Sophia Stuart-Rockefeller is the founder of a young and fast-growing company producing freeze-dried food snacks: Chipmunk (fruit chips), Moonix (freeze dried ice cream), Chesers (freeze dried cheese) and Space food.
What does “Freeze-Dried” mean?
Freeze-drying, also called lyophilization, is a method of dehydrating food while preserving its original shape and chemical composition. Fruits, vegetables, ice cream, and cheese are among the many food products that can be freeze-dried.
Freeze-drying is different from dehydrating. A good example for understanding how this works is to compare a freeze-dried tomato with a dehydrated or sun-dried tomato. The sun-dried tomato has a leathery, tough texture, and a darkened, shriveled appearance. The freeze-dried tomato retains its original, spherical shape and bright red color, and has a light, crunchy texture.
The freeze-drying process is quite simple and takes place in an industrial freeze-drying machine. First, the food is frozen to extremely low temperatures (-40 °F or lower). Once it’s frozen, the drying phase begins. The temperature is slowly increased, and a powerful vacuum draws the ice out of the food as it turns into vapor. When the freeze-drying process is finished, the food looks the same as it did before.
The cell walls and fibers remain intact. Only now, there is no remaining water content. No nutritional content is lost in the process. When properly sealed in an airtight container, freeze-dried food can last for over 30 years.
How do you eat it?
Straight from the bag. Freeze-dried food is ideal for sports such as hiking, camping, backpacking, and biking because it is extremely lightweight and nonperishable. It can easily be reconstituted by adding hot water. For example, when freeze-dried strawberries are added to oatmeal, they absorb the hot water and become exactly like fresh strawberries.
The best thing about freeze-dried fruit is that it’s healthy. There are zero chemicals or added ingredients. It’s purely fruit. This is great news for those who are increasingly concerned about health and nutrition. Freeze-dried fruits are the perfect option for a busy person who wants a grab-and-go healthy treat. It’s easier than fresh fruit, and more fun to eat.
Freeze-Dried Ice Cream.
At Freeze Dry Inc, our best seller is freeze-dried ice cream. We created our own recipes and we freeze-dry the ice cream at our plant in Vermont to ensure that we have full control of the product from the beginning to the retail stage.
Freeze-dried cheese is made from real cheese without adding anything else. It has a crunchy texture and the flavor opens up after re-hydration in your mouth.
Bite size pieces are convenient to eat: as an individual snack, with freeze-dried apples or tomatoes, or with salad. They also can be a complementary snack to wine and beer.
Where is it available now?
At this point we sell mostly online: our website (FreezeDryInc.com), Amazon (in the US and Canada), Etsy and eBay (Worldwide).
What are the next steps for Freeze Dry?
We are planning to pick up new international markets (Mexico and Europe) through Amazon in the near future. We are also hoping to build a new food processing plant and expand to classical distribution channels.
What is Freeze Dry Inc looking for?
We out-grew our existing facility, so we are currently looking for a more suitable space, as well as striving towards increasing our manufacturing capacity in order to satisfy existing demand and enter new markets and distribution channels.
The projected cost of the project is $254,000. First stage ($89,000) will double our manufacturing capacity and sales, optimize cost and SG&A, create three full time job equivalents and help us to enter new online markets in Mexico, and Europe. The second stage ($165,000) will increase manufacturing capacity 40 times, optimize cost and SG&A, create six full time job equivalents, allow us to enter classical distribution channels (supply our product to small retailers and chains directly and through distributor), and give us the opportunity to get ready for Shark Tank.
We would be glad to discuss investment opportunities with Angels, PE companies and other institutions. FreezeDryInc@gmail.com
This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of the Lady Boss Club magazine which is full of great information and available to the public as a PDF. If you are interested in having an article or ad promoted by Lady Boss Club, please contact us at LadyBossClub@gmail.com for more information. Discounts on advertising are available for our members!