By Deb Hurley Brobst
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series about CBD and hemp, and foothills residents who use it.
An award-winning food company is right in our foothills backyard.
Hemp Way Foods continues to win awards for its hemp burgers and crumbles, and owner Carla Boyd hopes to bring her food to stores regionally and eventually nationwide. She expects to be in Natural Grocers by March, and she is looking for an investor to help her take her company to the next level.
Her burgers are gaining acclaim. For two years in a row, Hemp Way Foods has been awarded Best Hemp Food Company during the Hemp Awards and Product Competition at the Indo Expo Trade Show.
For now, Boyd is a one-woman business — making everything herself to ensure quality. She sells her burgers online and in a couple stores in metro Denver, and her burgers are also served in several area restaurants including Blackbird Café and Tavern in Kittredge, Cactus Jack’s in Evergreen and the Pizza Joint in Marshdale.
James Webb, who owns the Pizza Joint with his wife Bethany Desch, serves Hemp Way Foods burgers.
“I think they’re really tasty,” Webb said. “They are pretty exceptional — local and natural, so putting them on our menu was a no brainer. We sell quite a few of them.”
Webb said he was cheering for Boyd to be successful in bringing her food to more and more people.
Megan Mitchell, who co-owns Cactus Jack’s with her husband Gary, said she tried making vegan burgers herself, but they didn’t compare to Boyd’s.
“Carla has put a lot of thought into her product,” Mitchell said. “She’s local, and we love supporting her.”
A personal beginning
After several years of cannabis and hemp advocacy, Boyd began making hemp burgers in 2013 to deal with her own food allergies because she needed options. So she dived in, started experimenting, and created her own burger packed with hemp hearts, chia seeds, lentils, quinoa, garlic, flaxseed, amaranth flour and seasonings.
Boyd spent months perfecting her burger recipe. After she found that some people were crumbling the burgers to put them on salads, in soups and in other recipes, she started selling crumbles.
Boyd originally considered opening a restaurant, but she decided to go another path.
“I would love every household in America to have my food on their table several times a week,” she said. “That would be amazing.”
Boyd, who has become an expert on the plant’s nutritional properties, said: “Hemp is one of the most nutritious things you can put in your body. It is a true super-food. Hemp is a natural anti-inflammatory, and if you can control the inflammation in your body, you can control many things.”
Although hemp comes from the cannabis plant, there is no Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the psychoactive compound that gets people high. Boyd said even if by some chance there were some minuscule amount of THC in the hemp, the heating process to hull the hemp hearts would get rid of it.
Even though some people are concerned about hemp’s origins, it has been used as a food for centuries, she said.
“I have been in this industry a long time,” Boyd said. “This plant really can change our world — we just have to change with it.”
Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-350-1041.