On a trip to Brazil, Frances, the female founder of “Quesava,” felt inspired to create a local product that reflected a local Brazilian recipe called “Pao De Queijo,” a traditionally gluten-free recipe made with Cassava flour, a mix of cheeses, eggs and milk.
It all started in 1999 when the company came to life right here in Vancouver on Granville Island. It was originally introduced as Quejos buns, stemming from the original Portuguese word ‘Queijos’ without the ‘i’ as it was difficult to pronounce.
Quejos buns eventually rebranded and became Quesava combining the beginning of their original brand name and the last 3 letters of their most common ingredient, Cassava. Alas, the name ‘Quesava’ (pronounced KEY-sava,) was born! Their logo is also a nod to the traditions of South America.
Since the start, all products in the Quesava line have been made in Canada, using only simple ingredients that are either entirely plant-based or mostly plant-based.
The ingredients in their foods are non-GMO and contain no preservatives or yeast, their pockets and poppers are made with fresh local vegetables, and there is no added sugar in their cheese poppers, ravioli and perogies.
Quesava is available in 400+ stores in Canada. You can find them as a front runner at independent grocers and specialty shops to larger grocery chains including Sobeys, Safeway, Choices, IGA’s and Whole Foods. And for all of us online grocery shoppers? You can order Quesava from SPUD!
In other exciting news, Quesava products have launched in the United States branded under ‘Sunday Market Foods,’ available now in stores in Washington, Oregon, California and Montana.
Just use the store finder on their website to find some poppers, samosas, and perhaps a sweeter indulgence like their chocolate brownies to find near you or to try on your upcoming travels…(Cheers to the land border being open again! Woop!!)
Having flavourful products in the gluten-free and plant-based food space is a high priority for Quesava, just as much as it is for consumers to find.
Another high priority for Quesava is reducing waste and offering safer food options for consumers. They are certified plastic negative and are consistently working to remove and recycle double the amount of plastics they put out into the marketplace. It hasn’t been an easy journey being a company with freezer products seeking environmental solutions to their packaging, but they are continuing to do their part to take positive steps towards a better future for our planet.
Now, when you bring a new product to market with very little known about it, this places an additional layer to a new company. The company has to educate the consumer and here with Quesava, they’re main talking point falls on their top ingredient—Cassava.
So, what is it?
Cassava is a tuber vegetable similar to potatoes and sweet potatoes that South America has been growing and eating for hundreds of years. It is now grown in over 80 countries and is classified as a hardy plant. Cassava is a carbohydrate that is dense in calories and must not be eaten raw (dangerous levels of cyanide).
Baking and boiling are the most common methods for cooking Cassava. It can be found in breads, sauces, tapioca, in mashed form, and in the form of french fries (a favourite of mine!).
If you are looking to give Cassava a try, Quesava will not disappoint. Their variety and versatility of food products make for a more than perfect introduction to this superstar of an ingredient!
I will leave you all with this positive Quesava company mission statement which pledges, “To be part of the positive change that’s happening with food.”