Episode 166: Noah Robbins
Growing up in agriculture, CEO and Founder of Ark Foods, Noah Robbins saw a need to not only make farmers market vegetables more accessible, but to build a brand around making them enjoyable to consumers again.
The taste of the products Ark Foods provides speaks for itself but we, as consumers, eat with our eyes. Founder and CEO Noah Robbins is taking Ark Foods on a trajectory as a modern-day farming company to create an elegant brand of clean eating that is simple, yet attractive.
With his father as a citrus farmer, Noah grew up in the agriculture field. After graduating he saw there was a need to make vegetables from farm lines more accessible to consumers while encouraging them to eat clean ingredients.
The company started with just three acres of land and grew one vegetable, shishito peppers. They became the staple of the company as a snacking pepper with 1 in 20 being spicy, depending on the season. This brought a “fun” aspect to eating them as somewhat of a Russian roulette. Since then, Ark Foods has expanded to building strong relationships with farming partners that they source from for each of their products.
These days, other food companies are trying to cater to a higher end market for clean label ingredients and ethos. Certain foods aren’t viable for certain households because of the market prices of fresh-grown ingredients.
Ark Foods is combating this roadblock by allowing consumers to have the same experiences at an affordable price point. Products like their shishito peppers and purple bell peppers, that people may have not tried before, are now possible.
But the goal is to not only make the vegetables themselves accessible but meals, as well. Noah and Ark Foods are working on making people no longer see these as a side item but creating products solely around them. From that mindset, they’re always thinking of new products in different ways, such as their cauliflower mac and cheese.
While vegetables may be simpler to consume as adults, the same isn’t always said for children. At the start of the pandemic, Noah actually moved in with his sister and brother-in-law and thus spent a lot of time with his niece and nephew. What he noticed is, while they are picky eaters like most children, they were intrigued with the experiences that food brought. They would get excited about a new take on standard food they knew, like pasta. Once they tried these new takes, like veggie and pesto pasta, they couldn’t stop eating them and that was the ultimate compliment.
“If kids like it, you know it’s a good product.” – Noah Robbins (10:02 – 10:05)
Recently, Ark Foods has launched a new clean label salad line which reflects their take on the classic salads we know and love. While salads are always a healthier option, toppings and dressings are usually packed with added ingredients and sugar. Ark Foods is always tinkering with new ideas, like substituting croutons with roasted chickpeas and ensuring all dressings have clean, plant based ingredients.
You can find where to purchase Ark Foods products locally on their website and how to get them delivered through Amazon Fresh, Prime Now, FreshDirect, Farm to People and Fridge No More.
How to get involved
- Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week!
- Reach out to us – we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.
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Previous episodes you may enjoy
- Episode 165: Dr. Jacqueline Holland and Dr. Susan Turgeson
- Episode 164: Shay Myers
- Episode 163: Seth Karm
- Episode 162: Reno Palombit, Melissa Webb and Kristin Vest
- Episode 161: Erin Petrey