Coconuts: The ‘Swiss Army knife’ of Foods with Coconut Organics’ George Metrik
February 19, 2015
JOHN SHEGERIAN: Welcome to another edition of Green is Good. We’re here in San Francisco at the Green Festivals. We’ve got George Metrik with us today. He’s the founder of Coconut Organics. Welcome to Green is Good, George. GEORGE METRIK: Thank you, John. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Thank you for being our guest today. Before we get talking about your great company, Coconut Organics, and there are samples right here in front of us, we’re going to talk about these samples, George, tell us a little bit about the George Metrik story. Talk a little bit about your journey before founding this great company. GEORGE METRIK: Sure. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life on a variety of projects ranging from tech to other projects. Really, it wasn’t until I got exposed to the natural foods world that I decided that this is really where my passion is. I’ve been a health food nut my whole life, but that’s really what really took me over the edge. I wanted to make an impact on the food we eat, and so I decided to go for it. JOHN SHEGERIAN: I love it. What year did you start Coconut Organics? GEORGE METRIK: In my head, about 2010, and we’ve been planning since. Publicly, we have not been a secret for about a year now. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Got it. You’ve been selling the products that we see in front of us for about a year. GEORGE METRIK: CocoBacon since 2012, but more family and friends, but really, we revealed ourselves about a year ago. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Got it. For our listeners and viewers out there, the website for Coconut Organics is just as it sounds, www.coconutorganics.com. George, what makes Coconut Organics such a special company? GEORGE METRIK: We’re unique in a number of ways, but as the name suggests, we’re dedicated to coconuts and everything is organic. What makes us unique is our commitment exactly to that, to delivering the cleanest organic coconut-based foods and goods. JOHN SHEGERIAN: What does that mean? Are your coconuts sourced differently than other coconuts? Where is it sourced from? GEORGE METRIK: Sure. It starts with the sourcing. We make sure we work with fair trade farmers that practice organically, use no chemicals, all the way through to the ingredients we use along with those coconuts. Everything is organic and as clean and whole as possible. JOHN SHEGERIAN: George, I’m a vegan. Can I eat all the great products that we see here in front? GEORGE METRIK: Yep, absolutely. We are vegan 100%. JOHN SHEGERIAN: And non-GMO? GEORGE METRIK: Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Come on, that’s the perfect storm. GEORGE METRIK: Yeah, it’s food we want to eat. It’s food I want my kids to eat. JOHN SHEGERIAN: That’s great. Can you do a little explanation while we’re here? That’s why we now tape the show not only for our radio listeners around the world, but for our YouTube channel too. You’ve got the products with you. Why don’t you explain what these products are? GEORGE METRIK: Sure. CocoBacon is our very first product we created years ago. It’s sort of an answer to folks that want a healthy, fatty meat-type alternative, a bacon alternative, but this harms no piggies. It’s good for you on so many levels. It’s coconut-based, so it’s high-fiber. It’s got a lot of healthy fat. It’s low glycemic because we use coconut sugar. We use Celtic sea salt, a high-mineral salt, so it’s the best ingredients come together. This is a smoky, sweet, savory bacon alternative. That’s what started it all for us. Our latest product is just our plain toasted coconut chips. What makes these different is we don’t add sugar or salt to these, like most coconut products out there. It’s not candy; it’s a one-ingredient product, just toasted organic coconut. My favorite and our newest addition is our 100% raw chocolate coconut chips. We take these beautiful coconut chips and we add our proprietary raw chocolate blend, coconut sugar, Celtic sea salt, a little bit of vanilla, and you have a decadent treat. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Can we try them right here? GEORGE METRIK: Please, yeah. JOHN SHEGERIAN: How about the bacon? I want to try the bacon, and then I’m going to try the chocolate. GEORGE METRIK: Yeah, there you go. JOHN SHEGERIAN: We’re trying them right here, right on camera. Coconut bacon. The taste is amazing. Oh my God. This tastes like bacon. GEORGE METRIK: It took us several years to figure out this recipe. It’s very tricky finding a balance of smoky, savory, sweet, but not offensive in any direction. It’s actually tricky because we work with coconut oil, so you have to melt it first just to use it. It’s a very proprietary recipe. JOHN SHEGERIAN: That’s going to be a huge, huge product. This is awesome. Now I’m going to try your dark chocolate coconut chips. I’m going to show our viewers a little bit of what it looks like, just the coconut chips with chocolate on it. GEORGE METRIK: It’s a true dark chocolate. It’s not candy. It’s not overly sweet. We use coconut sugar, so it’s low glycemic. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Delicious. Really, really quality products. So, George, the whole trend at one point, and it still might be, we had the founders of one of the first coconut water companies on Green is Good years ago. When he came on the show, he said that coconut water back then was the fastest growing non-alcoholic beverage in the world. Is this new offshoot business that you’ve created a little bit of a hand in glove with that? Is this what happens to the meat, then, of the coconut, when the water is used for coconut water? Is this now a new use for the meat? GEORGE METRIK: The coconut water comes from young coconuts, so that’s in the early stage when they’re green and young and soft. This comes from mature, brown coconuts, so the thick coconut meat that they scrape and they toast it. But there are so many uses for the coconut, and that’s why we’re the coconut company. That’s our vision. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Talk a little bit about that. I’m a vegan and I eat vegan every day. These products are just delicious, but I actually even take coconut oil every day. Talk a little bit about some of the health benefits for our listeners and our viewers out there that want to learn more about the benefits of coconuts themselves. GEORGE METRIK: Sure. We sort of reference it as the Swiss Army knife of ingredients because there’s so much you can do with it. They call it the tree of life for generations because of that. There’s so many benefits topically, systemically. It’s antibacterial, antimicrobial naturally, the coconut oil is. It’s very high in lauric acid. It’s second only to mother’s milk in lauric acid, so naturally it’s good for you in that form. Coconut water, of course, is very mineralizing, high in electrolytes. It can save your life. You could actually take the raw coconut water and go into your vein with it as an IV if you needed to. They make coconut sugar and flour from it. It’s the highest form of digestible fiber in food, unless you consider psyllium husk a good, which it’s not. It just goes on and on. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Speaking of on and on, you have these delicious products here in front. Again, for our viewers out there, I just tried the coconut bacon and the coconut chocolate chips. Just delicious. What does the future hold for Coconut Organics? How many lines can you take this into, George? GEORGE METRIK: That’s exactly our vision, as the coconut company, to adopt this amazing ingredient and just run with it. We, at this point, have over 200 SKUs planned. There’s so many innovative products we’re working on. We’re a small company now, but as soon as we can, we just want to keep introducing innovative, healthy coconut foods and goods. JOHN SHEGERIAN: For our listeners out there, besides your website, which, again, the website for George’s company is coconutorganics.com, where can our listeners and viewers find your products in the United States and around the world? GEORGE METRIK: We ship globally, so we do a lot of business direct from our website. We’re also on Amazon and we’re in several stores, and we’re signing up more and more stores as quickly as we can. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Got it. Wonderful. George, thank you for coming on today. We thank you for inventing these amazing products. We want you to come back on and continue to tell us the story as you create more new products out of coconuts. Again, to go to George’s brand, go to coconutorganics.com. Learn where you can buy it locally, or just buy it online. Remember, he also ships globally for our listeners and viewers around the world. Thank you, George Metrik, for coming on Green is Good today. You are truly living proof that green is good. GEORGE METRIK: Thank you, John.