Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Andy Khiani, founder, Steve & Andy's, about the company's partnership with Palm Done Right, and the benefits of palm oil in baking.
Liz Parker: Can you provide a basic intro to the brand?
Andy Khiani: Steve & Andy’s believes in making the best cookies with the highest quality ingredients. We commit to using organic ingredients in our recipes to give you an amazing, organic cookie unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
Founders Steve Marino and Arjan (Andy) Khiani are serious about the organic and gluten-free lifestyle. The two met over twenty years ago while individually excelling in their creative careers of beauty and fashion. As each other’s confidant, they soon discovered a mutual passion for food and cooking, often co-creating meals for friends and family. Steve brought all of his Italian-Canadian baking prowess and Andy, a world of spices and flavors from his birth country of India. In February 2012, Steve and Andy launched Steve & Andy’s Organics. What began with one product line—candied organic orange and lemon peels—has grown into preserves, cookies, flour and more; all organic, all gluten free, some even vegan. Every day Steve and Andy relish the opportunity to create more clean foods for customers looking to live a more sustainable life.
LP: How did the partnership with Palm Done Right come about?
AK: After purchasing 100% organic, deforestation free, wildlife friendly palm oil that was fully traceable through the whole supply chain Steve & Andy’s were instantly on boarded as a Palm Done Right partner. From co-founders who transitioned from highly successful careers in fashion and beauty, to creators of artisanal organic dried fruits, preserves and now cookies, them Steve & Andy’s team take great pride in sourcing all of our ingredients ourselves, and seek out partnerships that also promote some of our values. We believe in being who you are and embracing your imperfections. We promote transparency, inclusion and acceptance. We found Palm Done Right is aligned with the way we think about how we impact nature. Done right, organic palm oil can be one of the most sustainable and beneficial oils in the world, nurturing animals, people, communities, and the environment. We believe in this mission and are excited to be partners in doing it right.
LP: What are the benefits of palm oil in baking?
AK: Palm oil replaces butter with a healthier solution and is a versatile ingredient. It acts as a lubricant, emulsifier, flavor additive, and imparts moisture. The carbon footprint is substantially less than animal fat—even though we use organic animal fat, it still has a higher impact on the environment. Butter needs refrigeration and electrical energy whereas palm is ready to use and has a longer shelf life. This permits passing on cost savings to our consumers. Steve & Andy find that sustainable palm oil provides a flakier result across baking techniques. It is a major asset when baking our premium cookies and also contains components that demonstrate major nutritional and health benefits.
There are additional health benefits since palm oil micronutrients include carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols, (Vitamin E) sterols, phospholipids, glycerolipids, and squalene. Beta-carotene is the most potent provitamin A carotenoid.
LP: How is it more sustainable than other oils?
AK: Palm oil has a longer shelf life and other oils are more limited in their functions. To minimize the destruction of the environment from enlarging oil palm plantations due to increasing demand, the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) have third parties to certify sustainable palm oil and trace the supply chain. In order to be RSPO-certified, growers must adhere to eight principles. Steve & Andy’s is proud to support sustainable palm growing and promote certifications that elevate and build awareness around the impact on our environment.
LP: What’s the #BakeADifference campaign about?
AK: Palm Done Right’s #BakeADifference social media campaign aims to inform consumers on the benefits of organic palm oil while raising awareness about the impact of consumers’ daily choices. Consumers can pledge to #BakeADifference on Palm Done Right’s website and learn more about the benefits of palm oil, Palm Done Right’s partners including Steve & Andy’s, and how they can lead the change in making globally sustainable choices every day.