<b>HEALTHY & HAPPY:</b> The Imlak’esh Organics team of (from left) Carrisa Hayes, Tucker Garrison, and Philip Richardson are importing South American foods and supporting “eco-social” causes.
Paul Wellman

While many resolutions include eating healthier, Imlak’esh Organics’ line of artisan products promises a year-round resolution for transformative well-being. Bringing quality nutrition to the public while directly supporting indigenous farming communities, the company hopes to preserve a world for the future.

“At our core, our mission is to facilitate and inspire an eco-social vision of food that’s place-based,” said founder Tucker Garrison, “the idea that your food comes from somewhere, that it has a story.”

Starting small in an apartment in Isla Vista, the company was born of a vision that Garrison, Carissa Hayes, and Philip Richardson shared as students. In 2012, Garrison made his first trip to Peru, explaining, “I had this yearning in my heart for years to go to Peru. I threw on my backpack, had a one-way ticket, and went to South America. The suppliers I work with are the people I met along the journey.”

The company now sells more than 10 products, all sourced directly from small farms and cooperatives. Last month, they raised more than $66,000 on Kickstarter, with hopes to build their own warehouse and production space. Dedicated to donating 5 percent of its annual profits to build more eco-social projects, Imlak’esh Organics is dedicated to ensuring that quality comes before inventory, living consciously with each product they sell.

Here’s a sampling of the menu.

Maca Powder: Cultivated above 12,500 feet in the Andes, this powerful adaptogenic plant contains high levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Known to increase stamina and vigor, the powder is also a great hormone balancer, helping to reduce stress within the body. “If there’s one thing I can recommend to people, it would be to take maca every day,” said Garrison. “It’s a whole-body wellness tonic.”

Sacha Inchi: This calorie-dense nut is composed of 33 percent protein and is an excellent source of omega-3s. Grown in partnership with a group of family farmers fighting against oil drilling in the Amazon basin, purchases help aid their fight to reforest logged areas of rainforest. “This is a great vegetarian alternative to fish oil,” said Garrison, “and the more you eat, the more trees get planted!”

Golden Berries: With one of the highest protein contents of any berry, this sweet and tart superfood, sourced in partnership with an association in the highlands of the Andes, is rich in antioxidants, and one handful is equivalent to more than 1,000 percent of your daily vitamin C. “It’s like nature’s Sour Patch Kids plus Emergen-C,” said Garrison. “They are delicious.”


Imlak’esh Organics can be found at Isla Vista Co-op, Yoga Soup, Juice Ranch, Isabella Gourmet Foods, Backyard Bowls, or online at imlakeshorganics.com.


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