Tuesday, June 19, 2001 Business Section Page D1

Cool Hemp, hot seller
Killaloe family's creation could be nutritious cure for the munchies.
Janet Hunter
The Ottawa Citizen

On one of the hottest days of the year so far, Christina and Robbie Anderman left their home in the hills to come to the city to give away ice cream.

Well, not ice cream, exactly, but rather a non-dairy frozen dessert that mimics many of ice cream's fine qualities.

Well, not dessert, exactly.

Cool Hemp is so full of nutrition you could eat it for dinner.

The Andermans are showing off their creation to shoppers at the Rainbow Natural Foods store on Richmond Road, and the shoppers are licking it up.

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smalltubs.gif"It did taste different (from ice cream), and I was trying to figure out how," said Christine Jannasch, 47. "It's nuttier, not as firm, the sweetness not as cloying.''

Ms. Jannasch tried the Cool Maple flavour, which is sweetened with 100-per-cent pure Quebec maple syrup.

Like the other two flavours, Cool Chocolate and Cool Vanilla, Cool Maple contains only certified organic, certified kosher and fairly traded ingredients. Oh, and 100-per-cent THC-free hemp milk.

The Anderman family, which includes sons Daryl, 19, Ethan, 17, and Ben, 12, scratches out a living at Morninglory Farm, a three-decades-old community between Killaloe and Wilno in the highlands of Renfrew County.

They started out making hempseed balls and cookies, and still deliver nine dozen cookies to the Rainbow food store every two weeks.

About 4 1/2 years ago, Ms. Anderman started experimenting with hemp milk and a hand-cranked ice cream maker, and has been producing Cool Hemp on a small scale for about three years. "I wanted to make some kind of food in which the most important part of hemp, which is the essential fatty acids, are preserved,'' Ms. Anderman said.

Since freezing it is the best way to preserve hemp's nutritional qualities, a frozen product seemed a good idea.

The product's popularity led to a need to expand, and the Andermans went looking for partners. They found 25 of them, some with money, some with hempseed, and raised $160,000, a fortune when your average yearly income is $12,000.

On May 1, they produced 13,000 litres, about a two-month supply, in a factory in Renfrew, packaged it in a funky new tub, and stored it all in a freezer in Ottawa. They've got a distributor to put it in stores as far east as Halifax.

"I love the fact that it is organic hemp, has a good taste and has a lot of nutritional value,'' said Rainbow's assistant manager, Dorothy Wilson, 39.

Cool Hemp also gets closer to the texture people want in ice cream alternatives than other alternative products, Ms. Wilson said.

Five hundred milliliters will set you back a cool $6.99. The Andermans say the cost is high in part because the many regulations that govern hemp's production are costly. Organic food, and food bought from suppliers who give Third World producers a fair wage also push up the price.

Cost was certainly no object for Esther Jesionka, 9. After finishing her taste test, she said to her mother, Anna, "This is really good. Can we get some?"

This article is reprinted with permission of the Ottawa Citizen.


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