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Meet Ben Taylor of UPrise Foods on the South Shore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Taylor.

Ben, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
“Plant-based foods” is a buzzword right now, and a term you’re going to hear more frequently in the coming years. As UPrise Food’s founder, I started my plant-based journey while doing research as a food and health blogger. Through my writing and research, I learning about food-related issues like obesity, factory farming, pesticides, and animal rights. During this process, I became determined to share what I was learning with anyone who might have an open mind towards improving their health and developing a more compassionate and sustainable food system.

With an eclectic background that includes being the founder of several start-ups and working in a variety of commercial kitchens, I decided that the best way to make a difference was to pull the trigger and start my own food manufacturing business. At UPrise Foods, our core belief is that food should be both for pleasure and critical to good health. Our first offering, NOOCH IT!, delivers grated-style cheesy flavor for anyone seeking a plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, organic, and non-GMO alternative to traditional dairy-based cheeses.

As a plant-based food and ingredient transparency advocate, I listened to the demand for plant-based dairy-free cheeses. After a year of taste testing, gaining regulatory approval, vetting ingredient suppliers, and building our uprisefoods.com website, NOOCH IT! was born.

Production takes place at a commercial kitchen facility in Cohasset, on Boston’s South Shore, and I manage the business out of my home office in Quincy. As a Management graduate of Northeastern University, I consider UPrise Foods to be both a labor of love and the right time to turn a dream into reality. A recent report by Market Research Future stated that the non-dairy cheese industry will be worth $3.5 billion a year in sales by 2023. The United States is moving toward plant-based food solutions and there is no stopping the momentum. With our slogan ‘Revolution in Every Bite,” we hope to be a catalyst in the trend of people moving toward healthier diets.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
UPrise Foods isn’t my first start-up, so I was fortunate to have learned a lot through the school of hard knocks over the years. The development and launching of a food manufacturing business definitely have learning curves with the unique licensing and regulations that are involved. We had to work closely with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with our labeling to conform with state and federal standards, especially regarding the use of the terms “100% Organic” and “Gluten-Free”. We’re all about food transparency and quality, so in the long run, all the hard work and due diligence paid off.

Overall, the company launch has been smooth and successful. Our most significant “problems” are good problems to have and involve scaling and distribution to keep up with growth.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with UPrise Foods – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
UPrise Foods create foods that are healthy and delicious, plant-based, organic, dairy-free, organic, and non-GMO. We believe in ingredient transparency- from seed to mouth. Our flagship product is “NOOCH IT!”, a dairy-free grated cashew-based cheese.

What makes us different, is the quality of our product and ingredients. There are other dairy-alternatives out there and some might be organic, others vegan, and so on. But look at the qualities of NOOCH IT!, it’s vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, 100% organic, non-GMO, and fair trade. We’re especially proud of going fair trade and organic with our cashews. There are a lot of cashew-based cheeses coming to market, and almost none are a fair trade. When we learned about the sweatshops that most cashews are processed in, we knew we wanted to be part of making a difference. We know the farms our cashews come from and work with cooperatives to ensure that everyone in our supply chain earns a living wage and works in a safe and healthy environment.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
2018 will be a big year for NOOCH IT! We will be expanding throughout the Greater Boston area with our eye on major chains such as Whole Foods and Wegman’s, as well as smaller niche grocery stores that have healthy locally made products.

Right now, UPrise is working on with our partners at Amazon to have fulfillment done in their warehouses so that Amazon Prime members can get NOOCH IT! delivered in two days with no shipping costs. NOOCH IT! is already available on Amazon, and we know that online grocery shopping is going to continue to grow rapidly.

The UPrise Foods slogan is “Revolution in Every Bite”, and our goal is to inspire people to indulge in tasty healthy plant-based foods. With that in mind, we also plan on expanding our product line to include other cheese alternatives, something to definitely stay tuned in for.

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