Note: Originally posted on the Heine Brothers’ Coffee website, where I am the Marketing and Technology Manager.
One of the most-requested items that we get from customers isn’t a coffee from a certain growing cooperative, or an exclusive pastry from one of Louisville’s many great bakers – but a good, hearty wrap that is full of flavor, made with ingredients that are wholesome and natural. We talked to Najla Asward, owner of Najla’s Cookies, to begin exploring what this would look like coming from them.
Several things were important to us in this. Using natural ingredients – if we have to Google an ingredient, it is probably not something we want in our food. Offering options that everyone can enjoy, from vegans to meat-loving carnivores, is also high on the list. Easy preparation, so that our baristas can quickly prepare the item to help you get to your next stop on time, is important as well.
Najla came back with 2 different items, and they both knocked my socks off. Both are animal-free products, and as the lone vegan on our leadership team, I was excited to see the reactions from the rest of the group. They LOVED them! Najla listened to what we wanted, experimented in her kitchen, talked to other culinary professionals in Louisville, and brought us something even better than we could have expected.
We’re excited to launch these new pocket wraps in all Heine Brothers’ and Vint locations this week. Heine Brothers’ is committed to sourcing as many products as possible from local vendors, and through building these relationships, offering you the best that is out there. More varieties of the pocket wraps are in the testing phase (including non-vegan and gluten-free items), so stay tuned for those.
Creating these vegan wraps has been a labor of love. When the opportunity came to resume production I was not sure what the final product would look like. At Najla’s, our mission is and always will be to create premium hand-crafted specialty foods that don’t contain high fructose sugar, preservatives, trans fats , etc. We were challenged because to source ingredients without a lot of these over-processed ingredients required a financial commitment to pay more for better ingredients. Our commitment is to toast each tortilla by hand. Why do you ask? Because our tortillas contain 5 ingredients – flour, water, oil, salt and sugar and most of the other significantly cheaper options contain more ingredients I can not pronounce. We chose to squeeze fresh limes because we believe you can and should taste the difference in our Special Sauce for the Breakfast Wrap. We use organic tofu, organic ketchup and organic salsas and non-GMO canola oil because it really matters to us. We thank Stanley Chase from the Louisville Vegan Jerky Company for his creativity and Amanda from Strecker’s Vegan Foods for her vegan advice. We hope you enjoy what we have created as much as we have enjoyed making them. Even if you are not a vegan, we hope you will try them. We mean it when we say, “we are proud of what’s inside.”Thank you for your trust in us.Najla