This post is part of our Meet the Artisan series highlighting local food artisans, their products and their production processes.
This series highlights food artisans near us and their passion for their products.Tell us about your company.
The Soul Food Project is a passion project turned LLC that was born out of my own personal struggle with food. My mantra is: “Love the food you eat. Do the things you love. Ditch guilt and regret.” I encourage changes in health and happiness, without dieting or restriction. I provide one on one health coaching, grocery store tours, in home cooking lessons and kitchen/pantry evaluations. I also teach alignment based yoga. And I produce Honey Crumble Cornbread Mix, which allows anyone to get a taste of Soul Food in their very own kitchen!
Why did you start the Soul Food Project
Years ago, I was maxed out on life. As a struggling actress in New York City, I had slowly but surely begun to control my life in the only way I knew how: through food. Perfectionism and a skewed relationship with my body turned into a disordered relationship with eating. The eating issues were coupled with gluten and dairy intolerances. This lead me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world's largest nutrition school. Studying over 100 dietary theories as well as aspects of positive psychology empowered me to change my health, and I wanted to share that with others. In 2012, I started Brittany Lynn Kriger Health and Wellness. It was successful, but I began to feel the call of the South pulling me home. Two years later, back home in Baton Rouge, The Soul Food Project was born!
Tell us about Honey Crumble Cornbread Mix
At first, a gluten and dairy free lifestyle felt like a food death sentence. I made it my mission to recreate my favorite foods not only to be gluten, dairy and soy free but also better than ever. Finding a gluten free cornbread mix that lived up to the cornbread I grew up with proved impossible. Gluten-free flours didn't work in the recipe, so, I went about doing it myself. The elements important to me were whole, non-GMO ingredients plus the right, slightly sweet flavor and a crumbly dense (yet light!) texture. It took over a year of developing to get there, but it was worth it!
What inspired you to create your product?
There was a restaurant in New York City that served a gluten free cornbread. I loved it, but it was not cornbread as we know it in Louisiana. But that cornbread planted the seed. It wasn't until I saw honey powder in a little jar at Red Stick Spice Company that a lightbulb went off in my head: I can share this with others! I am so grateful to Anne and Red Stick Spice Company; she has been a huge source of support and inspiration.
What’s the most rewarding part of creating your product?
There's nothing better than when someone tells me that this is the best cornbread they've ever had! I absolutely love being able to share this product with anyone who cannot have gluten, but the very best compliment comes from those who don't use the qualifier “for being gluten free.” Someone who can eat any cornbread off the shelf but choose Honey Crumble for their cornbread consumption? That's the best!
What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about becoming a food artisan?
If you have a passion for it and you want to share it, honor that desire. The Baton Rouge community is full of people who want you to succeed and want you to contribute your gifts and your skills, and you owe it to yourself and everyone who would benefit from your foodstuffs to get out there and do it! So start where you are, today, and the rest will come as you're ready.
Where can we learn more about your company and product?
My internet home iswww.thesoulfoodprojectla.com. Learn more about The Soul Food Project and my services, and get a seven day “Soul Food Guide” chock full of tips and recipes for starting your very own health revolution.
Do you have a favorite local artisan? Let us know in the comments!