Emberlie Pieters and her husband Kyle have sold a lot of plant-based ghee through their natural foods company Rawake.
The couple recently rebranded, though, changing the spread’s name from Rawake Vegan Ghee to Rawake Vegan Gold. New food regulations bar food producers from using dairy names to describe plant-based products, she says. Pieters, who’s been vegan for most of the last five years, says Vegan Gold is still her favorite product that she and Kyle sell. The coconut oil-based spread contains turmeric, as well as nutritional yeast, the latter of which gives the spread its “buttery or ghee-like flavor,” Pieters explains. Rawake’s products are available online, at Staff of Life, Wild Roots and farmers markets.
EMBERLIE PIETERS: We’re not completely raw vegan. We eat a lot of raw food, but the reason we named our company Rawake is we do have some other products coming soon that are completely raw, like raw vegan cakes. We wanted to get the point across that we use minimal processing, and we believe in using whole foods and not using additives or stabilizers or things like that in our food products. We wanted to express that with the name, but also keep it open to products that weren’t completely raw.
Where do you do most of your sales?
It’s mostly farmers markets right now. We’re in the Westside farmers market, the downtown farmers market and the Live Oak farmers market. We’re also doing Felton and Scotts Valley, but those are seasonal for the summer and won’t be starting up again until April.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure food?
I think Kyle’s favorite is popcorn. He loves to put our Vegan Ghee on popcorn—Vegan Gold. It’s still hard for me to say the new name [laughs]. My favorite guilty pleasure food is cake, any kind of cake, which is why I started doing the raw vegan cakes. I have a pretty bad sweet tooth, and the vegan cakes we’re putting out pretty soon are all super-high fiber made from vegetable pulp.