Known as the “Fresh Food Fairy,”
Hether Frayer is on an epic journey that includes Michigan-grown kale, unique spices and oils, and swimming with dolphins.
The Kalamazoo-based Frayer
is an evangelist and educator for eating healthy. Whether she is riding her stationary blender-bike to make smoothies at farmer’s markets or pitching her Kaleamazoo Chips
(Michigan-grown kale flavored chips) to investor groups, retailers and business plan competitions, she is 100 percent focused on educating people about the benefits of eating healthier and maybe most importantly, having fun doing it.
Frayer, the founder of Fresh Food Fairy, an organization that advocates for good nutrition -- particularly among children, says she began producing and selling the kale chips with the hopes of funding scholarships for her nutrition education programs.
One such program included an extensive tour of the Kent County District Library system in 2016. “I go wherever I'm invited,” Frayer says. “Last summer the Kent District Library hired me to visit 10 of their branches with my ‘Fresh Food is Fun’
presentation, followed by bike blender smoothies
. It was a great opportunity to visit the greater Grand Rapids area - I really enjoyed it.”
But back to swimming with dolphins.
On Nov. 10, Frayer was in Grand Rapids to participate in the Michigan Women’s Foundation Dolphin Tank
and Entrepreneur You Business Plan and Pitch Competition at Grand Valley State University, where she presented her vision for Kaleamazoo Chips.
“I’ve been meaning to write a business plan for Kaleamazoo Chips for three years, and the Entrepreneur You Program finally gave me the incentive and support to do that,” she explains. “As a result, I'm in a better position to make decisions about where the business should be headed next. The business plan was 60 percent of our score for the competition, and the pitch was 40 percent. Varnum Consulting in Grand Rapids donated "Speak Up and Be Effective,” a full day course to all 10 participants in the program to help us learn how to pitch. That was extremely valuable and will be helpful with all of my Fresh Food Fairy presentations as well.”
Frayer’s pitch ended up being spot on as she won $5,000, which will be used to fund in-store demos (especially at Whole Foods) and to hire a salesperson.
After the pitch, Frayer was asked what else she needed to keep moving forward and the answer was simple: connections. “I would like: businesses/corporations who have wellness fairs and other wellness initiatives who might be interested in bike blender smoothies. Schools, after-school programs, and events that would be interested in Fresh Food Fairy programs and specialty food/grocery stores and delis that have a customer base who appreciate healthy and locally produced snacks.”
To learn more about the Fresh Food Fairy and Kaleamazoo Chips, you can view Frayer’s website here.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor