We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Myers Ramrattan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting our business came out of a personal need. HMP began with our young child’s digestive issues. Dairy, the culprit for this health concern inspired us to resolve the problem with diet. How do you replace dairy, a cornerstone food group of the North American diet? As an activist/entrepreneur myself with my co-founder, my husband, a medical doctor (practicing eastern and western disciplines), we are strong advocates of plant-based wellness. We found the solution for our child’s diet issues with hemp hearts and HMP was born.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
HEMP IS WHERE OUR HEART IS… It’s the base of our proprietary hemp heart milk formula in our best dairy alternative for the planet–HMP Cheez as well as our snack sensation–Chz Crisps. This latest innovation allows people to “crunch better” with our high protein, low carb, plantbased cheese snack and EVERYONE sampling has said the crisps are so good they are addictive! Additionally with our cheese items so perfect for charcuteries, we are also producing vegan pate & deli meats.
We are committed to doing our part in saving Mother Earth, innovating and sharing with families and individuals interested in renewable healthier plant-based options.
Our mission is Eat Hemp Live. Preserve the planet for future generations by producing revolutionary Hemp Made Products.
Superfoods were an early component of our search for a non-dairy alternative due to our son’s dietary issues. We discovered hemp is not only a nutritional giant but has been the most sustainable crop for the health of our planet since ancient times.
The Hemp Farm Act of 2018 was a reaffirming green light for our Hemp Made Products development. Our proprietary formulated hemp milk became the base of our first product The Original HMP Cheez ™, Chz Crisps, and an extensive line of food, wellness and lifestyle solutions that are in development. Despite the incredible, holistic attributes of the plant, there has been generations of misinformation and stigmas maligning this superplant. There is still a battle to get these negative perceptions changed, even limitations to things like digital advertising but we are committed to educating about the true benefits of hemp.
We began as Jamaica West Foods, developing a healthier Jamaican patty but when our son developed health issues, I made the decision to pivot into using my professional kitchen as an incubator for small emerging food brands to development while I stayed home with my child. During this time I began researching and developing a non dairy option for him to enjoy.
I am extremely proud of my resilience and ability to adapt despite many challenges. The pandemic presented itself just as we were prepared to launch our HMP Cheez so we have been toiling to build a following without the ability to have people actually sample our product in stores. This recalibration has us building a grass roots following as we begin to sell at farmers markets and via food service.
There is great reward and satisfaction in hearing persons say how delicious our products are as we know that they are superior in nutrition and sustainability therefore a much better choice for people and Mother Earth.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Sunday- Pack leftovers from Hello Vegan for picnic at Huntington Gardens, Pasadena. Dinner at Kingston Cafe for authentic Jamaican Cuisine
Monday- Breakfast at The Rose, Venice, Cycling & enjoying the outdoor activities at Venice Beach. Followed by Santa Monica Pier and finally dinner at Flower Child, enjoyment of window shopping/entertainment at 3rd Promenade
Tuesday- Whale watching in Oxnard, Lunch at Beach House Tacos, Ventura Pier followed by afternoon vintage treasure hunting on Main Street.
Wednesday- Mar Vista Farmers Market for essential produce & goodies. Glass blowing class at Santa Barbara Art Glass, Mexican food at Los Agaves Restaurant
Thursday- Breakfast at Egg Plantation, Santa Clarita, head out for shopping at the Camarillo Outlet, visit Hemp World, Thousand Oaks, late afternoon hike with furry friends to watch the sunset at the Topanga Canyon State Park.
Friday- Bright start at Los Angeles Flower Mart. Visit to Hemp Twins, Abigail & Noemy Cuevas of the Industrial Hemp Alliance at Hemp Traders in Paramount to catch up on their hemp architecture, fashion & expungency projects. Foo-Chow Restaurant in Chinatown for lunch. LA Nightlife: downtown club crawl.
Saturday- Visit Vintage Grocers in Malibu to grab beach snacks, spend the day at Zuma Beach, hiking Point Dume & nature watching, special dinner treat at Nobu
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to dedicate my shoutout to my co-founder and biggest champion, my partner Dr. Sham Ramrattan affectionately called Dr. Ram by his patients. He has been the rock and chief taste tester behind everything I do, unwavering in his support.
Facebook: Eat Hemp Live
Photos: Sarah Myers, Michele Geister