularity and superfood status not only for their unique and appealing flavor and texture but also their nutrient-dense makeup.
Following decades of trying numerous regimens to try to get a handle on serious health issues, Mamma Chia founder Janie Hoffman was introduced to yet another superfood ancient grain: chia. “After being challenged for over 20 years with a variety of debilitating autoimmune disorders, it was this amazing little chia seed, coupled with other lifestyle changes, that finally eradicated my immune disorders and completely restored my overall health,” she proclaims. “I realized that part of my soul’s purpose was to share the magic of chia and to create this brand that would help to uplift and honor the soul of humanity and the soul of the planet,” says Hoffman.
Humanity and the planet were ready. Hoffman launched Mamma Chia in 2009, single-handedly creating an entirely new, chia-based beverage category. Rapid adoption and enthusiasm for the beautiful, jewel-toned organic juices with chia seeds suspended in them ensued, and by 2011, Mamma Chia was an award-winning beverage company with distribution in Whole Foods, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and more (Mamma Chia can now also be found locally at Vons, Ralph’s, Albertsons, and even Target, Costco, and Wal-Mart). While by any standard that kind of growth would seem meteoric, Hoffman is genuinely modest. “All of our success has been the result of a lot of hard work, and certainly an unwavering belief in our mission,” she says. “We’ve had our share of challenges along the way, and we still do, so it definitely does not feel like an overnight success.”
The versatility of this little seed, packed with Omega-3s, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and calcium, makes it an easy addition to limitless foods and recipes. While Hoffman says numerous products are in various stages of R&D at Mamma Chia headquarters in Carlsbad (to add to their existing line of beverages, snacks, and granolas), she also offers other chia suggestions on the Mamma Chia Web site as well as in two cookbooks. “Truly, there isn’t anything that you can’t put a chia seed in,” she laughs, adding, “We have so many people who’ve told us that Mamma Chia is the cornerstone of their holiday cocktails!”
Whether it’s with Mamma Chia products or a favorite chia recipe, “rarely does a day go by that someone doesn’t reach out to me and share how much chia has changed his or her life,” she says. “It truly fills me with so much joy and gratitude to be following my soul’s purpose, and at the same time to be helping others follow theirs.” mammachia.com Deanna Murphy