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Their first batch of crispy chickpeas was made in a tiny New York City oven that was so old it didn't even have numbers on the dials. The year was 2011, and Greg was just a hungry medical student looking to get through a crazy day at work without running to the vending machine for a bag of chips or a candy bar. He started roasting chickpeas at night, seasoning them with whatever was in the cupboard, and throwing them in a plastic bag to help deal with his daily 4:00pm hunger pangs. His coworkers would look over with curiosity when they heard the afternoon crunching, and inevitably he would offer up some snacks. They were a hit! That's when he realized he was on to something special, but it would be a while before he had the idea to start a business.
Jimmy and Greg would frequently discuss the many problems with our food system: it's responsible for the current obesity and diabetes epidemics, it's bad for the planet, and it creates an environment that perpetuates malnutrition and food insecurity. It had been over a year since Greg started making his chickpeas in that tiny NYC kitchen when everything finally clicked. Jimmy had finished a big real estate deal and they were brainstorming new projects for him to take on. It was on a whim that Greg suggested they start a business to create a better snacking alternative. He never expected Jimmy to get as excited as he did. And just like that, they couldn't stop talking about how the broken food system was ripe for the Watusee revolution.
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