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The Trade

Patricia Alemdar

Patricia Alemdar

The mission of Wondergrain is to educate the public on the health benefits and versatility of sorghum - an ancient grain healthy and versatile with no GMO's and gluten-free.  The company's hope is to bring variety as well as innovation to the homes and restaurants across America through packaging the grain as a consumer friendly product, made with a premium, softer bite and fast cooking time. Despite being used by civilizations for generations, it is only now gaining popularity thanks to it's versatile nature and healthy association. 


What Inspired You To Start Your Company?

A true foodie at heart, I’ve always wanted to get into the food industry but I wanted to start with a product that would make a difference.  I’m originally from Haiti and I migrated to the United States with my family. As with any entrepreneur, I’ve always had a thousand ideas, but wanted to combine business with passion and purpose.

In 2012 I found out that sorghum was a sustainable drought resistant crop that helped with water conservation and for centuries has been a super food for millions around the world but primarily in poor rural areas with very little access to water.

I was given a taste of crushed sorghum from Haiti where it’s considered a medicinal food. Although I liked the taste, I didn’t really care for the texture once it cooled down, plus, I found little rocks in it. You see, the common variety of sorghum is too dense to be cooked whole, therefore it has to be manually hulled and in the process, small rocks get mixed in. So I thought to myself "there has to be a better way!"

After months of research and testing, we discovered Wondergrain, a premium variety of sorghum with the softest bite and fastest cooking time that didn’t have to be crushed and could be eaten whole! So we created Nature2kitchen to bring to the consumer this healthy, nutritious and versatile grain.  

 

Tell us about your products.  

We currently offer several products:

Our Whole grain is Gluten free, Non-gmo, good source of protein and iron, fiber -filled, diabetic friendly, heart healthy, cholesterol free, nut free, allergen free and so much more!  It an be used in any type of cuisine since it acts like a sponge for flavor. It doesn’t get soggy in soups and salads. Great in stir fries or just plain as a replacement for rice, pasta, couscous and quinoa. It even pops like mini popped corn!

Our pearled is the wholegrain partially hulled for a softer bite, still diabetic friendly, gluten free, cholesterol free, allergen free and contains some protein, fiber and iron.  Enjoy an amazing risotto and a delectable paella without feeling too full or bloated. Perfect as well in all types of cuisine, even in stuffed grape leaves or desserts.

 

What makes your product better than the their mass produced counterparts?

Wondergrain is undeniably the most superior variety of sorghum grain with the softest bite and the fastest cooking time.

 

What Drew You To Food?

Because of my mixed heritage, and having spent part of my childhood in Haiti where, based on the history of the island, the cuisine has been impacted by different influences, I was exposed to a variety of flavor profiles and as far as I can remember, I was hooked on food. The manner in which spices and condiments affect the blandest of foods never cease to amaze me.  My fondest memories of childhood and college are tied to gatherings where delectable dishes brought everyone together, even the most reluctant.
 

Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?

The power of great food is undeniable.  It draws people together and brings lots of happiness even in the most difficult moments.  I could say that it has to do with the social impact food has on people.  How far would you drive for an extraordinary meal?  

 

What Products Are You Working On Now?

Top of the line Gluten free Flour mixes and… Stay tuned for more.

 

Do You Have a Favorite Product?

Hands down the Wondergrain  sorghum because of its versatility and health benefits.  I can cook it ahead, freeze it and prepare a fabulous dish in minutes, as it acts as a sponge for flavors in any type of cuisine.

 

Latest Ingredient Obsession?

Honestly...Wondergrain ☺

 

What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?

It was actually quite interesting….We are not vegetarians. However in our desire to phase into a cleaner and leaner way of eating, my mother made a mean stuffed eggplant with wondergrain, aromatic herbs and spices topped with 3 cheeses (oops!!! I didn’t say we were going vegan just yet)

 

What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?

Any and all responsible foodie who is into sustainability and healthy eating.

 

What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business?

Make your business profitable from the beginning while keeping the integrity of your product.

 

What Advice Would You Give Other Artisans?

Make a plan that you will execute; choose a team that will complement you; and focus on making a profit while staying passionate.

 

What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire? My Partner/Mom.

If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be? It’s fundamentally impossible for me to answer that question but if you twist my arm then a buffet consisting of Japanese, Peruvian, Haitian and Turkish food.   

 

Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?

Kathleen Apaid’s table (my mom’s)

 

What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?

Quality time with my family.

 

What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?

Potpourri of songs that range from artist like Vivaldi, Gipsy kings, Enrique Iglesias Andrea Brocelli, Celine dion, Beyonce, Shakira and so many more depending on the mood.

 

What is your favorite recipe to make with the product featured in our basket?

Our Wondergrain Mushroom Risotto. Check back later this week for the full recipe!


Discover Wondergrain's Sorghum In The Box from Chefs Caleb + Phillip