Around the start of 2013 the Ellyndale team was in the midst of a self-induced food coma. We’d been testing, researching, and sampling natural food products for months, searching for inspiration for something new, something that had never been done before. We knew we wanted something healthier than a tired old energy bar, something that was easy and convenient, but we just couldn’t seem to find that je ne sais quoi, that one inspirational break. We had foodie-block.
As we snapped out of our food coma we realized it was time to add talent to our fanatical team, a chef with the creativity to make our delicious dreams come true. We needed a mad food scientist who loved to play with food as much as we do.
Flip through the slideshow to find out how Ellyndale® Q Cups™ came to life!
Chef Suzy Singh walked through our door.
Suzy was a season two finalist on the FOX network series “Master Chef,” a former food truck owner, a restaurant director, a neural engineer (seriously), a passionate advocate for whole foods and natural ingredients, and an all–in foodie. Suzy firmly believes natural is better when it comes to the foods we eat, and she also has a background in the science of tapping into our brains, exactly the combination we were looking for. She came, we saw, and we were impressed.
Chef Singh was brimming with ideas and wasted no time helping us concoct natural food greatness. Suzy explains, “As a mom I am always on-the-go, and I was never satisfied with those unhealthy quick snacks and meals you see in the store. Instant noodle cups are convenient, but unfortunately they contain a ridiculous amount of sodium, as well as other crazy ingredients. So my passion and focus was to develop convenient natural foods that not only tasted great, but are also good for you.”
Prior to Suzy joining the team, an idea had been simmering on the back-burner of our culinary kitchen, an idea for an instant cup that showcased healthy, wholesome ancient grains. Suzy loved the idea but quickly encountered the same problem that had shelved the idea early on - cook time.
Quinoa is an ancient grain that takes its sweet time, approximately 15 to 20 minutes to cook. This old-timer initially wasn’t the best of candidates for an instant cup. In addition, despite being around for centuries, quinoa was still a relative newcomer to Americans at the time, so it hadn’t been experimented with to the extent of other grains. But our team wouldn’t be deterred. Still highly idealistic and firmly believing what our parents told us, that we can achieve anything if we try hard enough, we began a long and almost fruitless search.
But after countless unpleasantly crunchy and tasteless cups of quinoa, we eventually unearthed a one-of-a-kind organic quinoa that’s ready in just five minutes. With the largest hurdle out of the way, the team dove into experimenting with flavors.
Chef Singh explains, “Developing our Q Cups wasn’t easy! It took us approximately two years to find this special quinoa and create the perfect blend of healthy vegetables and seasonings for each cup. The big challenge was finding the right ingredient combinations that cooked perfectly together to provide something like what you’d get from a restaurant or make at home.
We were also obsessed with creating the perfect balance of flavor and crave-ability, but without insane amounts of sodium. Q Cups are the perfect combination of flavor, nutrition, and satisfaction, all enhanced with a dash of care and love. Q Cups feed your brain, your body, and even your late-night cravings!”
While there were literally hundreds of flavor combinations proposed when we began creating our Q Cups, we ended up going with our three favorites to start – Organic with Sea Salt, Savory Garlic & Mushroom, and Southwestern Barbeque.
Only the finest natural ingredients make it into a Q Cup™. We scour the globe for the best ingredients available, looking for just the right type of black beans, organic corn, peppers, mushrooms and anything else we can stuff into a cup. Once we find the right ingredients we thoroughly test it to make sure it meets our obsessively tough standards. If we won’t eat it ourselves we’d never sell it!
We hope you enjoy Q Cups as much as we enjoy making them for you!