Saquito: Chia seeds with flavor

Saquito: Chia seeds with flavor
/Barbara Lawlor/
A saquito is Spanish for “little bag,” or “pouch.”
It is also the name of the world headquarters of a new superfood business in Nederland’s shopping center, where it has quietly lived since the beginning of the year.
One could say Saquito’s is a bag filled with a healthy snack, with a potent blend of fiber, Omega-3 and a source of energy that was discovered hundreds of years ago by the Tarahumara, Mexico’s barefoot long distance runners. The amazing properties of Chia seeds were brought to world wide attention with the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, who wrote about the legendary runners and specifically a tall, blonde white man named Micah True.
Micah, a former resident of Boulder County, was often seen running on Magnolia Road, preparing for his journey to Copper Canyon where he became one of the Tarahumara runners and brought them to Colorado for their first American long-distance race.
In McDougall’s book, Chia seeds were introduced as the sustenance that allowed the runners to travel 100 miles in a day. The news spread rapidly and for the past few years the virtues of this little black seed have been extolled in health food stores and on the internet. The only bad things about this superfood is that they stick in your teeth and they are tasteless, so most of the time they are additives to other food. It was only a matter of time before someone would do something about the flavor issue.
Now entrepreneurs Jon Carroll and Zach Azeez and a handful of employees are marketing Saquito, or Chia Made Delicious, in three flavors: cacao and Chia, ginger snap and Chia and vanilla and Chia. Saquito is a mixture of chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, vanilla bean, cinnamon, rice bran solubles and goji berries. It is a loose mixture packaged in a biodegradable resealable plastic sleeve, a new green approach to food packaging, and has minimal sugar and carbohydrates.
Superfoods are those that have nutritional properties bordering on being supplements or medicines.
CEO Zach Azees attended CU and Naropa and pursued nutrition studies, becoming a raw chef working with live food. After reading Born to Run and learning about chia seeds, he realized the one thing that was missing in this superfood was taste appeal, so he began experimenting.
Jon Carroll grew up in Vero Beach, Florida where his dad was a beer and soda distributor administrator. Jon moved to Iowa and became a furniture builder when he met Zach through running. They were both into spirituality and meditation, had a  lot in common, most of all a passion for a healthy life style.
That passion led to their quest of blending chia seeds and other nutrients to become a delicious energy food which can be added to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, ice cream or baked goods; or eaten as a snack. Saquito also has the hunger suppressant properties, holding 10 times its weight in water.
In the fall of 2012, the two men incorporated while in Florida and began production. Once they became established they decided to move to Boulder where natural food is abundant and popular. The headed to Nederland where Zach spent time while in college.
They perfected their blend and went into production, marketing Saquito in national health food magazines and stores, some internet advertising, but mostly word of mouth. They have received great responses. “People love the taste. Once they try it, they buy it. Our job is to get the product into people’s mouths just once.”
Last Friday, Saquito had an open house with free samples and examples of how to use it. A common dish is saquito pudding, allowing the mixture to blend with milk until it forms a tapioca pudding-like texture and then other foods can be added, like bananas.
Since opening, Jon and Zach have hired seven local people who have now become friends to man the office, sales and marketing and internet sales, working a large spiderweb campaign in time social media.
Saquito mix can be found at the Mountain People’s Co-op, Happy Trails and Wild Bear and the Saquito staff can be found in their headquarters in the Nederland shopping center.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.