Nancy Kalish of Brooklyn, New York, was a journalist writing about health issues, as well as being a certified health coach, fully committed to healthy living and helping others to do the same. But she struggled with a seriously demanding sweet tooth. As Nancy says, “We’re talking dessert for breakfast!” She happened to have run across a recipe on the Internet for making brownies from black beans. The taste was “awful,” but they had a luscious brownie-like texture. Nancy started experimenting with different combinations, using different types of beans (and eating a LOT of brownies).
After about a year of experimenting, Nancy found a chickpea combination that produced both a good, non-bean taste as well as that all important, chewy, brownie-like texture. She figured out how to create other types of cookies and snacks that would satisfy a sweet tooth, but still be healthy. Because her creations broke all the traditional “rules,” she named them “Rule Breaker Snacks.”
A Kickstarter campaign was initiated in March of 2019 with an initial goal of $10,000. That goal was met almost immediately, and a stretch goal of $30,000 was established. The campaign ended with a total of $28,402 from 403 backers.
Chickpeas are the basic ingredient in the snacks, and all of them are made without flour, eggs or butter. They are certified gluten-free, are vegan, non-GMO and kosher. Rule Breaker Snacks are produced in a nut-free bakery, making them a perfect cookie for school lunch boxes, as many schools now have a nut-free rule for food brought into the school.
Rule Breaker Snacks ran into a problem with their new bagging machine as they were trying to fulfill all their initial orders, but Nancy’s motto is “when I face a challenge, I take a deep breath and tell myself I can do it, and then I do.”
In July of 2020, Rule Breaker Snacks was nominated for a “Mindful Award” and won Brownie Product of the Year, and Overall Snack Product of the Year in a field of over 1,000 companies from all over the world. (Mindful Award honors conscious companies and products that do what’s right for people and the planet.) By August of 2020, Rule Breaker Snacks were available online as well as in over 2000 retail locations nationwide, and in September 2020, the Snacks were included in Spokin App, an app that identifies foods that do not contain allergens.
Rule Breaker Snacks is proud to be certified as a woman owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The most satisfaction that she gets from her business, however, is hearing from parents with kids who have severe allergies, who now have a real treat they can safely take to school. “That,” Nancy says, “never gets old.”