WORDS: Nicole Stanton
IMAGES: Kate Hockett and Karly Siroky
You might not know that Loam is fueled by tea and chocolate. Kate and I schemed up Loam’s beginnings in the nooks of our college kitchens, slowly nibbling away at squares of chocolate and sipping green tea. Our life source, really. As good as chocolate is for our souls, it always comes with a pang of guilt. So, we made new friends. Mama’s Cookies in San Francisco is committed to making delicious, good for you chocolate chip cookies. It gets better. The recipe was formulated to nourish mothers breast-feeding their children. They needed something packed with nutrients to enhance their milk supply. When starting Mama’s, founder Colleen was not just nourishing the mama, but also was responsible for the nutrients flowing into newborns. Although started with mamas in mind, Mama’s Cookies recipe is suited to nourish bodies of all kinds. Two and half years after Mama’s conception “everyone’s reaching into the Mama’s cookie jar.”
I found Mama’s while perusing the Internet, searching for people and projects to swoop into the Loam Community. I was drawn to sunshine-y photos and expressions of gratitude on their Instagram. It was clear that they have found a way to make good-for-you cookies a method of strengthening community. They frequent free yoga classes in San Francisco parks and friends of Mama’s recently rebuilt a local meditation spot. The love they put into their recipe is emanating outwards, through the cookies and through the women who make Mama’s a reality. Colleen is Mama’s founder, working as a life coach, a doula, and now one of the many inspiring female business owners we’ve come to admire.
Could you tell us what inspired the beginnings of Mama's Cookies?
"I was working with a mom who always struggled with low milk supply. When she had her third child, she had already tried so many different supplements, herbs and food to try help her supply but still was struggling to have enough. She gave me a recipe for lactation cookies and each week I would experiment making a few dozen at a time, beginning to play around with the recipe to make it as healthy as possible, without compromising the taste. Eventually, the recipe perfected itself seamlessly and I too ended getting hooked--and was probably consuming as many as the mama!"
How did you work as a doula and life coach inspire Mama's? How does nutrition, and good wholesome food, relate to those two professions?
"As a birth professional, I have had countless clients who struggle with breastfeeding issues, which can lead into a downward spiral for some new mama's. What we put into our bodies affects how we feel and ultimately who we are. Food affects our trifecta of the mind, body, spirit connection and I'd like to say I am helping everyone (not just woman) think and feel better with this recipe. We tend to feel better, think clearer and look at life more positively when we are fueling our bodies with healthy foods. Plus, it's a proven fact that chocolate cures all...right? By using healthy ingredients that are low in sugar, consumers are able to get the best of both worlds."
What do you love most about feeding people?
"The smile and look of surprise on their faces that the cookie actually tastes amazing! At first, I sometimes hesitate to tell people that they are gluten-free and vegan and low sugar because typically they assume it will taste dry and tasteless...which is the total opposite of Mama's Cookies. They are coconut oil based, so they are actually quite soft and chewy."
Who would benefit most from your cookies?
"Pretty much anyone! Who doesn't love a good cookie? I created a cookie that appeals to vegans and gluten-free folks, as well as those that are diabetic and for those that want to have more energy before or after their workouts. They are so delicious though, that it's not just the friends with dietary restrictions that flock to them. Mama's Cookies is like no other, with the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and ridiculously low sugar content...it's quite rare these days! Also our youngest fans seem to be the most enthusiastic about Mama's. Kids absolutely love Mama's...and coincidentally parents don't mind that they eat them since their kids don't bounce off the walls after eating them because of the low sugar content."
What do you think needs to change about the food industry, and how is Mama's contributing to that change?
"I believe the number one change needs to be lowered sugar intake. Sugar is put into everything and there is plenty of research out there to let you know how harmful it is to our bodies and how it affects our mood and our way of life. I use organic maple sugar as our sweetener, and it totally does the trick. The second change I'd like to see is the amount chemicals and pesticides companies put into their products. By embodying the change we want to see in the world, Mama's uses only the best ingredients, with no chemicals and all ingredients that you can pronounce! Plus, tons of love. The world could always use more love."
Do you see food as a way of building better communities? How so, and how is Mama's doing that?
I do believe that healthy food helps bring community together in a positive way. I love going to grocery stores like Good Earth in Fairfax and Driver's Market in Sausalito Rainbow in SF and see community come together. These are stores that care about their customers and continually want them to be educated and aware of what they are putting into their bodies. I hope one day to see Mama's in stores like these.
What do you see as the future growth of Mama's?
Mama's Cookies are ready to be in the hands of everyone! Starting first in San Francisco, and then expanding outward, Mama's is working to change the food industry and provide a low-sugar snack for the everyday cookie lover. As a natural energy booster, it's a tool to be productive, stay happy, and keep your body feeling healthy. I truly see Mama's as one of the lead cookies out there! It is by far the healthiest cookie on the market, and we're currently expanding with each batch. When I see them in the hands of more kids and adults, I sure will be smiling even more! There's love all around when there's cookies in the hands of our community!
Mama’s Cookies is in San Francisco, but can be purchased online. Check out the ladies of Mama’s and their beautiful mission here: www.iheartmamas.com.